Freedom From The Mundane - A Writer's Blog

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Passports, Books And Cornflake Packets

We had a terrible storm last night. The wind and rain lashed against our window and kept waking me up. I finally got to sleep but was woken around 5am by Gail staggering in from her night out. I was going to write about how my own wife couldn’t find the toilet in our own house due to the level of Jack Daniels in her system, but then she might read this one day so I better no mention it.

Despite the broken night’s sleep I was up at the crack of dawn with Laura. I tried to get into some writing but I’m always too tired at that time of the morning to concentrate. Plus the passport mess up is still haunting me. We watched the Dick & Dom Show (a show that encourages kids to walk into libraries and scream the word “bogies”). It really is an awful piece of programming. Why can’t they just show Looney Tunes repeats then everyone would be happy?

I dropped Laura off at her dancing class around half ten – Gail still comatose back home – and headed up town. My Mum had sent me some book vouchers for my birthday a couple fo weeks ago and I figured they would be well spent on some research material. I wanted to head up to a shop on The Roayl Mile to get some books on Calvinism (as recommended to me by Devon), which I spoke about a few days ago (see Tue 5th October entry). But I didn’t have enough time before I had to go back to collect Laura so will leave that till next time.

I picked up a large copy of Gangland Britain: Volume’s 1 and 2 by James Morton. It is an encyclopaedia packed with facts, figures and pictures from the 19th and 20th Century’s all about organised crime networks and the gang battles that surrounded them. It is broken down into geographical sections and it is going to be a huge help to me with what I have planned for HJ. I also picked up a book called One Of The Family: The Englishman and The Mafia by John Pearson, which is the true story of Wilf Pine who not only was the manager for Ozzy Osbourne’s band Black Sabbath, but became entwined with the Mafia. So I bought it as there is a relation to HJ there also and it may give me some ideas – it looks a good read anyway. I also got Catch-22 by Joseph Heller; a book I have been meaning to read for years and always forgot to buy – but now I have it.

My collection of books is growing at a fair rate now, but along with it is the queue of books waiting to be read which seems to be growing at an exponential rate. It is a problem because I want to write, therefore I fill most of the spare time I can afford doing this. But I also want to read not only because I enjoy it, but because a writer MUST read if they are to improve and learn. You might say it’s a Catch-22 situation!

I got home, made lunch then sat down at the PC to check out my facts about British Passports. I found the official site ( and guess what – you CAN have a passport if you are 16 - that's the minimum age! I have been saved and am very thankful for this turn of luck. An important lesson here though: make sure to check ALL facts no matter how small and irrelevant they may seem.

The rest of the afternoon was spent tidying up and playing with Laura. It was still horrible outside so she couldn’t get out with her pals. We tidied her room first then started doing work for her Brownie badges – making games up using the lettering of food packaging. I had forgotten how much I enjoy cutting things out and I think I made more of a mess than she did. I think Laura appreciates having another kid in the house (albeit me) and she even said I was more of a big brother to her! Good or bad I don’t know - at least she likes me. Gail wasn’t too impressed by it all though when she discovered the cereal cupboard full of wee bags of Cornflakes and Wheeto’s because we had snaffled the cardboard boxes so we could cut more stuff out.

I went in to work at about 7pm to implement some software and managed to squeeze in a Blogging update and write a bit more on HJ.
Colin 8:47 pm


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