Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Naïve

This was written on the Sunday before the Bank Holiday Monsoon started. Today's weather forecast was for intermittent rain - heaven knows what persistent rain must be like...

With periodic insomnia comes the ability to enjoy oneself in the strangest of things… Oo-er, taken out of context that could be construed in all manner of ways! Actually, I’m not that bad with sleep at the moment; I get a good solid 5 to 6 hours a night, most nights. It doesn’t mean I have any more free time though; time like money is something many of us take to the extremes – used within our limited means.

No, it’s quite simple. I came to the realisation that I spend very little time doing anything I really enjoy. Running a business has proved to be as time consuming as expected and if I don’t do something pleasing, then I might as well kill myself now…

After another winter, spring has been kind and allowed me to sit in the garden and hammer away at the keyboard of the netbook. I have decided that I need to do some more writing for pleasure – it is, essentially, the reason I write. I haven’t written anything creative since finishing the first (and so far only) draft of Robotz (out in October!). Plus, it doesn’t matter how long you do this; how well you know something or as hardened as one can get, you need an escape from the fantastic highs and the crushing lows and the last time I was prolific was last summer…

But, how can I sit in the garden and work on my latest (to never be finished) opus when I have The Naïve to talk about?

Huh? Some other idea? A new Borderline Press project? The Naïve certainly sounds like a concept worthy of my one-time drug-addled mind. Nope. Not even close. As cold as a zombie’s tit as they say somewhere, in some reality.

The Naïve is the (collective) name for the new next door neighbours.

They’re lovely. Honest. Two very well meaning and obviously hard working youngsters – both 24, but in our eyes, barely 12. They have a dog. A puppy. They gave in after two weeks of him destroying the house and keeping the world awake with his pitiful separation anxieties (bless his little heart) at night, but the fact they’re now seemingly dependent on our advice to be able to exist on a day-to-day basis is quite cute (and scary). Obviously they’re fine, but I wonder now what we were like when we were that age. I mean, obviously we thought we knew everything and took the world full on; but years of having that bashed out of me by the drudgery of reality has probably clouded my memory of 24. Was I really that … that … young?

Still; good kids and long may they stay together and not have children. The wife has already forecast we’ll be dog-sitting before long (and has occasionally forgotten they are just kids). I believe this is essential as their dog is likely to rival Godzilla in size and the fence separating the gardens is old, dry and prone to breaking. Stick a big dog next to it with 4 noisy shitbags on the other side and you have a recipe for disaster and much splintered wood.


So, I’m sporting a youngish Michael Eavis look at the moment and wearing shorts as often as possible, despite the up and down nature of the weather. I am also writing a story that is using three or four other ideas of the last ten years in a new way. I'd talk about it, but I'm still optimistic I'll do more than 5000 words.

The maverick potato planting seems to have 50% worked. I’ll not know for a while if it has been 100% (or even close to that) until probably the beginning of August, at the earliest; but my plan of just digging deep holes, sticking all those shit Golden Wonder I bought at Christmas in and forgetting about them, has at least produced lots of foliage. The method behind this is that every year I grow spuds, the ones that I’ve accidentally left in the ground over the winter produce the most potatoes. So I’m attempting to meet this idea halfway.

There will be the usual plethora of raspberries, rhubarb and strawberries, but the red and black currants will this year take their rightful place among the large fruit harvests. I’m having a go at growing two different styles of coriander – because I struggle to grow the stuff and I use it by the bucketload. I am trying some spinach and beetroot experiments and I have a herb garden! 

Meanwhile, my cunning plan of lulling passers-by into believing my house is occupied by garden hating Neanderthals has succeeded – the front garden looks like it has been designed by someone who doesn’t even know how to spell ‘garden’.

What else? An apricot. Just the one (there were 3 but the high winds during April took two of them out). The six ducks (five of which have only been with us a year or less) are belligerent, noisy and will bully you if you give them half a chance. They really make the last bunch look like chickens.

The lawn is in good shape. The teazle plants are taking over the wastelands at the bottom - by the newt and frog pond. In fact, everything just looks ahead, healthy and capable of taking on the world armed with just damp toilet paper and a smile! It's a shame the summer we're all expecting is already over.

There is much more I could about, but, you know, keep 'em wanting more is an expression that both gigolos and I adhere to.

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