As washouts go

by robertmcnicol

it was a fairly minor one. I mean, I wasn’t expecting Botticelli and Sartre to start squabbling over the caviar or anything. But even so, my evening has been one of those minor disappointments of half a dozen hours that seem to always happen on a Tuesday. Firstly I managed to not write a single line of song lyric to my latest minor opus (for which the music is, in my humble, etc., rather fine) after an hour and a half of trying which bled into the evening in the form of the tiniest disjunct (A bottle on its side! A crumpled shirt! A half-eaten marmite sandwich!) taking on hefty and potentially song-completing significance.

I then blogged on something that I’d spotted days ago, didn’t think worthy at the time but, given the lack of recent bloggage, decided to resuscitate like a zombiedog with no flesh on its hind legs. I half-listened to Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde and couldn’t really click in (is it difficult? Rubbish? Complicated? In German… ah. well. yes. Probably should have concentrated then). I tried to purchase some clothing items in an online fashion fashion but fell at the final hurdle when they asked for the postcode for delivery which I don’t know, it being my work one that I can never remember. I watched Simon Reeve’s Tropic of Capricorn which I’d recorded from a while back and realised half-way through that I’d already seen. And I watched Newsnight, in which Paxo decided to lecture me personally on not throwing away my sprouting blue potatoes or something.

So really what I have achieved tonight has been these four astonishingly minor things: purchasing fish and chips from Bankers (who – you will be pleased to learn – are back on form with a nice crispy batter); drinking most of a bottle of been-open-four-days Malborough Sauvignon; writing this missive; and finally, but easily best of all, starting a new (to me) Michael Chabon (“Summerland”) in which the following appears early on:

It was agreed by nearly everyone who watched him take the field that Ethan Feld was the least gifted ball player that Clam Island had ever seen. It was hard to decide, really, why this should be so. Ethan was a boy of average height, a little stocky, you might have said, but healthy and alert. He was not a terrible klutz, and could run pretty well, if something worth running from, such as a bee, was after him.

I’m eight pages in and Ethan Feld is my hero. Here’s to Wednesdays.

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