I say inner, though in truth it’s hardly well-concealed.
I’m home alone this weekend and with hours to fill, I’m spoilt for choice. Often I’ll be paralysed by this choice and wind up wasting hours tied up in indecision: watch the football, a movie, go to the cinema, go to a museum?
But by happy coincidence this weekend I had a few things on the horizon that needed doing and with all this free time I can take a free run at doing them.
First, I have been writing my new book at some pace of late and the last 20,000 to 30,000 words have come in the space of about a month to six weeks. It’s all first draft stuff but nonetheless, it is a heckins of a work rate by my previous standards. So when I got home from work about 6 last night I decided to sit down and do some before I got gripped by channel surfing and staring into the fridge trying to decide what to eat. I popped open a cold beer and got typing and by 8.30 I was two more chapters along and ready to stick on a movie (Close Encounters) and chill out.
This morning I was up at a decent hour, another 1,000 words along by 9am and after a bit of sausage, egg and black pudding, got the cricket on in the background and as Pietersen and Cook put together a decent knock, I rattled off another 1,500 words.
That done, it was time for a different type of nerding and I donned my waterproof jacket and slung some London walks books in my bag and headed off.
I have mooched around an old church that should have been closed (some top Gatecrashing) found the church that was featured in Four Weddings, through a very old looking gatehouse (which it turns out is not that old, just very well restored), criss-crossed Smithfield Market and all the Dickensian streets and alleys from there to Clerkenwell and Farringdon and been thwarted in my attempt to find a Roman Baths near Temple, both access points to the secluded little alleyway locked and bolted.
Once I’ve finished here having a warming pint in a quiet cosy Fleet Street pub I’ll head home and watch some wilfully obscure foreign film just because I can and then tell my wife that I enjoyed it very much.
I love it. Sitting at a keyboard for hours. Walking around quiet wet streets in search of little London oddities in a relentless downpour until my camera phone packs up. Discovering in this last place not just a decent pint, or that the table I am sitting at used to be some sort of strange pedal based Singer sowing machine but also that it was here that Britain’s greatest post-war secret was very nearly exposed – the notebook of a careless/traitorous journalist left on the pub floor containing information about Eastcote, later to become GCHQ. Handed to the police by a sharp eyed barmaid.
I am cold and wet and sitting next to the fireplace, wishing that they would light the bloody thing.
What a ridiculous, marvellous way to spend a Saturday. Cheers.