Scrapbook Entry // Half-Term Report


Six weeks done, another six to go. We’re constantly counting down. It’s been a swift six weeks, and there was much to discuss. Me too. Times up. Conversations on Whatsapp about articles linked on Twitter. Transatlantic chats with my old friend Mike cheered me up no end. Meanwhile, life goes on. I didn’t make resolutions, but I did set myself some goals. Run more, write more. More or less, yes. Make more submissions. Subscribe to at least three magazines. The New Yorker now arrives every week—not that I have time to read it. I wake up to song lyrics and write them in my pages. The crunch of toast between my teeth, and that first sip of coffee marks the beginning of a forty-minute slot of absolute bliss. No filter. I hear entire chapters of my life in pop songs played through speakers mounted onto white-brick walls, but when I look up the bricks are fake. Programmed beats pulsate to the sniffs of sorrow and you know that no matter how many push-ups you do she’s never coming back. I cried when I finished writing that last story, and then it got rejected. That’s fine, I told myself. The stories that need to be heard are the ones that find a home. Hailstones hit the windshield as I drive to work and a moment later blue skies burst into view, beckoning spring. If there’s one thing I’ve learnt it’s that teaching teenagers takes a lot of patience—a lot of patience, and a lot of coffee. I put on a CD. Yes, I still buy CDs, especially at this time of year, when I finally get ‘round to reading the best-of lists from the one just gone. I’m almost forty, and I still get excited about rock music. Like, kid-on-Christmas-morning-excited. Axl Rose still haunts me, and my love affair with Lana continues unabated. The books pile up by my bedside, but the angst is unflinching. At the weekend, I escape to the cinema. It’s Oscar season. Bucolic scenes on silver screens. Drinking tea while out at sea. I drew some lemurs on lined paper. I’ve started writing left-handed. I run along the canal at least once a week, but my body is slowing me down. The scent of fresh-cut grass on the last day of January and the trees look like amputees. A swarm of sea-gulls circles above a church I’ve never been inside, while a woman sings about war. I am now ten years older than when my parents had me. One of my friends told me I’m probably past my sexual prime, but all my other friends were too busy to confirm this. It’s just that time of year. What am I talking about? It’s always that time of year. Everyone is always busy, all of the time—or so they’d have you believe. I just want to live artistically… the challenge is how to do that, how to assimilate art into our daily lives. I’ll get there.