Freedom From The Mundane - A Writer's Blog

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Finding The Time

We had lovely autumnal weather today; clear blue skies, cold bite in the air and golden colours abounding. My day started at 6.30am so I got to make the most of it *ahem* not that I would have minded a wee lie in, but there you go.

Gail had a works' night out last night so I did the honours with Laura. I dropped her off at her dance classes and then had to wait half an hour in a winding queue to get tickets for her upcoming dance show. It was all women and kids in the line with one wee old lady at a table searching for the tickets for the correct night then slowly counting out all the change. It couldn't have been worse organised but then I shouldn't expect anything else from that place.

Finally I got my tickets and left, jumped on a number 16 bus and headed straight for Waterstones at the east end of Princes Street. I had a good browse through the fiction and crime shelves. The true crime section I always find to be a treasure trove of possibilities. Three books from that section formed a large part of Hunting Jack when I was writing it.

There are some books I really want to get, but with Christmas coming up I knew I'd better hold off until January and just use the tokens I got for my birthday instead. I took a while looking through the author's sections and moved over to the Scottish section. There are loads of great books with photographs and stories - modern and old - of Scotland, which I like to flick through and use as ideas for photographic ideas as well as fiction.

Then I remembered a book I had been meaning to get for a couple of months since it came out. I had been given a sneak preview of it a couple of months ago by the author before it hit the shelves and it contains some excellent images and words that I knew would feed my own imagination. Rebus's Scotland; A Personal Journey by Ian Rankin.

I handed over my twenty quid and made for the coffee shop I've started to attend more regularly on Saturday morning to read and write. Just off St. Andrews Square, it's usually quiet enough to get on, but busy enough to make you feel inconspicuous. Their coffee is pretty damn good as well.

A group of young French tourists were already inside and had just ordered a full round of hot chocolates, much to the consternation of the two lads serving. The chocolate sauce ran out mid-way through them distributing it into the thirty or so cups lined up on the counter. They were kind enough not to let me wait and snuck me through my cappuccino. I took my coffee and sat by the window in the corner, opened my new book and read.

A couple of ideas struck me; one from an image in Rankin's book and one from something I heard the woman sitting behind me say to her friend. I got my notebook out and started to write. An hour and a bit later it was time to leave.

I collected Laura and we headed home, stopping to buy lunch and a paper on the way. The rest of the afternoon was spent keeping Laura occupied. The day seemed to go really quickly because once I had got her sorted I had to get the place tidied up and get myself ready for one of Gail's cousin's 30th birthday party over in Livingston in the evening.

It was a good night; lots of laughter and drinking with some of Gail's extended family. The venue had watered down its lager, which was extremely disappointing, so I moved onto whisky almost immediately.

Gail has a couple of hilarious uncles; Buddy who looks like a gangster and Harry who's just a bit mad in general. So mad in fact, that he dragged me onto the dance floor by him after he requested Madness to be played - just the two of us, praying the DJ hadn't chosen It Must Be Love or I was off.

My poor old FIL was the designated driver and by the time we got home it was bordering on 2am. I had been harbouring thoughts of getting some work done on Stella before bed but it was all a pipe dream. I was shattered after my early start and after a cup of tea I went to bed. I had a great view of the moon through the curtains from my bed; almost full and extremely bright so I could follow it along the sky before I drifted off.
Colin 5:13 pm


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