In days far gone, I always found that basking half-submerged in a bath, smoking a very large herbal cigarette, was a wonderful way of starting the old grey cells off. In the meantime, my fiasco (a far better description of my wife to be than fiancé) would sit on the loo seat, drink half a case of brown ale, and take notes of my creative thinking.
The herbal induced creativeness, aided by the extraordinary thought processes, inspired by the brown ale, would yield story lines of unimaginable drivel.
And yet…and yet, out of the plethora of scribbled, hardly decipherable notes, there was nearly always a germ of an idea that blossomed, nay sprang, into the most marvellous story line or passage of prose. A piece that even a certain Mr P.G Wodehouse may well have ticked as sportsmanlike… but more of that later.
This bath was always taken at about four in the afternoon, after the compulsory two-hour, after lunch nap and mandatory bottle of wine or two. The evening was spent decoding the aforementioned notes and bashing away at an old Remington with another mandatory bottle or two of the grape and Duke Ellington or similar burbling away in the background. The evening usually finished with a self-induced coma, induced, in part, by resorting extensively to Mr Roget’s lovely invention, which although having no story line, at least explained every word as one went along.
The cold light of morning always brought an air of sober thought into the proceedings; when last night’s scribblings were analysed and put into some sort of order. This is when, if the nicotine and caffeine levels are up to par, the convoluted story lines etc, showed their true colours. The ideas, those that seem plausible, were put into some sort of order and re written into a state of semi comprehension.
At midday, the first of the wine corks flew across the room, indicating luncheon. Soon after the body had been refuelled, a horizontal pose was affected affording the mind the same sort of replenishment. Upon waking, the bath would be filled and the whole process started over again.
This mode or method of artistic creation can go on for months if not years. Indeed, when you are suffused with this way of life, birthdays, Christmases, New years and all the other holidays went by without a murmur. You didn’t notice them and certainly didn’t miss them.
Now the problem with this wonderful mode of writing best sellers, blockbusters and what have you, was the fact that at some time you had to go out and shop for replenishment, i.e., food and wine, not to mention brown ale. It completely spoiled the thought processes and threw you off the finely tuned balancing act, which the routine had imbued. The best method of shopping was to send out for it. If you could not, you made it quick and made sure that the thought processes were ticking over somewhere in the dark recesses of the cranium. We were married during one of the very few times we ventured out into the wide world, but neither of us can remember the year let alone the date… the twentieth century rings a bell though.
However all good things come to an end. Now we sit in front of a screen and the inspiration comes from surfing the net and suchlike, or in my case the occasional glance at my on line bank balance. Depressing isn’t it.
I think I’ll take a walk up to the herb garden, run a bath, and write this article.