Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Last Reels Update

I'm in my fourth week of life after Odeon and I have spent the morning tweaking and editing the chapters of 'Last Reels' set during the nineteen-eighties. It's funny how that era seems more vivid than the recent past of empty projection rooms and digital desolation. Is this the nostalgia of old age creeping up on me?
As I am now nearing the stage at which the novel will be published I am going to start posting excerpts so that people can sample the wares, so to speak. Maybe I should call them trailers, except that might put the cinema folk out there off reading the whole book, as most trailers shown in the cinema these days incorporate the best parts and the entire condensed plot of a film. Make a note to self not to do that. I will post snippets - teasers for sections of the book which should whet the appetite of would-be readers.
Right, back to the grindstone.

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

At the hut

At the hut, listening to evening birdsong, the plaintive bleating of sheep about to be shorn and distant traffic. It's a glorious, warm, sunny evening, the amber light spilling through fresh-leafed trees, ferns unfurled, chestnut flowers just starting to fade and elder about to froth forth. Drove down in the MG, top down, smugly aware of all the other irritable, sweltering drivers in their family wagons and repmobiles. There's something wonderfully liberating about driving a car with no roof in the sunshine. It makes motoring fun again rather than just a trip from A to B.
Rickie just texted me back to say they are at Bala. Having a cup of tea on the fire escape steps. There's a train whistle down in the valley and sun slowly slips up the hillside. Stone is warm to the touch, moss shrunken from lack of moisture and uncommon heat.
Next time I am at the hut it will be the tail end of the year, damp and dank and dying. How impossible all that seems on this fine evening, with all of summer's promise lying ahead.

Monday, 27 May 2013


Well, maybe I haven't managed to write very single day, but before I came on holiday I had done 26,000 words of the novel and have added another couple of thousand while I've been away. It's hard to write regularly at home, especially now at the garden and allotment are needing plenty of attention and work is as hectic as ever. If I was on holiday for another month or so, reckon I could get it all finished!

Friday, 4 January 2013

New Year thoughts

The murky weather continues; flooded fields are a commonplace sight, the mornings seem darker than ever and my new solar panels are doing a great job of keeping the rain off the roof. And yet, there are signs of spring. In the garden, snowdrops are pushing up through the soil and this evening as dusk fell, birds were singing as they never do in the dark days of November and December. They know that the year has turned and the nights are slowly shortening.
So far this year I have been writing every day. On New Year's Eve, Dave worked out that if I want to get to 70,000 words by the end of the year, I need to write 164 words per day, which, lets face it, isn't much. So on January 1st I sat down and wrote 405 words in about 20 minutes. Then on the 2nd I managed 499 and last night around 399. Writing regularly has always been the key to getting through writer's block, procrastination and the feeling that it is too daunting and huge a task to ever be completed.

Monday, 10 December 2012

'You are now leaving the future'

'You are now leaving the future', read the graffiti painted on the side of a shed in a field just off the A14. And on this winter afternoon, as the light faded, I wondered if it could possibly be true. If, as I passed the sign, the years would slide back and somewhere out there in the darkening towns were bright neon-lit cinemas where projectors still whirred and joins clicked through the gate. Where platters turned slowly, reflecting the spilled out light of old arc lamp conversions and film, glorious film reigned supreme. But alas, the sign lied, and in the very next town the squat black boxes sat like contended toads in deserted projection rooms behind foyers that looked more like coffee shops than real cinemas.

Monday, 26 November 2012

Floods and traffic mayhem

It's eight thirty in the evening and there is still a traffic jam packed solid all the way down Main Street due to the A38 being flooded. I went for a walk earlier and took some pictures - the traffic went all the way down Hatton straight, and according to some comments on Facebook, all the way up to Mickleover in the other direction. It has now started to rain quite heavily again.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Tuesday - Corfu

Afternoon. Slightly cloudy skies. A feeling that the weather is on the turn. I have drunk several glasses of cheap red wine - why does it always taste ok when you are on holiday - and now it's nearly time to walk down to the village, get some lunch, then maybe go for a paddle and watch the waves break endlessly on the shore.
Back home I am aware that it will be a soft October afternoon, pale light, long shadows, the fiery foliage on the verge of falling. Chilly nights, damp with dew and maybe frost. So far from these endless summer afternoons, not unlike August in short-shadowed light, mellow sunshine, the trees all still in full leaf, together with all the Mediterranean plants - Oleander, Bougainvillea, Morning Glory with its purple trumpets. In the vegetable gardens, beans and courgettes still flower. A second planting of potatoes. Vivid colour of peppers and chillies. Lemon and orange trees. In many of the gardens, roses bloom as if it were still July, without blight on the leaves. Geraniums glow in vivid reds and pinks. Nothing is dying, moldy, mildewed. There are no turning leaves. The grass (coarse though it may be) still grows as lush as midsummer at home. Our pale eyes need sunglasses to shade the glare of sunlight on white buildings, waves against sand, bright skies.
If only England had a climate like this. Yet if it did, it would not be England. We live in the distant north, favored by the Gulf Stream that gives an equable climate and enables us to grow plants that should only really thrive far south of the latitude where we actually reside. The rain gives us green foliage, grey days, and a lushness never seen further south. You can't have it all. When we are moaning about the unreliable summer weather (if wet, in the village hall) places like this are baking in 40 degree heat.