I hadn’t really seen the routine: I had simply become fixated with what came next. I had given up fretting over what to write, becoming more absorbed in how to write it. Whatever was occupying my mind was squashed back into its box until I had finished what I needed to do. When I came to let it out, it merely dangled to the floor like a Jack-in-the-Box with a spring made of liquorice lace.
Tuesday was always my wild-card. On occasions*, after a long weekend, it involved delving into my many files of unfinished bits and bobs and pulling out something that I thought I might be able to bring to an acceptable conclusion, when what I really should have been doing was looking for a way to humanely put it down. I was fully aware that, whilst some of these pieces had originally been abandoned simply because I had run out of both time and steam, or because I had been distracted by something new and shiny, many of them had been discarded simply because they were not good enough, and no amount of tinkering was ever going to make them so. You can put a new door on a derelict house, but the roof still lets the rain in. I am capable of dropping jokes into just about anything, but it doesn’t necessarily make it funny, anymore than dropping a truffle into a dog-turd would make it edible. My laptop is so full of dog-turd it should really be emptied once a week by the council. It doesn’t matter how much you love your baby, what’s inside the nappy is still shit to everybody else. I really must try to stop myself from revisiting things that did not work the first time. I cannot make them work: at best they still do not work, just in a different way. Backwards is never the way forwards.
Wednesday became Zoo Rhyme day. I enjoyed the zoo rhymes. They appealed to the child in me, but after a year of at least one a week, the child has often proved a little too difficult to find. I really like most of these rhymes, but they have gradually become a little too knowing: the humour a little too dressed-up. I will see them through to week 52 (I hope – I haven’t written the final four yet) and then, perhaps stop posting on a Wednesday all together, despite it being, by far, my most popular post of the week (largely I suspect, because there is far less of me to go around in a little verse). Three posts a week is a much more manageable number for a blog that was originally intended to support only one.
Thursday was the day for the Running Diary, which will undoubtedly continue to pop up occasionally for as long as I continue to run, but week in, week out, it has become more of a drudge than the actual running. I can’t keep putting you through that. So whilst I continue to run three times a week, you will begin to hear about it far more irregularly, and we must all be grateful for that.
And then to Saturday and the Writer’s Circle day, which was originally intended to be just a hook on which I could hang a series of short stories, but somehow it started to become a single entity. In my head, I suspect, it became a book and each successive chapter began to depend on at least some knowledge of what had gone before. A sure-fire way to lose readers, as it turns out. The law of diminishing returns. By the time I had trudged on to episode 30 the ‘cost’ to the reader was obviously far greater than the reward. I think that with a little work I could (although I won’t) work it up into a reasonable book, but it clearly makes a lousy serial.
So now I return to what I was always meant to be doing: rambling. Whittering away about growing old**. On and on, like a firework display with nothing left but half a dozen dampened Roman Candles and a rocket that has lost its stick. I have insufficient gunpowder, these days, to blow my own hat off. What you will get on Thursday and Saturday this week I have not yet even thought about. We’ll see what happens (if, indeed, anything does: I am, after all the living embodiment of indolence – I am Slothman.) I fear that over-thinking – like silk boxer shorts – leads only to disappointment and, despite the fact that this whole blog is built on disappointment, I just feel that it needs to lose a little bit of the routine that it has lately developed. I need a little bit of surprise in what I write, because that is what always leads me onto what I write next – not the agenda that I have spent most of my life trying to wriggle out of. From now on, Tuesday is just the start of a new day – and the rest of the week will have to fend for itself. At my age, it might not quite stretch as far as anarchy, but disorganised is a definite ambition…
*Admittedly more regular of late.
**I’m not sure why it is always ‘growing’ old, when ‘growing’ hints at development – at getting better – whilst ‘old’ points more accurately towards failing joints and bladder, general decrepitude and death.
N.B. Obviously, The Death of Routine #2 cannot happen.