So how has it come to this?
Well, I will tell you. For once, at 1.50pm on a Friday, I don't actually have very much to do. Yes I could flick a bit of dust off my desk, line pens and pencils up neatly or engage in some jolly e-mail banter with friends.
The sort of friends who are easily distracted by e-mails. So it would never end. An endless chain of opening a message which says 'thanks' so one pings back saying 'don't mention it' before being smashed by a mighty forehanded 'no problem.'
Maybe I should step outside for fag? Dead leaves left over from the last great puff of Autumn wind are still billowing around there. Horse chestnuts, oaks, beech and so on. I'm not good with trees. Identified most easily by what grows upon them - hopefully in the shape of fruit. Or acorns. Nuts. That kind of thing. Leaves again - driven here by a gale, so far these remaining few - all opaque brown and withered now - have escaped the rake of Ted. He's one of the three gardeners who tend to the yards and keep the gravel tidy.
Not, I hasten to add, the same Ted the gardener who is hotly pursued by Charlie Higson in whichever comedy series it is or was. The one I would laugh at after a few glasses of wine but not find amusing when sober. Which isn't very often at 9pm.
But I digress. I do a lot of digressing. Tangents. Prompted to move into the obscure mid-conversation by something said in passing. The onset of a daydream maybe provoked, slipping into a parralel universe once more, real-life questions parried with a smile. A knowing nod. Moving on... where was I? Where am I? How do I know where I am? How will I know where I am when I get there? Have I got a map?
Actually, I've got lots of maps. Some special old ones I acquired recently. A treasured gift. They help with the imagination as well as memories of almost forgotten walks. Long summer days, dogs and skylarks, streams where the wild garlic grows, pink thrift on cliff tops and horizons. The wide blue yonder. The wild hope of something out there way, way beyond it. The people you pass on the path, observe from a distance, appear in their photographs. Caught in someone else's time for all posterity. Flashbacks. Warm nights. Illicitly engaged, even. Perhaps. Once upon a time.
"Your emails make me laugh."
Is there an Oxford format for e-mail? Email? Ee-mail. Ee-by-eck-mail.northern.com
I didn't put a full stop after com in case it mislead anyone.
"No, your e-mails make me laugh, you should start a blog."
"I haven't got time for that."
"You wrote a book. How did you have time for that?"
"I made time. Just sat down and did it. Ignoring the phone. Neglecting my work."
So here it is - there may never be any more. Unless something amusing happens and I feel compelled to record it.
Observational stuff. A man fell over in the churchyard the other morning - fell on his pompous arse, the pompous arse. I didn't help of course - earlier on he'd shot me a glance which said "my eye is on you sonny. Don't think about casing the joint for silver plate."
Sonny? I am only fifteen years your junior for Christ's sake. Whoops, sorry vicar. Got up, dusted himself off, bristled back to his little green car. Only a small thing but I did have to bite my lip. Stifle a chortle. Muffle a mouth movement. Grasp a hand to prevent it forming a v-shape.
Patrick Kielty doesn't make me laugh. Does he make anyone laugh? What, pray, does this man have to offer in the way of entertainment. A 'TV personality' which is a laugh in itself. He has no personality. Katie Boyle, Ted Moult - there's a couple more. Gone now, but once household names for doing fuck all. Can you say fuck in a blog?
Well, dear readers, we are about to find out. I may be censored before I am even published.
More another time. If I can be arsed.