Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Not really about the Tour de France

Spent the afternoon and evening yesterday sweating buckets; other than that there’s no football, no work and no distractions - except I am a distraction unto myself. I added a sentence or two to something that had just popped out on Sunday evening, but that wasn’t going anywhere. I re read Sirens in preparation for its eventual rejection and re-write; I had decided on quite a radical re-write a few months ago, but as I read it yesterday I figured it was OK as it is, but could definitely do with some tidying up, which I didn’t do. I read Stardust to see what Anne had so hated about it. It was pretty twee and cringe worthy, but there are probably some bits I can pilfer for something else along the line. And then ... I sat on the sofa watching the Tour de France. That is a huge distraction and something else I lay firmly at the feet of my Dad (along with a whole pile of other things). Last year he visited me while it was at the ‘Montagne’ stage. Armstrong had basically already won and I made the huge mistake of asking ‘Why?’ I’m not saying I understand the Tour any better now, but I’ve got a vague understanding of time and sprinters and how the teams work together and there’s always a pretty exciting ‘chute’ along the way. As well as that, the Tour has hours of TV time and there is only so much cycling you can watch, so it really is a Tour de France. The helicopter zooms in on places of interest and you get a little geography and history along the way and the mountain stages are just amazing. The scenery is fantastic and it’s the one thing that makes me finally want to learn to drive, so that I can get down to some of those places one day. But then I was meant to be preparing myself for today’s supposedly free writing day. I did a few sudukos and sprayed Evian everywhere and sweated some more and then I went and found that bulging green file I’ve carted from Plymouth, back to London, to Kent, back to London where it stayed while I was in Mexico, then it rejoined me in Madrid and now it’s finally here on my untidy bookshelf in Paris. I knew what I was looking for; it’s been a friend for so long.

I pulled out the untidy sheets and laughed at what I had typed on, worksheets, the back of old essays, the thin paper that covered the top and bottom of reams that Mum used to bring home for me to use. I typed on absolutely anything. It was a little green typewriter with a red and black band and sometimes the keys used to get stuck and sometimes I must have been short of paper because there were no margins or headers and footers, but boy I typed it out. And the typos, well there were many, sometimes it was a bit of guesswork that got me through what I had tried to spill out then. So I read... I remember writing it in the dining room surrounded by my plants on that huge varnished table. My typewriter was sat on a folded up tablecloth so that I didn’t scratch the table and I was surrounded by rizlas, baccy and a fair amount of Afghan black (if my memory serves me right). I must have written this stuff; what 14, 13 years ago now, but I still liked it. Ok, I’ve got to admit, I loved it. I was surprised by it sometimes. There were even some lines that I recognized as having written again recently. There’s something in there just dying to get out. But I popped it back into the folder and wondered what.

This morning I did my usual rounds of my fave blogs and stuck on Deep Thinker’s. She’s been going on about this 30 day Writing Course for a little while now and I have to admit that sometimes I take these things with a little pinch of salt. I surf from time to time when the words dry up and usually an exercise or two is enough to get me through, so do I really need a 30 day course? And then I figured what the hell. Between now and the end of the holidays I should have about 30 days, so go for it, what have I got to lose and from Deep Thinker’s rave reviews everything to gain. So I’ve done the first exercise. Now I’m kind of impatient to get to the second one, but sometimes these things are best left to mulch in your head, and besides it’s almost the end of today’s stage!


Minx said...

Will catch on the new material at the weekend. Looking forward to it when work stops getting in the way of everything. Haven't deserted you!!

Marie said...

Thanks for the link and good luck with the course! My first typewriter was blue. I don't think I used it much!


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