The last Friday of April. The end of a dead week at work and the start of what looks to be a pleasant spring weekend. Already I am admiring flame coloured tulips flowering in the back garden. I am not thinking about Monday’s late shift at work, or that this weekend should be a working weekend for me.
What I’m thinking about doing right now is sitting in the garden with a mug of coffee and reading Perdido Street Station, Speculative Fiction 2012, We Who Are About To, and The Man Who Went Up in Smoke.
I will not get to do much of that. Instead I will be sitting at this desk in the bedroom, with red Sony headphones wrapped over my head, and type at myself in IRC, because after more than a decade of constant use that’s the venue I’m happiest typing in. Working line by line seems to keep my piss poor concentration from being diverted too much.
Writing for pleasure and not as a day job is no different from any other pastime. Dedication to any activity requires a balancing of commitments and desires. If I wanted to climb harder it would require sacrificing time writing for time at the climbing wall or travelling to the Peak District and beyond to spend the time climbing there. If I have to work a forty hour week and want to spend time writing then less time is can be spent in the sun dancing on geology.
This is a simple, even obvious, point to make, but as I sit at the desk watching the sunset drawing out the shadows of trees across the playing field the desire to go outside for a walk is there, and is only going to persist if we get a decent summer. Why am I planning to spend this weekend sitting here and not walking for miles across the countryside? Why stay inside when I can sit in the garden reading? I don’t know. Maybe this weekend is simply one where I want to play my games with language and not give myself blisters.
I’m just back from the train station after dropping Jenny off. She’s on her way to a conference in Brighton for two nights. It’s about museum ethnography and I’m staying in the Midlands because I have to work. Earlier, on twitter, I joked that this has the advantages that we won’t be fighting over the duvet and the desk for a couple of nights, but with the disadvantage that neither of us have each other around to entertain & comfort each other before and after our day jobs.
To compensate for lost time together we watched the Chinese Grand Prix & made a vegan brunch together this morning.
Brunch was herb & garlic Heinz baked beans, scrambled tofu with fried red onion, and a couple of Redwood’s sage & marjoram sausages. It satisfied us both and there’s left over tofu and sausages for me to use for lunches this week. :)
Now that I’m back at home and in control of the desk I’m listening to Episode 141 of the Skiffy and Fanty Show. It’s about the recent Hugo Award discussions and Hugh Howey’s sexist blog post. I’m about forty minutes in and that makes this the longest I’ve listened to a podcast in years. Both of the topics are interesting and because the presenters and guests are behaving by not talking over each other I’m not getting confused about who is speaking.
When I lived & worked in Switzerland I used to listen to half a dozen really good tabletop gaming podcasts (2d6Feet & Godzilla Gaming Podcast are two I remember fondly), but after a couple of years as my interests shifted I fell out of the habit. I also found that I’d rather read text at my own quick pace instead of waiting for the seconds to pass in a podcast. But this podcast has me reconsidering the format, so when I’ve nothing else to do I’m going to take the time to find some podcasts aligned with the things I’m interested in. Suggestions are welcome.
But I have something else to do right now, so I’d better get started on that.