Saturday, 18 October 2008

Imagined Present

Saturday's a good day. When I was younger Saturday was a day of recovering from Friday and preparing for the night ahead. These days Saturday is my mini-break day; the day I try not to work, but relax instead. I don't always manage it, and today I have a long, narrative poem to finish for Monday, so I know I will work tonight. But for now I am managing to attain that Saturday feel, and this morning I realised I have a new Saturday habit. A kind of add-on habit that enhances the Saturday feel.

For some time my way of relaxing rather than working has been to read every word of the Guardian Review. I love the Guardian Review, and it takes me pretty much the whole day - sometimes part of Sunday too - to read it. Even though it is all about reading, writing and the arts it doesn't feel like it has anything to do with my work while I am reading it - later my work benefits though. It feels like a hobby. No, it feels like escapism. It feels like a portal into the world of real writers. When I read the Guardian Review I feel like I belong in that world. And this feeling is greatly enhanced by the new add-on: a latte from the cafe in the high street.

I love a latte. I love the size, the heat, the creaminess that balances the intensity of the strong double espresso at its base. There's something urbane about a latte which, combined with Saturday, and the Guardian Review, makes being a provincial housewife less, well, provincial feeling. The fact that I can get them here in beyond-provincial-town is of no consequence, because when I am reading, Styrofoam cup in hand, I could be anywhere. And today, because Stevie is away sorting out his mother's house I had to go out and get them myself. I nearly didn't bother, I'm that lazy. But I'm so glad I did because the sun was shining, and when I returned to my room with my booty it looked like this:

which for some reason made me feel like I was in Paris.

So, later, after my frugal supper of lentil soup, when I am slaving over line breaks and punctuation, I will, in my mind, be a real writer.


Jane Dearie said...

Eryl ....YOU ARE a real writer! Real good one too kiddo. Dinnae knock your talent and you don't get great marks without a very good reason. Reading your latest reminds me that I wish I didn't live so far from a paper shop as I'd love to get my hands on a Guardian Review each week. The feel of it in my hands as I relax/flop into a comforatble position with hound beside me is somehow much better than trying to concentrate reading anything online!
Keep up that great writing and what's the subject of your narrative poem? Hope it goes well for you ...which it will because you're a real writer. I'm really right about that, believe in yourself Eryl! xxx

savannah said...

sugar, i have to second jane's comment. you ARE a writer and yes, a damn good one!

that view from your window is magical, as are you and your words. the comment you left made me smile and feel as if you had brought some roses and a cuppa like a dear neighbor. trust in yourself, darlin, i do! ;) xoxo

Eryl Shields said...

Jane ~ aw, thanks. I'm just trying to get myself into a mental state whereby I have the guts to start sending stuff out to magazines. People keep asking me lately if I've been published, it's worse than being asked what you 'do' at a party when you are a housewife, I used to hate that.

The poem is about a man who comes home on his fiftieth birthday to an empty house. I'll let you have a look at it when it's done.

Are you feeling better, I do hope so?

Savannah ~ When I was young and people used to tell me I was pretty, I used to think they were just being kind, I'm a bit like that now about being a writer.

I'm glad my comment made you smile, and hope you are feeling better.

PI said...

I also suffer at present from 'How's the book going? - especially if I have had a couple of weeks lay -off. I feel Like saying 'Be assured when I have good news you'll be the first to know.'
And of course you are a writer.
I also love reading reviews - if they are well written, but I don't read the Guardian - not sure why but there is an in buit aversion from somewhere. Can't explain it.

Eryl Shields said...

Pat ~ I think the Guardian has traditionally been seen as the paper of leftist, 'woolly liberalism.' My husband, a business rather than arty type also had an inbuilt aversion to it, he always read the Times. Luckily he has been shown the error of his ways by actually reading it. I like it because of its focus on the Arts, which is my area of interest.

PI said...

Lost my comment! That - what you just said - has the ring of truth about it and I promise to have a read the next time I see one lying about.
BTW I blame 'William'.

The World According To Me said...

I've only read your blog but it's always well written, entertaining and heart felt. You're a real writer!

Kim Ayres said...

You're a great writer and I look forward to reviewing your book on my blog. Especially as I've never reviewed a book before.

Anyway, just thought I'd let you know I love your new profile pic :)

Eryl Shields said...

Pat ~ Yes, it will be William's fault, first husband's have a lot to answer for.

Worldy ~ You're back from your hols, I hope they were marvellous.

My blog is what I think people who know my other writing would call 'Eryl light.' But I'm glad you like it.

Kim ~ I look forward to writing it, and promise to send you an advance copy.

Glad you like the pic, back to black for this winter of discontent.

Kanani said...

It sounds like a luxurious day! As I was cleaning up the yard, I realized that what I need is a townhouse with a teeny tiny yard. I need it because I want to be writing, reading the paper and not thinking about this house --which is in constant disrepair.

The lentil soup sounds perfect! Lentils are my favorite.

Carole said...

I love the freedom you have to be you. It makes me green with envy for me and bright yellow with happiness for you.

Conan Drumm said...

A room of your own, with a view (to conjure the spirits of Woolf and Forster). And a new hair do, so some serious writing in the works, I feel. Good luck with it, when it feels like slavery then you know you're getting somewhere!

Eryl Shields said...

Kanani ~ It was luxurious, but it was at the expense of my garden which is a mess, and my house which is falling to bits.

Carole ~ I think I have stolen that freedom from all the other demands that are made on me. I'm holding onto it by the skin of my teeth. Other people might be less kind than you and call me selfish.

Conan ~ It usually feels like slavery until I feel I'm getting somewhere!

debra said...

An artist communicates thoughts, feelings and ideas. You paint pictures with words and photographic images.
Whenever I hear about lentil soup, I think about a date I had many years ago. The fellow wasn't the most interesting sort, and we went to a restaurant. I asked the server what was the soup if the day. She thought for a moment and replied, "Lethal soup" "Lethal soup?????" I asked.
"Yes," she responded,"you know, with those little round, flat lethals."
I hope your weekend was a good one :-)

Conan Drumm said...

Debra, that's fantastic.

Conan Drumm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Eryl Shields said...

Debra ~ that is fantastic.

Conan ~ smiley face.

problemchildbride said...

You're a terrific writer, m'darling!

I have a very unrefined coffee palate. Instant does me fine. My husband, however, has a $700 machine which, every morning, makes the loudest cup of coffee in the world. Yes, the whole world.

I think more than anything I'm just too cheap to buy shop-made coffee. It bothers me to hand over a fiver and not get most of it back. I'd rather drink the muck. I really am quite cheap when it comes to coffee.

Good luck with that narrative poem, toots!

debra said...

oh, and next time don't forget to add the cheesecake

Eryl Shields said...

Sam ~ I like instant if someone else makes it, I think of it as an entirely different drink, not coffee at all. I have tried in vain to make coffee myself and it always turns out as what I can only describe as a pot of filth. So, as I love it I've decided £1.40 isn't too much to pay occasionally.

Debra ~ The only way I can get decent cheesecake around here is if I make it myself, sadly.

savannah said...

i'm better, sugar! thanks for asking. xoxox just packing up the gazilion books and things for the move.

Eryl Shields said...

The move, Savannah? I must have missed something, you're not moving to Africa are you? Glad you're better, packing books takes strength, XXX

PI said...

I too wonder if I have missed Savannah's move and being indelibly nosy long to know- from where to where. And why? And when? Delete as necessary:)