Saturday, February 17, 2007

Brian dump

I survived Valentine's Week (Month?) in the UK, which was no mean feat. They really force it down your throat here, and the commercial guilt factor is huge, whether you have an Other or not. Still, the overall effect was cathartic and I feel quite good now.

Writing class was interesting, especially the concept of going back to uni after 10 years. There were eight of us, split evenly between male and female, plus the tutor, who is a bloke by the name of Kevan Manwaring. Most of them were a fair bit older than me, save for one, who was wheelchair bound. And he had already written 135,000 words of his novel, so I don't think he needed the same degree of help that the rest of us did. The other interesting thing was that three or four of us come from journalist backgrounds, and another three or four are from scientific backgrounds. I am both. The intersection of that Venn diagram. We all have different ideas, so we'll be able to critique each other throughout the 10 week course.

I did learn stuff too. Like drawing up a proper plan to finish your doorstop, and doing 'writing exercise' each day, to keep yourself in shape. Like 20 minutes each morning just writing whatever comes into your head. OK, I get enough of that at work, but it's not quite the same. Updating the blog is a great way to do this. Or not.

Went out with Will this morning for four hours through the Cotswolds. It was a bit misty up top, and I took a wrong right hand turn about 500m before we were going to descend off the Cotswolds, so we missed out on doing one really nasty hill that I wanted to do. But it was another solid ride - good for this time of year. I'm going MTB riding with John and Sean from John's Bikes tomorrow in the Forest of Dean. First time in 12 years that I've ridden off-road. That should be fun.

I am now at the Kindling Cafe in Widcombe, at the southern end of Bath. It's nice and cosy, and the hazelnut muffin is very good. There are other Australians here, and one of them is piercingly loud, like a mosquito in your ear. I should have asked for an extra shot of coffee. Coffee: 7/10 but has potential - froth and chocolate are good; Muffin: 8/10; Ambience: 7/10, but would be 8 without the loud Aussie chick.

Started reading the Divine Comedy, by a certain D. Alighieri. It's a good yarn. One for the kiddies.

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