7: 19 Relentless Months

Posted in Diary posts on January 30th, 2010 by Peter Baker

30 January 2010

Now I’ve nearly finished, I thought it might be of interest to share the experience of writing a book while simultaneously holding down a 55-hour-a-week City job and investing heavily in one’s parents.

The experience entails doing two full-time, full-on, high-commitment things at the same time.  One involves constantly moving and always keeping 10 balls in the air.  The other requires a cool head, a clear mind and deep, hard, systematic thought.  They pull your brain opposite ways in a 24-hour cycle of cerebral freeze-thaw – a recipe for mental disorientation and emotional fatigue.
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6: Don’t Blink Now

Posted in Diary posts on December 14th, 2009 by Peter Baker

14 December 2009

We buried Mum in a green-burial meadow which, once sown with trees, will one day become a forest.  They let us choose which species was planted on her grave.  Dad chose a hazel because nightingales nest in them and the nuts will attract squirrels.

So, her work complete and legend secure, Mum’s departed into memory and myth, leaving the family to find its way without her.  Dad holds the fort, Ruth tussles with two demanding small people, and I enter my third and final winter of writing.
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5: Creative Process Report

Posted in Diary posts on October 2nd, 2009 by Peter Baker

2 October 2009

This doesn’t get any easier. Leaving work every Friday evening – brain fried – I head to the gym to clear my head for the weekend. Then it’s back to east London where I lock myself away, sit at my desk and put in the hours. By Saturday afternoon I’m in the zone – emerging hourly to babble at Tony, make more tea, or trot to the far side of the apartment where a wired-up computer has www.britannica.com and www.thesaurus.com permanently open.

Where I am now would have been a dream a year, even six months, ago. But I’m still not done. That’s because I’m desperately short of the one truly non-renewable resource; time. There’s too much to do and never enough hours to invest more than the barest minimum in anything, or anyone, outside the essentials – work, book, Mum, Dad.

And so, stage-by-stage, every other part of my life has been screwed up. Read more »

4: Jolly Pilgrim Life Update

Posted in Diary posts on March 22nd, 2009 by Peter Baker

22 March 2009

Following my 24-month communion with the planet Earth and 12-month shed-based drafting of a manual for better understanding its civilisation; last June I moved back to London, and into the digs of my now landlord: the legendary Tony “The Tiger” Bowers.

In terms of poshness, I’ve gone up a notch. Back in the north-London years it was all bohemian grunge. Nowadays we’re pretty swish with modern art on the walls and a 50-inch flat screen TV.

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3: Full Circle

Posted in Diary posts on June 21st, 2008 by Peter Baker

21 June 2008

The bees have come back into my life. Outside my shed there is a bush with purple flowers. The bees congregate around it, taunt me and plot my downfall. The bees cannot be trusted. I despise them and all they stand for. Occasionally the bees send in one of their number to circle me in a menacing manner and make stupid buzzing noises. As a retaliatory measure I have cancelled the word bee. Henceforth they shall be known as ‘the little black and yellow bastards.’

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