Temptation

At my age if I can start the day by not falling over when pulling on my ‘y’ fronts, I reckon it’s a good omen.
If, when approaching my computer I find that I’ve remembered to put the mouse on charge overnight, and not left it languishing on the desk, dead, that’s even better. And, if there’s a vestige of memory left re the wonderful idea that blossomed into a fantastic story line, just before utter stupefaction enveloped me in bed last night, it’s bloody fantastic.
Getting the caffeine and nicotine intake up to the required levels, for the most exciting bit of authoring to explode into the literary world, since Ernie Hemingway pounded the keys, can be accomplished whilst waiting for the computer to start up.
Now the battle commences. Shall we just have a quick look at the e-mails, or leave it until later. Tuning into a decent radio station, playing non thought preventing music is OK, but what about a quick look at the news headlines.
At this stage of the proceedings, I’ve found the hardest temptation is succumbing to the irresistible force of just having a quick game of Spider or Free Cell, just to get the brain moving. This must be resisted at all costs. Just go to the statistics on the game panel and see how many hours, days and even weeks have been spent over the last year, getting the brain moving…you know I’m right.
No. Let me at least get the essence of the idea down in print. Microsoft Word is summoned up, and you try and rattle the fast fading memory banks while the computer goes through its… well whatever it has to go through, for a blank document.
About this time, you can hear movement around the home. Before you’ve finished flexing your fingers, ready for the undoubted blockbuster that is about to burst onto your screen, the nostrils are assailed with family members brewing real coffee and slightly burnt toast as it ejaculates from the toaster. Then the saliva inducing smell of grilling bacon invades your senses and the sound of eggs sizzling away in the frying pan adds it’s attack on the taste buds. It’s almost more than the body can bear. You summon up the last trace of self-control and return to the keyboard.
Right, all temptation has been overcome. The mind is set. The fingers poised. Then a tinkling piano reverberates through the speakers. This starts a train of sub conscious thought, which manifests itself directly into the bladder. No amount of mental blocking procedures can overcome this sensation. A quick squirm and well chose expletives help, not at all. Give in, but here’s the rub. The road to relief is by way of the kitchen, and coffee and bacon and hot buttered toast and eggs and…
Again, as you rush past the open kitchen door, the temptation to succumb is overcome with help from the aforementioned bladder, and you make the bathroom still determined to resist all enticement.
An hour later, replenished with bacon, toast, four eggs and two cups of freshly ground coffee, you again sit down at the computer, look up and see a blank page. Which just about reflects your memory bank’s recollection of the most fantastic story line in history.
Of course the way back to idea regurgitation is a game or two of Solitaire. That always gets the brain back into gear…doesn’t it?
Vaguely, the thought that a story concerning falling over whilst dressing, flutters though the mists of fluttering card induced anaesthesia… But soon fades.

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Writing Drivel

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 go by without a murmur. You don’t notice them and certainly don’t miss them.

Now the problem with this wonderful mode of writing best sellers, blockbusters and what have you, is the dreaded knowledge that at some time you have to go out and shop for replenishment, i.e., food and wine, not to mention brown ale. It completely spoils the thought processes and throws you off the finely tuned balancing act, which the routine has imbued. The best method of shopping is to send out for it. If you can’t, you made it quick and made sure that the thought processes were ticking over somewhere in the dark recesses of the cranium. I married my present wife 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.

The Perfect Husband

‘George.’
‘Yes dear.’
‘I want a divorce.’
‘Yes dear.’
‘I said I wanted a divorce.’
‘Well take an aspirin dear,’ I said trying to concentrate on the rugby. ‘You’ll soon feel better.’
‘I’m not ill.’
‘I thought you said you feel worse?’
‘Turn the bloody television off for a moment; you haven’t heard a word I’ve said.’
I looked across at Hilda. She was in one of her moods again. I turned the television down. It was half time anyway.
‘Now what’s all this about you feeling ill?’ I said, doing my best to look concerned. ‘You don’t look ill to me.’
‘There’s nothing wrong with me,’ she declared, sitting down on the edge of a chair, gripping the armrests.
‘That’s all right then,’ I said, turning the television up in time for the second half. ‘Go and fetch me a six pack, there’s a love.’
This is the life I thought, putting my feet up on the coffee table. Hilda trundled off to the kitchen, muttering to her self. Yes indeed. A good game of rugby, a wife that adores me and a belly full of beer.
What indeed, I reasoned. Well I could do with the beer for a start. Where was that woman?’
‘Hilda,’ I shouted. ‘Where’s the beer?’
She loves these weekends. Got me at home to herself. The kids grown up and left home. I think she misses them. Can’t say I do. I suppose I should take her out occasionally. Can’t find the time though; what with the golf club and so forth.
Where has she gone with that beer?
Yes, the golf club takes up the time. Pity she’s not interested in golf. If she was, I could take her, now and then.
I don’t know what she’s playing at. Looks like I’ll have to get the beer myself. Selfish bloody woman.

Mind you, she’s getting very forgetful these days. Hope she hasn’t forgotten I’ve got a ‘do‘on tonight at the club. I got up and fetched the beer myself, and sat down to watch the game.
The front door opened and closed. She must have gone next door to borrow something. They are always borrowing or lending something or other. Last week they borrowed the iron, well he did… can’t remember his name. Anyway, his wife left him a couple of months ago. Hilda always seems to be helping him out.
Hell, I hope she’s remembered to iron my shirt.
The front door opened and I heard her going up stairs.
‘Hilda,’ I shouted. ‘Where the hell have you been? I nearly missed a drop goal getting my beer.’
No reply; just a sound, from the bedroom, of draws and cupboards opening and closing.
‘Hilda…Hilda,’ I shouted. ‘Have you gone deaf?’
‘George,’ she shouted from the hall, ‘I’m leaving you’.
‘OK dear,’ I said.
‘George. Did you hear what I said?’
‘Yes dear, just leave it in a chair,’
‘I said I am going to leave you. I’m going to live with Henry.’
‘Well don’t be back late dear. I might bring a few of the lads back.’
‘You can bring Prince Charles back, for all I care.’
‘Good idea love; and while you’re at it you might make a few tit bits. You know, a couple of chickens and some cold meats and stuff. Oh, and some salad things. And while you’re at Tesco’s get another case of beer.’
I don’t know why she’s gone round next door. He’s never got any beer. Hasn’t got much of anything, come to think of it. I came back early from the club, last Sunday and found him in our kitchen, with Hilda. Returning our hedge trimmer, he said. I didn’t know we’d got one. Funny time to return it, I thought, eleven thirty at night.
Then there all the DIY tools he keeps borrowing from Hilda. DIY mad he must be. Never goes out. Tried to get him to go with me to the golf club once. Wasn’t interested. No wonder his wife left him. Must have driven her mad.
I opened another can. He wouldn’t do for my Hilda, I thought. She likes a man of action does my Hilda. Couldn’t put up with me under her feet all day. Loves my involvement with the golf club. Mind you, she didn’t at first, but she seems to encourage it lately.
Just as I was about to doze off, I thought I heard the front door open and close again. It’s Hilda with the beer, I suppose. Good woman…one in a million.
Waking up an hour or two later. I went upstairs and stumbled into the bedroom. Looks a bit bare, I thought. No ironed shirt. No suit, come to that. And why are all the draws pulled out and empty.
‘Bloody hell!’ I said, ‘We’ve been burgled.’
I rushed downstairs into the hall and picked up the phone. I had dialled the second of three nines when I caught sight of the letter.
‘Dear George,’ it began.
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