In recent times of psychological stress, a good friend exhorted me to remember to enjoy the small things.
So it’s coming up to 9.30 0n April Fool’s Day and I’m outside with my ridiculously strong coffee that most people have trouble believing. The garden gets the sun in the mornings here. BST gave it another hour, and if you sit on top of the coal bunker mid afternoon you can push it to about 3.30 before the advancing shadow has enveloped our side of the street. It’s much cooler than a couple of days ago, but if I’m honest this temperature suits me fine. Just sitting and baking has never appealed very much.
Not seeing the future as an advancing shadow. That’s the trick. In your least optimistic moments it’s almost like a CGI effect that darkens the landscape within a few seconds. But there’s a choice of lights with which to banish that shadow. Writing is one of them. An entry a day keeps the doctor away. Physical activity is another. But just now I’m happy to sit and let the caffeine and the Spring sun heighten my perception of the nascent green happening in various parts of the garden. Power from an outdoor socket props the battery on this ageing laptop. My mouse hand tops up its tan, because the sun at this time of year is still low enough to sneak under the parasol. Our deceased neighbour’s garden retains the configuration in which she kept it. Her fence is rotting now, but growth continues to respect her garden’s tended shape. The for sale sign has been back up for a few months. The maximised composition screen in WordPress gives you a word count and tells you to “just write”, before politely fading all the controls down and leaving only your words against a clean white background. OK then.
Spring a new tab and take look at Facebook while you think of some more stuff to write. Is it worth a glimmer of guilt at using a Firefox plugin which blocks out the commercial content of Facebook and just leaves the stuff that people are saying and doing? I don’t think so. I’m confident Mark would be cool with something that comes from an open source philosophy, and I don’t believe FB Purity is going to do much to Mark’s bank balance. Try it. It might change your life.
Speaking of shadows, I should shave today. Stubble with a large element of grey looks somehow morally corrupt, like Arvin Sloane in Alias. I guess he’s still stuck under that rock, his DS just out of reach. Batteries will be dead by now anyway. Besides, I wouldn’t want to tan unevenly. That would be social suicide.
Last night I watched the first few episodes of the most recent series of Skins. Are we dealing with an etiolated version of what used to be a highly relevant social drama, or have the social conditions themselves changed since the show first aired? Are teenagers now more conscious of ultimately needing to conform in an time of economic uncertainty? We shall see. In the meantime, this post has been interrupted by a shopping trip and the shadow has begun marking its inexorable advance towards the road.