Thursday, March 05, 2009

A day in the life...

5th March 2009

Woke up this morning to three inches of snow. I set off across the fields with some barley and haylage for the sheep. They were pleased to see me. I have been feeling the temporary nature of existence a lot recently. Yesterday the air ambulance landed at a farm over the valley – I still don’t know why. I breathed in the morning air and thought to myself ‘we hang here in life by a thread’.

I haven’t written any of the book for five days now. Sometimes it seems like such a huge task that I just can’t get started. Then at night I lie in bed writing it in my head. Next day I turn the computer on and do anything rather than write. I have my doubts about this book, but I won’t let that stop me from writing it.

About 10.15 I set off across the moor to Haytor where I have been invited to a meeting about ‘sustainable tourism’. I told the guy I thought the title itself was an oxymoron, and he agreed with me. There were about ten of us there and I listened to what everyone had to say. Some pretty idealistic people there, mixed in with a few realists, plus me feeling pretty cynical about the whole thing. There seems to be a whole class of people who basically just live having meetings. Some of them, even most of them, are good people for sure, and some of them know their stuff, but a lot of it is worlds away from trying to make a living out of an honest business. Truth be told, I’m not sure if honest business is the best way to go any more. Most businesses these days seem to make their money from what is politely known as ‘funding’, or what might be more correctly called ‘hand outs’.

I met up with Ed at the meeting, an old acquaintance from when we lived at Haytor. When I said I had no idea why I had been invited to the meeting he shrugged his shoulders and said, ‘Well, it’s free heat isn’t it’. I know it was a farmers joke but to be honest, that’s what it has come down to for a huge wodge of the population these days.

One of my favourite sayings of all time is ‘these days’, as if they are any different to any other days (I learnt that from Tolstoy’s book Anna Karenina – just have to drop in the name of a Russian author there so that you all know I am not totally uncultured). In the break Ed filled me in on the details of a few of the local events. Fortunes gained and fortunes lost, that kind of thing. Then we had to fill a form in that asked us if we had found the meeting helpful. Of course I couldn’t resist a rant – something I am getting more prone to doing as the years go by.

So that was today… far!!


  1. off-topic...

    It’s Freakin’ Green Elf Shorts Caption Competition time again!

    Head over to Denmark to visit CyberPete.

  2. Sounds like you were not too busy today, right?
    I never write in my head. The day after I have forgotten everything.

  3. "I have my doubts about this book, but I won’t let that stop me from writing it." Or, maybe, not writing it!? As for me, it's 3.40 pm and I've yet to pick up a pencil or paintbrush so I know what you're on about.

  4. We'll be staying at home this year so won't be clogging up the roads of Devon & Cornwall.

    I bet the weather will be glorious.

  5. Anonymous6/3/09 05:42

    I'm surprised to hear about you've been ranting about something. Doesn't seem in character at all.

    Is the book going to be "101 rants about stuff by Tom?"

  6. Don't these people realise that Haytor is dead as a tourist centre? I haven't been there since you moved out, and see no need to visit it.

  7. Anonymous6/3/09 15:24

    So Tom was the sole tourist attraction in the area?

  8. Tom, the next time we're going to a meeting to get funding, can you make sure NOT to fill out the feedback form please?

  9. Maybe jot down notes in a small book that you will carry around at all times..and keep it bedside. Every once-in-a-while you can sit down at the puter and try to form paragraphs but isn't that the bloody editor's job anyway?

    I don't know how these things work exactly but it seems to me that somebody else is going to do all the polishing?

  10. Leni - Summer's coming - Remember, it gets busy. This year I won't be letting anyone down, but I can already feel that the writing is going to take a back seat. I like to get up in the morning and write till 11, but that ain't happened for years, and it aion't gonna happen for years more the way things are going.

    Andrea - I think your art is the same as my writing - there is some kind of inbuilt resistance that m,akes me/you find any other thing to do as long as it's not IT.

    Geoff - I know you and the Bettster choose live in extreme anonymity, but you are both always welcome to call by for tea if you do journey to Cornwall.

    Glenatron - Kind off a book of rants, but with some stuff in between.

    Kate - You know I always behave when I am with the boss.

    Ziggi - The book is not about horses, not totally anyway. But the next one is - it's called 'Making a good horse'.

    Donn - No amount of systems can bypass a lazy arse.

  11. I do remember: the season starts in April.
    I'm afraid we won't be able to read your book until 2010 or 2011.

    I'd also love to get up in the morning and write until 11 (to get up at 11 and write all day long would be fine too), but I have no choice but to get up in the morning and start writing at 11PM. It gets busy all year long. :)

    I know your book is about horses, but a book of rants would be fun too. Jut an idea.


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