It’s my best friend’s birthday and I’m lying in a hammock in her garden thinking about time and friendship. This morning I had to bomb it from Yorkshire to London in a great big van full of trunks and ladders and hatstands that we packed yesterday. Tomorrow I’ll be taking it all back up to Yorkshire. Do they really need all that shit to rehearse for such a short time? Maybe, if it’s a very physical show and all that stuff is involved. But considering the subject matter I expect they could make do with stand ins or miming. I doubt it’s an acrobalance contortion prop throwing extravaganza about a Victorian children’s author.
I’m just the driver though. I’ll just move this shit around. I’m done for today. Now I’m in a hammock chilling the fuck out while they all drink prosecco in the kitchen.
Minnie’s great. We looked after each other in sad times and we look out for each other in happy times. She’s had a little girl now, who’s adorable, and I’m trying to be as present as I can in her life and mark the changes with her. The older a friend gets the more precious a resource they become. And that little girl’s mum has been integral to my discovering who I am in this world over the last decade or more. Her boyfriend just brought me a gin and tonic with sours and now he’s whistling beautifully in the garden to my right. Part of me feels I should rejoin the throng because people have arrived and I haven’t said hello. But most of me is enjoying lying in this hammock writing this and watching the wind in the eucalyptus tree above me. I can run out and say hello to the Irishman later.
“Oh I thought you were reading,” says Minnie’s mum, leaning over. “I’m writing,” I respond. It’s the modern age. Coleridge lost most of Kubla Khan to the man from Porlock knocking on the door. Our modern Samuel Taylors will lose their epic poems to the battery running out on their iPhone at the crucial flash of inspiration. But for certain I can write faster here on my phone than anywhere else. Although it’s hard to edit so I just shift into stream of consciousness. I left my iPad in a houseboat in Hackney Wick, along with a bit of my heart. I’ll probably need them both back before long.
For now though I’m going to stop this and rejoin the fray. I’m not feeling sociable today. I could gladly just lie here in this hammock and think of nothing whatsoever for a few more hours, read my book and fall asleep. But there are babies to play with, friends to catch up with, Irishmen to say hi to, gin to decide whether or not to drink.
The hammock is so new it still has the label on it. I don’t want to go back to the party, blog people. I’m really not in the mood for standing in small groups telling stories about myself and listening to others do the same. I just want to chill out and look at beautiful stuff. Like this gum tree.