20170406_103346Greetings from rural Derbyshire, where 20,000 words have been written and not all of them are crap.


  1. I do not, it turns out, need to chain smoke to write. I am perfectly able to work for up to two hours at a time without stopping and then take a break to step outside into the view, into the world, for a rewarding fag.
  2. Ditto snacks. At home I nibble and chomp all day, but here I am eating in a way that would make Gwyneth proud.
  3. Ditto wine. In fact it gets in the way of things. I’ve had the odd glass, but haven’t felt the usual thirst. I may be going (more) mad.
  4. Ditto naps. Rare is the day I remain awake until bedtime, but here I’m up at 7am and the bed doesn’t call for me again until midnight. This could be due to the lack of domestic chores.
  5. These four revelations lead me to believe that all my bad habits are entirely caused by the presence of Gwyneth and sprogs. Which is a damn shame.
  6. Sitting down for hours really hurts your arse. Even a squidgy arse like mine. It’s agony. Ah, how I suffer for my art.
  7. Writing about difficult things is not difficult. Or at least, not as difficult as I imagined. In fact it’s kinda wonderful. It’s coming out. It’s finally coming out. (NB not in a gay way.- this book isn’t about sexuality).
  8. My mum is here. Not actually obvs, or even spiritually, but I have her next to me at the table. She sniggers and sighs in all the right places, she’s proud and sad about it all. She’s also contributed around 5,000 words of those 20,000, from her diaries. So thanks, Mum. Maybe we’ll get you published at last.

Gwyneth and youngest are coming tonight so I need to clean up a bit and spend a while climbing out of the past and into today. I’ve bought the car-mad boy a remote-controlled Bugatti so he can race that up and down the narrow lanes here.

It’s been an extraordinary few days. I highly recommend it to you all. Well, not the writing bit unless you want to write a book, in which case please fuckety off as I don’t need any more competition.

Next week will be full-on school holiday shizzle. Dad is coming to see me and I need to give that man a gigantic hug. I might try to see my sister and brother-in-law too. Gawd they went through it back then. How lucky I am to still have them being all fantastic and supportive and alive.

And you lot. Oh, you lovely lot…