Thursday, 3 July 2008


It came as if by chance that idea. It arose as he sipped a pint of bitter, looked with a sigh at the crumpled weather page while sitting in a quiet corner of The Seven Stars under cobwebbed beams. His legs were stretched out awkwardly under the table to avoid the never ending limbs of Maisie, the pub greyhound. She was snoring in time with the hollow ticking of the old clock. At the prospect of five days of damp humid mid Summer gloom, it emerged like some thin wisp of wood smoke from a damp edged fire with a hint of sweet fruit buzzing from the spitting bark. 

There must have been a thread, something he had read earlier, a frail link from some chance comment or conversation but as his focus sharpened, other strange and beautiful layers came into view, each with their own seductive avenues to explore or muse upon. He felt like he was looking inside and outside his head at the same time. He had forgotten how it felt - to be inspired, to be smiling like this at his own internal ramblings and bubbling thoughts. How to hold them, how to carry them to the desk or the studio, remember them, recall them later or tomorrow in all this vibrant detail? 

He pulled out an old pencil stub from his back pocket and began to scrawl on the edges of the world news. The typefaces and layout had been changed recently and it didn't leave as much room for such spontaneous scribblings any more, so he wrote across the lap top ads and the cricket news, trying to record as much as he could from the frenetic maelstrom of his mind. The crossword grid enclosed a strand of an idea written in neat capital letters, one by one, stepping across the blanks all the way across, line by line. Waving politicians had new and unfamiliar words blossoming out of their mouths as their photos filled with notes. As his continuous stream of words came close to closing the circle around the four sides of the TV page, another wave of ideas hit in and he found himself running down the lane, with grabbed pages flapping in his fist and Maisie galloping beside him.