“A Marvellous Way to Pass The Time”

Thing with funerals is you spend the day so focused on everyone around that it becomes like a kind of cold turkey of any self-centred tendencies. Looking back over the last decade or so, time’s been measured in the short stories, the novel chapters, sketches, experiments with paint and new instruments, guitar riffs and melodies that have hardly seen daylight.

The pictures and the music are, and always have been, a kind of therapy – along with everything else – leading to the writing. It’s a way to keep those parts of the brain going when ideas are brewing before being typed. It’s a way to loosen the fingers, as Lowry said of painting being “a marvellous way to pass the time”. It juxtaposes the day jobs and the million moments in a day you’re Einstein’s frog trying to climb a tree.

Drawn back to Lowry every Autumn, it seems. Doubt I would be saying anything others haven’t about identifying with him and Lord knows with the fourth draft of ‘Dear Mr Busby’, Lowry has been there along the way, tattooed on the forearm, and casting every busy Mancunian street as one of his scenes. When being oh so mortal, the photos captured as they were clearing his house in the end come to mind, with those two seemingly inconsequential black figures he’d last painted still on his easel.

There’s always a vain comfort in the writing being published without knowing when the time comes, but the rest of this stuff, the shite, the experiments and snapshots of the head’s occupation, the stuff floating round while other people have been talking, feels too important in all its pointlessness.

Not much love or use for social media, but it at least sends those reminders about how you’ve not posted any updates in X amount of time. So, to sum it up, the idea of at least uploading everything to the platform of this site is better than it all gathering in plastic wallets on shelves and under beds and hidden in boxes is.

It measures time, after all, and the box loads mark a lot of chapters and people who’ve been and gone, of missed pints, screened calls and choices made, all in the name of going the whole way with the writing.

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Some days it’s a sound on the violin that lingers in the head, other times it’s the almost OCD aim of drawing the perfect landing pigeon. Maybe expect tens of those.

The inspiration to make use of this platform also came from my Uncle. He and his uni flatmates once upon a time would mark a calendar with an illustration, a design, with something that marked that day.

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Not sure about uploading one a day, as it’s marvellous working on these things, but not as much scanning them.