I’m on the train.
From the north, back to the south. The coastline is really quite breathtaking. I wish I'd taken a photo of that. It's beautiful. It's the polar opposite of the inner cities. The sun is out at the moment and bright as a giant barbecue, making blinding clumps of whatever the heckfire that yellow flowered bush is that litters the hills above the sea. It's lovely.
I have two weeks holiday at the end of this month, beginning of the next. I was going to go away somewhere, on my own. Somewhere foreign, at least for a week of it. But I can’t afford it. I can’t afford anything in fact, for the rest of the year. Golf course! That looks like fun. I've never played golf. Oh, God. Please don't let David Cameron be our next Prime Minister.
What I’ve realised is, what with my tax debt, and my credit card debt, and my grandmother debt, I should be able to pay everything off by the end of this year – just in time for this job to finish. I feel like I’m in jail. I've got six and a half months. No remission. But of course it’s all entirely my own fault. So I should just shut the shit up and get on with it. And that’s what I’m doing. Honest, I am. Apart from the shutting up.
Rabbits! Fields full of 'em. Frolicking, they are. Glorious, glorious rabbits. Someone should write a poem about them. They're so full of life. And so tasty. God, I haven't had rabbit pie for years.
So anyway, I’ve decided – instead of going on holiday at the end of the month – I’m going to come back and see my grandmother again. Bless her. Not for the whole two weeks, but for a while. I think it does me good to see her. It’s been just a couple of days this time, but it’s definitely done me good. It puts things in perspective. Not just the paranoia of the spectre of death, but taking care of, and actually thinking about someone else for a change.
Next time I come up here, however, I’m going to hitch.
I’m about 20 pages from the end of On the Road and I’m pretty convinced that no one has ever written a more tedious, self-indulgent or pretentious book. I’m also pretty convinced that I could find better hitching stories to tell on one trip from London to the north east than Jack Kerouac managed to distil from five years or so hitching across the States. And I don’t say that arrogantly. I think just about anyone could come up with better hitching stories in one day.
Anyway, we'll see. For now it's back to work.
I leave you with something my grandmother told me only this morning. She told me: 'Never cast a clout till May's out.'
By the way, she was feeling much better this morning. She's still got to go back to the doctor tomorrow and she's got to have blood tests on Wednesday, but I'm not so worried now. So that's good.
Monday, 3 May 2010
I’m on the train.