Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Think Void: The Wall

It's a day in early March, and nothing has happened. 

Well, stuff has happened. I work full time, and stuff happens there. I spend a lot of free time walking around Cheltenham, and I see things happen; some of it in front of me, some of it involving me. Some of it has had a positive effect on me, but most of it seems to be detrimental to my overall happiness. But there's something about it all that has eaten me up inside. None of it is noteworthy. 

No matter, I'm imaginative enough. I'll embellish a bit!

I'm sat in my armchair, a cup of Earl Grey beside me and a non-descript album on in the background, staring. Staring into a blank screen. Something must have happened this month! I rack my brains for something to write about. What could I possibly share with you? 

I do things I never usually do to try and get some juices flowing. I stand up and walk around. This is something I've noticed my boss does, and it must work for him because, somewhere along the line, more than one of his ideas have made him fucking successful and popular. God, what I would brutally kill for an idea like that right now. Probably him, if I really had to. Does it work like a monarchy, where if someone dies, we all move up the line of succession? Would I have the "Junior" knocked off my title, and move one step closer to the ultimate goal - business cards? That's right, I don't want a company car, a season train-ticket, or a huge wage (handy those all might be), but, for some reason, I can't help but yearn for a business card. Something with my name on it! I could really be somebody in this place!

But I digress, plus it's my turn to make the tea.


It's mid-March, and I'm not panicking. 

I'm sat in my parent's house, discussing their upcoming holiday to New Zealand. They are doing something noteworthy. The bastards. They have a moral duty to make sure I'm doing something noteworthy! What kind of parents are they if they're not giving me stuff to do?

"So, how's work going, Jim [my parents call me Jim, you don't because you're not allowed]? How's the missus?"

I must add, that nobody, NOBODY calls my girlfriend 'the missus' except me, and I'm not so uncouth as to do it in the real world. Just here, in case there is a change in casting. 

"Yeah, it's going well, and we're both very well, thanks. How's Henry?"
"He's good, his fianc├ęs good, their little one is coming along nicely."

That's right, my younger brother is engaged, and his first child is due in September. He's got stuff to talk about. Some people will do anything for a bit of material. 

"How's Grace? [my sister]"
"Yeah, she's alright, just getting ready for A-levels and India"

For God's sake! Everyone in my family is doing something except me! This cannot be for too long. I've got to do something about anything!

Right, that's it. Tomorrow, I'm going to have an event!!


It's lateish March. My New-Year's resolution of producing 12 quality pieces of work is being absolutely trashed by my tiny brain not being able to translate anything that has happened into words.

An email appears. The font has been changed to protect the identity of the computer that sent it.

Hi James and [a much better informed colleague]

Can we pls get a blog from both of you about the pension and ISA reforms announced yesterday in the Budget.
If I could have something by the end of the day from both of you that would be fab.


I'm being mocked! Mocked for my literary impotence! I can't think of ANYTHING in a month, and now I have one afternoon to knock up a blog about the Budget?! What to say? How do you make something like that interesting? Why do I only have an afternoon to come up with this? Furthermore, why am I being put against a colleague who is much better informed than I am about these matters?! This is unfair. I've been deliberately set up for a fall. 

In a flash, I clear my afternoon and stare at a blank Word document, for quite some time. How humiliating. A politics graduate, albeit from Swansea, unable to say anything about the Budget. 

As it turned out, I said a fair bit about the Budget. In fact, I wrote too much, and bits had to be taken out - most of the compliments about the Tories failed to make the final cut, but those are acceptable losses. Was it so hard to write something? Do I just need to be sat down and told what to do, with the incentive of continuous employment being dangled in front of me. Do I need to be forced to do it, with something a bit more intimidating dangling in front of me? Something as to give. Something will happen. Even if I have to force it. 


"So, what do you think?"
"I think it's stupid, why would we do it?"

Walking away from the burning wreck of March, it is now April. I now have to come up with TWO things to write about this month. Time, the wily fox, has forced my hand.

I'm sat at work with a colleague, friend, (and I don't think he'll mind if I share it with you) and secret lover - bugger! okay, lover - whom I have just pitched an absolutely shite idea to, to try and get a bit of hustle going in both the office and my own head. An idea which is for my own benefit as much as anyone else's, but it's one of those crazy things marketing agencies get up to. What are we like, eh? 

"Wouldn't it be really cool and kooky if, on Friday, all the men in the office were wearing checked shirts?"
"Nope", he said. 
"Oh. Well, let's see how it goes anyway!" 

Turns out he was right. Half the men didn't do it, all of the women complained that they weren't included. I didn't even own a checked shirt. He has six. Would he share one? Nope. He, almost gleefully, strode in, had a quick chuckle at me, and sat down at his desk. 

Two minutes later, a message from him. 

Hey, at least you've got something to talk about for your blog! Haha!

The swine.


It's now the middle of April. A century has passed since the last blog post. I've gone above and beyond in search of an awkward situations, but, after 2 car washes, a new phone, a round of golf, a game of monopoly, #CheckedShirtFriday (don't look for it on Twitter, it didn't get the 'traction' (that's a marketing word, apparently) I hoped for), a 20 mile walk in Worcester, a 16 mile walk in Cheltenham, and a purchase of a tin horse, things got desperate. I tried, dearest reader. I tried so hard for you. 

How do writers do it? How?! One minute they're at the dead end of a labyrinth, surrounded by mind blocks and mental barriers, and the next, they're centre stage in a story unfolding before the reader's very eyes, real or fictional. They're so current, so relevant, so cool! Some writers don't even bother with pithy little articles, they sit in a shed and somehow come up with entire fucking novels! How the fuck does that happen?! 

I know someone who has actually done this. He's an incredibly cool man, and, paired with a particularly inspirational English teacher in 6th Form - who used to be able to come up with entire essay plans on the fucking spot - awed me so much, I used to desperately want to be a writer, albeit a hugely idealised one. I imagined my mornings would be filled with supping fresh, corporately-branded coffees in a small flat in London, my fingers moving too fast for the human eye to compute over a keyboard, only briefly pausing my trail of thought to either light another cigar, or to usher out the model that stopped by for a coffee last night. Or maybe to fight crime. Right now I'd take anything. Anything! 

Anything!... Anyone?...

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