Someone once said:

This is very important – to take leisure time. Pace is the essence. Without stopping entirely and doing nothing at all for great periods, you’re gonna lose everything. Whether you’re an actor, anything, a housewife…there has to be great pauses between highs, where you do nothing at all. You just lay on the bed and stare at the ceiling. This is very, very important…just do nothing at all – very, very important. And how many people do this in modern society? Very few. That’s why they’re all totally mad, frustrated, angry and hateful.

Good, isn’t it? Well I think it’s good. And although I might be slightly mad and occasionally frustrated, I’m not angry or hateful and put this down to a lot of time staring at ceilings. I spent a lot of time staring at ceilings both recreationally, and for work. Once, whilst painting a ceiling in Spain several years ago I decided that I didn’t want to paint ceilings and walls for a living anymore and decided to become a writer. There were lots of reasons why I wanted to write for a living rather than paint people’s houses for a living, but I’ve forgotten them all. I think one of the reasons might have been that I thought more women would want to have sex with me if I were a writer rather than a house painter. So far this hasn’t been borne out, although I had a certain appeal when a house painter.

Why all this nonsense? God knows. I suppose I’m preparing for P-Day (regular readers will know what P-Day is; for those who don’t, it’s where I try and take a piss for a whole day) and trying to work out what I like about writing and, more specifically, about journalism. I’ve made a list. The list is composed of two parts: (1) “What I like about journalism”, and (2) “What I don’t”. Regular readers will know that I give good names to my lists.

Under (1) I’ve written:

– Unable to do anything else really

– Financial Times at the weekend

– Lifestyle

– Simon Hattenstone, mostly

– That, potentially, you could make a fortune/live comfortably & help change the world

What a pathetic list. It’s like it was written by some dickless piece of shit 16 year old*. Part (2) isn’t much better, “What I don’t” reads:

– Having opinions for money

– Outrage

– That Times writer on Mondays

– Lack of money

– Julie Burchill

– Writers who pick on Julie Burchill

– Tony Parsons

If P-Day and the aftermath of P-Day is going to be a success, I’m going to have to get equipped with better reasons. If anyone can help, please let me know. Why – the journalists among us – do we do this?


* This isn’t me being angry or hateful, by the way.


6 responses to “Leisure

  1. Because I’m bloody awful at everything else. Because it’s taken me years to finish my book. Because I just want to be left alone so I make things up for a living. Because working for anyone else has only ever made me feel blue

    Because when the money’s coming in I can buy a plane ticket to a far away bar and not give a damn about the following day.

    What a crappy reply

    I’m sorry Pitchy. I don’t know.

  2. Bukowski?

  3. “Having opinions for money” certainly should not be in the ‘Not’ list.

    I`m an opinionated miserable old git. If I`d got money for opinions, I`d be rich as fuck now.
    Possibly dead though, having been shot by someone I`d opined about.

    In fact, Chris`s fourth addition to the ‘I like’ list looks like a solution;

    Because the money lets me get a plane to a faraway bar where no one can shoot me for expressing my opinion about them.

  4. Pie charts! I bet as a writer you’ve drawn a lot more pie charts than when you were a painter, postal worker, gardener, film star, or any other job you’ve had.

    I bet pie charts would come in handy for p-day prep….


  5. Hi oldbloke,
    The solution seems to work for a few hours. Not so clever the morning after

  6. Thanks for the comments everyone. Yes, F-Pipe, it was Bukowski.

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