Quick update

Oops – it’s been a while since I last posted, hasn’t it?

When a blog is updated less and less frequently, it’s usually a sign that the author is getting bored or has run out of things to say. There’s nothing sadder in the world than a blog that hasn’t been updated in months … well, except perhaps drowned kittens, and even then it would have to be a whole sackful.

But in this case, I’ve been quiet because the rest of my life has been a bit loopy. So, in a shocking display of egocentric narcissism that I normally detest in blogs, I’m going to tell you all about it.

Creative writing

Whilst working away from home, I signed-up for a creative writing class in a local college. I thought it would keep me amused for an evening a week, and perhaps I might meet some of The Great Writers of Tomorrow (or at least: some interesting loonies). I hoped for some new inspiration, see how my style compared with others, get some feedback … and if it proved that I’m as crap as I suspect then at least I could give it all up and go back to writing “letters” for Razzle magazine.

I’m just over halfway through the course, and enjoying it immensely. I’ve had really good feedback from the work I have submitted, learnt how to be a constructive critic, had some inspiration from the other students and been pleased that my style has been well-received.

I have also found it interesting (read: depressing) that in the twelve years since I left full-time education, I still haven’t learnt how to do my homework on time. It’s like I’m doing my GCSEs again.

Unfortunately, the homework for this course takes priority over the blog – though I hope to put more of the homework up here too.

The slum

The next big thing that has happened is that I have been kicked out of my rented room in Cambridge and had to move elsewhere.

I’d been renting this room for nearly a year. It’s not the kind of place for which a writer should bother composing an eloquent simile – easier just to say it’s a rancid dump. My flatmates (the landlord and his girlfriend) were complete slobs and very antisocial, but I didn’t complain. It was cheap, and within walking distance of the office. I only really needed somewhere to sleep as I work long hours anyway.

But it seems that my landlord wanted to get his mates in instead and hike the rent up while he was at it. So last month I was politely told to piss-off – or however you say that in Cantonese – to make way for his friends.

I truly hope that its a strong friendship, because its going to be very tested when they realise how foul the place is. I have anecdotes (and photo evidence to prove it) which I shall hold for another time.

Anyway; I found a new room to rent. I honestly wish I had done it months ago.

My new lodgings are better in every meaningful way. The landlady and her daughter are social and chatty, the dog is nice, the house is clean, there’s a proper living room, and I feel like there is less chance I’ll catch Typhoid from the kitchen. Suddenly I actually want to leave the office at a sensible hour, because I’m not going home to a depressing hellhole. I didn’t even realise I felt that way about my old place until I’d moved out.

I’m eating better meals rather than living on takeaways, and I’m sleeping properly. Unfortunately this has affected my writing – it appears I only wrote decent material at 3am when suffering from insomnia. It was the dancing purple pixies that told me what to write – and they don’t seem to visit any more.


Lastly, I’ve decided that this working-away life really isn’t for me. It’s been nearly a year, and I’m heartily sick of it. I’m trying to decide whether I should move the entire family to Cambridge or get a job back in Derby, and I’ve found it difficult to concentrate on any writing when I have that hanging over me. Hopefully the decision will be made soon.

Thanks to everyone for your enquiring messages. I hope that my usual inane claptrap will resume shortly.

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posted in Diary, Family, Me, Work by Oddbloke

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