Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Perhaps it was the drink as well

Champagne, Stella Artois lager, Adnam’s and Fuller’s ale failed to dispel our conviction that there was too much to say and too little time, when Plutarch and I met yesterday at The Blogger’s Retreat. Blogonames cropped up and were rearranged in the pantheon. I mentioned I was considering resuming a dormant novel and to husband my waning resources Works Well should be closed down. “Write both,” said Plutarch succinctly. Outside it was pouring and he lent me his umbrella, explaining that his wide-brimmed leather gaucho’s hat offered sufficient protection.

And then an epiphany. On the rush-hour-jammed tube to Paddington I found myself pressed against a small man standing up and contriving to read a paperback. I was pierced with homesickness for life in London. The greatest city in the world and you pay the price in discomfort, as this man was quietly proving. It’s worth it. But London is for youth, not old age.

TECHNOLOGY IN YOUTH Trolley buses, painted blue and cream and adorned with the city’s coat of arms (Motto: Labor omnia vincit), carried me to the centre of Bradford years ago. When the driver floored the “accelerator” relays clacked open and shut, powering the motor. If you pressed your ear against the metal post supporting the overhead cables you could detect a faint whirring as the bus – as yet unseen – approached.

The bus stop I used stood close to the open door of a carpenter’s workshop where an unguarded circular saw was frequently at work. I can hear the rising scream now as the noise changed steplessly from C in alt to G# above. In those days I had perfect pitch, now I resort to perfect lies.