Saturday, January 27, 2007

Teeth and theatres

A dental appointment plus hygienist appointment for Lord H and myself this morning. Goodness, how our Saturdays rock. I am always annoyed by the fact that Lord H barely puts brush to enamel most days and never ever flosses, whereas I scrub my teeth religiously for hours and was once top in the National UK Flossing Championships - yet still his teeth are better than mine, dammit. I blame our mothers. It's always very soothing at the dentist actually - having a double appointment is like playing at being grown-up and doing real adult married things. Rather than the strange alien things we normally do (no, I wasn't thinking of that - for once). Today our usual dentist is still on maternity leave, so we had the mad one, Robert. He is one of those who likes to tell us what he's doing when he does it - now I'm checking for mouth cancer, ooh look - no! that fooled you, didn't it? You don't have it after all - and spends some time checking our glands. No, not those ones. You can't get that sort of service in Bramley on a Saturday morning ... We also had an interesting conversation about whether my bizarre handwriting (I tend to use a mixture of capitals and non-caps as a natural preference) means I am the patient most likely to turn out to be a serial killer. That seemed to cheer up the dentist's day and, as he said, will at least be something to tell his grandchildren. Also interestingly, Lord H has a dental x-ray theory: he is convinced that no dentist actually takes any x-rays of your teeth, and the pictures they show you afterwards are really only actors' teeth. No, Lord H is convinced that they simply set up a hairdryer at the edge of the room, make it go beep and then sell whatever it is they really get from it back to their homeworlds for peculiar sexual practices.

Anyway, after receiving our perfect teeth certificates for another year, Lord H headed off to Farnham as he is on the hunt for a new car, possibly a Saab. Bloody hell, that's like being an adult too. I might one day soon be married to a Saab owner. Ye gods, but that'll up my street-cred amongst the Ladies of Surrey. Still, it can't get any lower, can it? ... And I headed home and finished off a poem I've been writing about writing excuses (as it were), which I include below:

Excuses for not writing

The cat won’t come in
The cat won’t go out
My car has been stolen so I can’t get to the shops to buy paper
Or cat food

There’s not enough time
There’s too much time
My computer doesn’t understand me
I don’t like my keyboard
I don’t like my pen.

I don’t have any ideas
I have wonderful ideas but I don’t know how to start
My dog/cat/rabbit just died and I have to have six months of mourning
My dog/cat/rabbit won’t die so I have to spend time feeding and cuddling it

I have to keep up my solitaire scores
I have to do a sudoku. Oh, and another one
I have to email my friends
My friends keep emailing me so I have to reply. Immediately
The phone is ringing and I have to see who it is

The house is a mess and it needs tidying
The house is too tidy and it needs messing up
I have to go shopping as there’s no food in the house
I have to put the shopping away
I have to eat the food in the house in order to make room for more shopping

I’m waiting for the gasman and I can’t start anything until he arrives
Someone just called round and I have to talk to them
I don’t like my characters
I don’t like my plot

I have too little research and have to find time to do some
I have too much research and can’t plough through it all
I’m depressed about not being able to write so I have to go out and drink a lot
I am too drunk to get up, let alone write

Well, at the very least that'll raise the curtain on how much of a writer's time is actually spent writing. Answer: about 1% on a good day. Hey ho.

After lunch, we popped into Guildford, stared suspiciously at cars (Lord H now wonders if a Saab will get our golf clubs in, plus any holiday luggage ...), shopped (hey, I actually bought a new pair of casual shoes and some work trousers). Miracles will never cease. I'm beginning to think that my sudden urge to be a real woman and shop must be the result of using my SAD light this morning. Hmm, I bet that's something they don't include in the advertising. And to think that all it took was shining a bright light in my eyes and driving me to town. Now if only I'd known that as a teenager my nickname might not have been Nanook of the North. Ah well.

We then saw the new Alan Ayckbourn play - "If I were You" - dull first half, but a cracker of a second, and beautifully played by the two main leads. I'd say go if you can, though it's not one of his best. Mind you, he is in his seventies now, poor old goat, so astonishing he can lift a pen at all, I'm sure.

And, hey, some good news from Flame Books (!!! Apparently - brace yourselves at the back - "A Dangerous Man" is currently being printed for the first print run - though I suspect that's only for review copies. Naturally I am too scared to ask any more, but (whisper it softly in the aisles) my Pit of Despair might have a hint of a glimmering light at the edges. Ye gods indeed. If I ever get a copy in my hot little hands, I will be strongly tempted to run naked through the streets of Godalming whilst screaming. So I suggest it's a wise move to close your curtains and stay in.

Have just finished reading David Harsent's latest poetry book - "Legion". Um, rubbish really. I wouldn't bother. I think I could have cut most of the poems and made them all into haiku. Which might have been fairly pleasant. But, boy, does the man go on. I skipped a lot of stuff towards the end and felt very wearied. Dahling, pass me the gin and the smelling salts ...

Tonight, I'm going to watch Star Trek, eat Chinese food and drink enough beer to launch the Titanic. Again.

Today's nice things:

1. Writing (or not writing!)
2. Shopping
3. Seeing our first play of 2007.

Anne Brooke

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