Hello dear readers,
Interestingly enough, on occasion alcohol does nothing more than make me tired - no euphoria, idiocy or melancholy, just faint sleepiness. This is the typical midday effect, I suppose, which is why lunch pints have never been a habit. My resistance to alcohol's more profound effects must have something to do with my incredibly strong constitution and cast-iron stomach. Though I now suffer outrageous indigestion from hot curries, in my youth I really was able to eat anything and rarely suffered food poisoning, aside from the cockle nightmare of 1979.
Of course the three-day cockle wee/diarrhoea/vomit extravaganza could have been a psychosomatic illness in response to a forced seaside holiday in Blackpool. If the Catholics are right about this Purgatory business, I expect after being struck by a speeding bus to wake into a blinding white light only to find myself on the pier staring into that ghastly town's tacky illuminations. The fact that my father was forced to pay for a private cleaning company to service the room was clearly karma in action - though at the time I was not yet an aspiring Buddhist.*/**
*Granted, nor am I now, as that phase ended several years back
** Sorry, at this point I should probably mention that I have had a few tipples - it is 1:30pm - if you have an issue with this, perhaps we should have a bare knuckle fight on the pavement
I realise that I promised to narrate my night with Cousin Douglas and the Thais, but after noting the lack of hits on the blog at the weekend, I completely lost interest. No point slaving when half the nation is on holiday.
Despite my busy schedule, I have begun work on a new novel, this time opting for pure genre in an attempt to penetrate the trite consciousness of our superficial age. Frankly, I'm desperate for the money. It's an apocalyptic tale of society going tits up due to the spread and intensification of this year's ash cloud. Violence, pettiness, perhaps a bit of romance... I'm considering adding some vampires to the mix, but fear their appeal may dissipate before the long journey from writing to editing, finding a publisher to actually seeing the book in print. Mind you, this vampire trend has been going for quite a few years now and every second book on shop shelves seems to feature bloody fangs. We shall see.
Title: Ash Wednesday (spooky, pseudo-religious, ominous).
I had considered doing a travel journal, having already prepared some very thorough research for a trip around Britain. I thought perhaps I could mirror Bill Bryson, who made an absolute killing by conjuring up nostalgic half-truths about English society, like noting that we all like nothing more than sitting on benches for days at a time staring at nature. He neglected to point out that the people who do this are either homeless alcoholics or old people and that the elderly do this in virtually every nation on Earth because they a) can't move, and b) never have any money. I suppose the same goes for the alcoholics...
I notice Mr Bryson didn't go to the heart of, say, Newcastle and reminisce fondly about packs of football hooligans battering one another with pipe and steel-toed Doc Martens. Or touch on the gentle loveliness of the 1980s strikes. Or mention the quaintness of post-war ration cards and creeping demoralisation.
Mind you, I do very much enjoy Bill Bryson's books. Waxing lyrical about a mythical past simply isn't my shtick. I'd rather blow up half of Iceland and have frothy mouthed hooligans destroying a Marks and Sparks (planned for Chapter 8).
Oh, and for the reader who inquired via email asking if I am a recluse, I am a perfectly normal man who values his privacy and personal time in an age of mass communication. In other words, I'm a semi-recluse. I have issues in social situations and don't like being surprised (ie, having anyone phone, drop in, see me on the street and initiate conversation, or ask me to go out in public to a venue I'm not comfortable in). I do have friends and acquaintances and am selectively social. As Bill Bryson might tell you, this is how we all felt before the advent of the mobile telephone.