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It has been suggested by the likes of David Cronenberg and W. S. Burroughes that human beings may simply be devices thought up by water, or in another formulation by clever viruses, to move the water or viruses around from place to place.

Regarding myself I feel it is more likely that I was invented in order to carry notebooks around from place to place- and back again.

When I was very young I made note of the numbers on houses as I was wheeled past in my buggy… It is perhaps better if I leave it to others to make some sense of that.

All my life I have carried notebooks and made notes. I think it is true to say that I have probably quite a fetish for stationery. I’m ashamed to admit that Moleskine brand notebooks set me all a quiver.


I’m going to share some of the notes I’ve made over the years on the blog in the hope, probably the vain hope, that there may be something interesting in there which I don’t need to stitch into a plot (and ‘oh god, a novel needs a plot’, to borrow from E M Forster)

This is something I wrote in a notebook in the later half of the 1990s; the most miserable time of my life, so it may say more about me than the subject.

My grandmother’s garden was a mess. She never did any work out there. There were roses grown mutant huge and frightening. There were rhubarbs and some kind of lettuce or cabbage, never harvested, never eaten. There was a coal shed and a tool shed, painted green. In the shed there was leather glue and leather and the smell of them.
There was a lilac tree at the back lane.
The only thing she ever did in that garden was kill. She killed snails and slugs. She used salt, it melted them like witches. It was one of her great pleasures. And she had to go out there to get coal.

She had an “under the stairs”, a little dark space that was well, under the stairs and in there she had string or twine as it was called, probably still is (for those of them left). 

She had a one bar extra long heater attached to the wall. High up there.

Her kitchen table was pushed right up against the wall so one side was permanently disabled. The side that you could sit at, you couldn’t sit at, it wasn’t allowed. 

She made toast over the open fire and liked to think we didn’t know she smoked- menthol cigarettes. 

I used to like to hide under the chairs in her living room. I got stuck under there once. I wonder if any of me was left under that chair, I still think about that room a lot.