The ultimate displacement activity: house cleaning – worse – the Spring Clean. Worse than that – a November Spring clean. Some of you will have already guessed it – yes - writing has hit a sticky patch. There is a hill of research to climb (to big to ignore) before I can go on. Nevertheless, I’m torn between the two competing impulses – to carry on writing, probably into a quagmire – or stop and take stock. Research and think.
I’d like to make this sound vaguely heroic using the metaphor of a traditional steppe torture: tying the victim to two horses galloping in different directions. But in fact it’s pusillanimity squared, an indulgence, an effete quiver of the sensibilities. I could be in an office, down a coalmine - worse - teaching, or in Sierra Leone. And I’m worried about this? A module the size of a fridge has just landed on a comet 310 million miles away travelling 140,000 miles per hour. It puts my little hiccup into perspective.
But then, to be honest, I’m not worried. It’s a perfect excuse for a thorough spring clean, an approving wife and, biggest bonus of all Rock music in an empty house with volume right up to the ceiling. The house is shaking as I get to grips with duster and mops and various weird implements.
And, inadvertently, I’ve discovered the perfect play- list. No door or skirting board has been more vigorously washed than to the tune of Radar Love. Brushing proceeds at a frenzy to Hawkwind’s Silver Machine. Dusting demands the equally rhythmic but more delicate House of the king by Focus. Sweet Home Alabama is wonderful for toilets, The Sensational Alex Harvey Band’s Faithhealer - most excellent for windows. As the end approaches it’s one final strut to the kitchen to the strains of Tumbling Dice. I also hoovered the entire house but didn’t hear much with that. I think Rory Gallagher’s ‘Messing with the Kid’ was in there somewhere, but it doesn’t work with a Dyson - which is also rubbish for air guitar.
Now it’s back to the screen with an orange I’m finding hard to peel, and a determination to write: a blog post. The sequal to The Gift can wait another day.