First day of the year. I’ve spent it quietly. I got home late last night as found I couldn’t sleep on either side for pain. This shoulder business is annoying me now. I keep on expecting it to sort itself out.

London seems quiet and empty, but the world is about to come back now and it’ll come back with a roar as everybody straps back into the machine and goes full pelt into the new decade. But for now the main road at my back is unusually quiet. It’s usually a constant stream of traffic, even at this time of night. Right now it’s just a trickle.

My nephew and I spent the day reading. I didn’t leave the house at all for the whole day. After a few hours I made simple pasta with pesto and leftover cold cuts and tomatoes. Then I had a hot bath and read some more. I’ve got him into Joseph Campbell, and I’m dipping back in myself, as well as a large amount of considerably less dense literature. I signed up for the 2000ad Collection, and every month I’ve had two graphic novels from the history of the “The Galaxy’s Greatest Comic” sent to my door. Since June I haven’t had time to read them so they’ve been mounting up for ages. I’m trying now to get myself up to date but it’s a lot of reading and some of it – frankly – is just not good. I’d sooner be reading a book but I’m stubbornly wading through them looking for the gold.

It’s pleasant to revisit the characters and stories I enjoyed as a young man, but often I’m finding that they don’t really hold up to my more jaded imagination. Some do, for sure. There are some works of art in there. Strange unexpected tales, moments of surprise and wit, extraordinary works of penmanship and painting. Just buried in a mountain of gun toting aliens stating the obvious, predictable episodic plots, baddies and goodies, gaping plot holes and deus ex machina.

One more show, tomorrow, and that’s that. Christmas Carol done for another year. We could’ve sold better this year, frankly. It’s a shame to see matinees getting cancelled. But it has been a lovely way to spend the season, and the perfect return to London after the mad joy of the US tour. I feel well and truly back home in my city. I just want to get back to fighting fit again and overcome this bastard shoulder pain. Rest is helping but not as quickly as I’d like. It’s still very hard to sleep.

It’s 3am and I’m writing this lying on my back in bed. I forgot to blog today but I have this instinct that wakes me up if I try to go to sleep without doing it. It probably helps that I’m in pain, as the prospect of anything other than restless sleep seems unlikely. Although I’m probably good to have another ibuprofen now and if I can’t sleep I’ll dig back into Stickleback.


Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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