Four years

“Your blog doesn’t show on my Facebook.”

“I used to like reading your blog, why did you stop?”


This is me embarking on my fourth year of a semi-documented existence. I’m still here. This is still happening daily. It’s still hit and miss. I hope it still helps people frame their random shit, or helps them find fellow feeling, or sheds a different light on an old pattern. I sometimes get surprising messages from people who are touched by it. These messages are the main reason I continue to write. That and the fact that the habit is so deeply ingrained…

Three years ago I had just moved to a hostel in Venice LA and had walked up the shanty town by the river in Glendale. Two years ago I was fretting about my health, my career and the cost of gym membership in a cold London. Last year our show in the van went on sale and Ethan built me some stairs. Come to think of it, did I ever pay him for that?

I’ve inadvertently created a journal – an aide memoire for when I bang my head and get amnesia. It’s far from comprehensive as I usually try to avoid naming people unless I’m certain they’re ok with it or I’m pissed off with them. I’m also frequently writing around the subject, avoiding NDAs or hurt feelings or ruining surprises. Frequently I dash this out on my phone before bed in whatever state I’ve got myself into. Occasionally I try to give it time and craft something. The thing I don’t do is miss it. Even if I’m really not feeling it.

Today’s a bit like that. It’s been dark and I’ve been back in pain. I went for brunch with an old mate and couldn’t see beyond it while we were talking. I’m trying to use painkillers only when I must as it’s been a long time now. He’s no stranger to back pain. We are all getting old… He told me that if the x-ray turns up a blank then he can hook me up with a good physiotherapist for cash. I’m kind of hoping the x-ray gives some clarity as if not I’m properly stumped. This pain is way too acute for it to be going on much longer.

We went for a walk and soaked in a bit of vitamin D, which cheered me up and distracted me from pain. I even took a photo, which is rare.


Then I headed back home. Tristan was bringing my microphone back and I wanted to help him make sense of how to use it. It’s a good bit of kit, if only I didn’t live on a main road. We did a bit of recording and then both slunk off to our respective dry Januaries. He’s going to a fiftieth birthday party on the weekend and is going to give himself a free pass. I think I might do the same. It’s too cold and dark to deny myself nice things just for the hell of it. Sure, I’m not going to get mashed up. But a glass or two of wine with a good friend might be just the ticket…

Meanwhile another blog year. Despite Facebook’s attempt to make me vanish unless I pay them. I still hate that. I might start sharing these manually, although I’m still not even sure if I’m writing them to be read or just writing them for my own weird reasons.

Nevertheless, if you’re still here, thank you. If a tree falls in a forest etc.

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.

4 thoughts on “Four years”

  1. Your blog is brilliant. Foremost, because you’re prepared to make yourself vulnerable to us, whatever state you’re in. A real honest voice in the trillions of online fictional hyper-successful lives we receive daily…
    And then, in content- you share your lows, mistakes, uncertainties, anger- always episodes I can identify with- and I feel relief that I’m not the only one to mess up, and gratitude that you try to articulate some way through.
    And then there are the glorious pieces of writing you gift us- early morning in autumn walking the pilgrims trail; or buying an old jag off a dodgy dealer, or taking us inside an actor’s day on a film set- beautifully written windows into experiences I’ll never have. They now sit in my memories, so vividly do you describe people.
    Every morning when I wake, I pick up my phone and read your blog, to pull me out of sleep into the world via you showing me the potential of each and every day. By the end of year one this became my fixed start to the day. Occasionally if I wake at dawn, I check my phone to see if Al’s blog has come in yet- then remind myself I have to wait, it’s my wake-up treat.
    Thank you, for your courage, compassion, humour, fury, passion, observations, and as a writer- I love your phrases and play with language.
    Congratulations on 4 years of it- what a feat.
    Charlotte Keatley


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: