Saturday, 19 July 2008

The Novel and The Birthday Party

I'm occasionally ‘stumped’ by writing. Getting stumped is worse than writer's block because you can make the words go where you want them to and do what you need them to do, but you can't quite imagine that they will make a scrap of sense to another soul. I sit and eat French fig jam from the jar (Confiture Bonne Maman Figues - c'est magnifque) and wonder how to make these unreal people, who appear just by typing, do and say things plausible enough that someone might want to read about them. All this in full knowledge of the contradiction that, if anyone's life is set down on paper in similar terms, it might defy logic too. Frustration sets in. More jam. Someone once said, ‘Write the kind of book you want to read.’ It’s sounds obvious and simple enough, but it’s a tricky idea once you start writing. Nevertheless it will be my maxim from now on. Let's hope I can recall what kind of book I like to read having deprived myself of fiction for so long ...

Neil turns 31 meaning we have a precious few months where he is 31 but I am still 30 and can behave outrageously to emphasise my relative youth. I might start smoking again. Not. Optimistically anticipating sunshine, it being the middle of July and all, we begin mid-afternoon at the Horse and Jockey on Chorlton Green. I think I miss Chorlton a little bit. I lived there for over four years and commuted back and forth from there a long while after when Neil lived there. I spent a good deal of my early Chorlton days in the Horse and Jockey. We would go there to avoid the rent man and spend almost as much on beer once we were ensconsed in there. We'd go there when the house was too cold, when we were bored, tired of work, when it was sunny, when we wanted chips from next get the idea. It's nice to be back.

In glorious attendance are Paddy, Sarah & Jono with wee beautiful baby George, Ben, Katy, Matthew, Marie, Anna, Kirsty, Keith, Amy, Thom, Evelyn, Ed, Kate, Pete, Martin, G3 and perhaps even some people I've forgotten. The weather is mostly shit but we have a brilliant laugh. The plan is that if we're still upright at 10 we'll head to Helen of Troy Does Countertop Dancing at Charlie's. We're mostly plastered by about 7 so things don't look promising but alcohol eats up the intervening hours in that way that it has and before I know it we're on the dancefloor in Charlie's, Vogueing (cringe), wigging out to 'Push It' and generally being sweaty and fabulous. Stuart and Jack join us, as do Caroline and her friend, fresh from an apparently amazing Kylie gig. Do we get some Kylie played in honour? I can't remember. I meet lovely Lyndsey the joint head honcho of Helen of Troy. We have a brilliant time but afterwards are sad to learn that Helen and Charlie are to part and a new venue is to be found. Watch this space.

Appalling amounts of Shed Seven. I can't help myself. God I had some brilliant nights going to see that band. I wish I could say I was tempering this with something really cool and obscure but no, I'm watching Wet Wet Wet, Huey Lewis and the News and Go West on yutube every chance I get. I don't know what's the matter with me. I'll call it research as I'm trying to compile a list of my favourite ever music videos. Don't look at me like that, I could lie on these things you know. I'll be back in the bosom of Ed Harcourt and Elliott Smith soon, where I belong.

No comments: