Monday, March 30, 2009

Spring Forward

Clocks went forward at the weekend, and I haven't caught up. This time of year is always hectic. The moveable feast that is Easter doesn't help either. Yes, I know its only a long weekend, but since schools close, and so much of the public sector has its holidays in line with the schools, you find theres a hectic rush to get events and openings in place before the holidays. Everything is seasonal - but is creativity? There's probably some matrix that you could do. Certainly the winter months don't offer much incentive to go outside the house. Yet, the long nights, and struggle against the elements doesn't seem that creative. Maybe its a time to settle down and read a few books. The summer, though, how can you be sat inside at your computer on a day like this? I spent school holidays at my grandparents' small farm, and whilst my sister roamed the fields, went horseriding, I stayed at the kitchen table, drawing and writing. Yet, its not the whole story of course. I remember wandering for hours, taking the do a walk. But I wasn't one to let the weather decide what I'd do. My dad, who has read around 3 books in his adult life, never could understand my reluctance to leave the hearth. What he didn't get was that I really valued the time I didn't have to go to school, as it gave me the time to do my own thing. Writing, music, creativity, are all selfish pursuits in many ways - and perhaps why there's so much reluctance to appreciate them outside the classroom. What did you do over the holidays? Oh, I stayed in and wrote the start of a novel. But didn't you go anywhere?

I've got today off - another time of year thing, as the holiday year ends tomorrow and I'd a day left - and I've just been catching up with the busy week I've just had (and thinking about the busy week to come) when really this should have been sacrosanct as a creative day. Perhaps that's our national holiday need - a day of creativity. Let's have it every month, then. Despite all our "life cacheing" via the internet, its just so much of this, and this and this - I don't think social networking tools yet do much for the longer game, the big plan, the developed or developing idea.

Its already starting to be the festival season - flat racing, literary festival, arts festivals, Glastonbury, Edinburgh - as we fill the summer months with outdoor jamborees. I have a feeling that nothing much gets written in the summer...

"The Wire" starts tonight, with much fanfare on BBC2. But I can't help but note what supine cowardice of the schedulers has it starting at 11.20 every week day night - yes, finishing after midnight. I can certainly say it "The Wire" is good post-pub viewing, but also that you might drift off with dreams/nightmares of Baltimore. Since, most regular watchers will either PVR or "watch again" (assuming they've got those rights?), might it have been simpler for the BBC to just give us all a box set or have it as an iPlayer only special. I think its creator David Simon said in a recent interview that HBO gave him $100 Million to make the Wire over its five seasons. The budget of a blockbuster movie, then, or the cost of Sir Fred Goodwin's pension over a similar time period. Or untold number of episodes of "The Weakest Link." Whatever the BBC has paid for it, why haven't they had the courage to strip it at 10.00 each night? It's clearly the spot it should have been put on at.


I'm going to try and avoid blogging (and limit twittering) for the rest of the day/week (see comments above), so just a reminder that the 1st year birthday of The Other Room takes place at the "Old Abbey Inn" at Manchester Science Park on 1st April. Readings by Tim Atkins, Phil Davenport and Lisa Samuels with the new anthology of The Other Room's first year, on sale.

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