Today I simply must clean the house. The eucalyptus tree in the garden is shedding leaves at the rate of about a ton a day and at least a million of them have found their way inside, brought in by the tread of my flip-flops as I come in from sneaky peeks at my sweet-peas, obsessive deadheading of my geraniums, and picking the green-fly off my one tragic rose. I don't mind the odd mucky footprint, they make me feel like part of an active-outdoor family, but when getting to the bathroom involves wading it becomes apparent that the old vacuum cleaner hasn't been taken from its cupboard in too long.
But before I do I have to tell you about this It's one part of the result of (my writing mentor/tutor) Tom Pow's latest writing project. Called Dying Villages it is a response to his visits to villages throughout Europe that are fast losing their inhabitants. (There is also a book of poetry and a CD.) This website's worth looking at for the pictures alone if, like me, you find a bit of decay enthralling. There are also some very interesting statistics about the continuing exodus from rural areas of Europe, and an opportunity to join in the debate about what, if anything, can be done about it.
Also, I promised a sample of my handwriting to join in the meme I came across at Savannah's place. So here it is: it ain't pretty but I think it's mostly legible.
I still write with a pen on paper a lot. The computer hasn't quite taken me over, yet. I find writing my first drafts with a smooth pen on a large pad the best way to organise my thoughts. If I try and do it using a keyboard it comes out kind of stilted with most of the connections missing, and doesn't make enough sense to give me something to work on. This might be because I love the image of a person sitting at a table, head bowed over in deep concentration, pen scratching away, and this fuels my imagination making me feel like a real writer, following in the footsteps of real writers who have gone before. And, of course, there's the slow, rhythmic act itself which probably helps bring a vague notion into focus.
I also write letters, in the old fashioned way, to my best friend. I started this because I hadn't been able to resist some incredibly beautiful French note cards
when I visited the fantastic emporium RE, not too far from Newcastle. It sells the contents of my dream life; things like copper plant tags, glass cake stands with domes, Spanish cane-work deer heads, as well as the world's most desirable stationery. Once I had them home I had to use them so I wrote her a note and stuck it in the post. I've kept it up because she was so delighted to receive it. And it gives me an excuse to go back and buy more gorgeous writing paper.
There was something else that I wanted to tell you, but I've forgotten what it was, it will come back to me. I better get my duster out now.
Can you believe it, I forgot to hit 'publish post' earlier so now the house is basking in the soft glow of 'real' beeswax polish with not a leaf to be seen, but I still can't remember what else I want to tell you.