Fuck You, Memory. Again.

So, I’m in Mallorca. I’ve fled Paris, thinking that I’ll go back in the Autumn. Paris in August is no place for a writer, but I think we all knew that. Mallorca, on the other hand, is the perfect place for a writer in August. At least it’s the perfect place for this writer. For a start, there aren’t many other writers here. That’s good. In Paris you can’t move for writers and I can’t bear them. Second, it’s hot, stupidly hot. This sounds bad but it’s actually pretty good: the blades of the helicopter that brought me over here turned into the blades of the fan in my room and I spend all my time inside in the half-light staring at said blades. Sometimes I do press ups. If I had to describe myself in one word I would plump for “withdrawn”. If I had to describe in two words how I wanted to be, it would be “not withdrawn”. Getting out of yourself – once in – is no cakewalk.

I’m still pitching the world of course. Oh of course, why would I not? It’s nearly two years down the line now and everything has worked out perfectly. I suspect that a tiny part of me thinks that this project has done me no favours and has led to divorce, increased alcohol consumption, baldness, a lack of boldness, eczema on my right hand, a deterioration in writing ability and night terrors. I also suspect that that tiny part of me suggested to a larger part of me that leaving the Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook back in the UK was a good idea. So that’s what I’ve done. I’m now trying to pitch these 642 magazines from memory (fuck you, memory), and, as regular readers will know, my memory is weak. It’s almost non-existent. Seriously. I was in my room the other day and turned my head to look at something on the wall and in the time it took to turn my head towards the wall, I forgot what it was I was supposed to be looking at. That’s how bad my memory is.

Yet I can remember whole strings of magazines listed in the Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook. And I’m thinking I could pitch with a more international flavour. More accurately, I could make my pitches Mallorca-specific. Rather than simply pitch Cat World with an idea about cats, I can now pitch Cat World with an idea about cats in Mallorca. Thrilling, isn’t it? And Practical Boat Owner – I could be all “Yes, you own a practical boat in the UK but imagine – just IMAGINE – what it would be like being a practical boat owner in Mallorca.” And there are a whole load of magazines on electricity, farming, running and architecture that I have to pitch and we have electricity, farming, running and architecture over here. I just need to think of angles. What could be simpler?

Well, lots of things. Going back and working on the bins, for one. And the simplicity has been further compromised because I’m reading Dispatches and have decided I want to become a war correspondent. I wish there was a war happening over here, that would make things easier for me. Can’t the western forces who orchestrated an uprising in Libya and elsewhere just do the same thing here? Can we get the proud, spirited Mallorcan people to rise up against their oppressive regime, whoever that might be? Ooh dear, look at me, getting all political.

That’s enough for today. I’m going back to stare at my fan to think about cats, farming, electricity, architecture and running. Ideally I need to find a cat that likes running, is a farmer, uses electricity and likes buildings. If said cat owns a practical boat, even better. If anyone knows of such an animal, please drop me a line. Thanks.

A cat in a boat, earlier. 

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13 responses to “Fuck You, Memory. Again.

  1. You could pitch to the cat magazine AND the boat magazine about having cats on boats in Mallorca, and the stresses this potentially places on one’s memory…

  2. I don’t know where you are in Mallorca. I remember a fabulous holiday when I was in my late teens when I stayed in Deya. It was full of writers (Robert Graves is buried there), artists and musicians who enjoyed nothing better than a convivial evening with like minded souls and the odd beverage and fatty boombatty thrown in. Maybe if you could find your way there, you might feel able to come out (not in a gay way,obv).Check beforehand that it hasn’t been turned into a Sandals resort or over run with 18-30 cretins. I love that cat in the boat.
    Mya x

  3. I hate cats, I hope the boat sinks taking the fur ball with it.

    • Marge – please, say how you really feel.
      I don’t think a practical boat owner would take a cat on board. It’s asking for trouble really.

  4. Skills. Leave Paris — the old enemy and all that — to the rich girls and their “how to be a writer” textbooks. Mallorca’s a far better place to be washed up. Speaking of cats, I caught my bulimic pet eating her own vomit this afternoon, with a slightly guilty look on her face. Would love to read a feature explaining that, boat or no boat.

  5. Jen, that’s inspired. I’m doing it right now.
    Deya is lovely Mya. Too many writers, but lovely. I’m in the south east, in S’Horta.
    I don’t hate cats Marge – if anything, I’m ambivalent – but I do hate the idea of pitching to and writing for cat magazines. Seriously, hate it. That makes us even, I think.
    EM – Aces. I think I’d like to write about your screwed up pukey cat. And you’re dead right: Mallorca is a far better place to be washed up. In every sense of the word. The two words.

  6. The Owl and the Pussycat. Is that where the Pussycat has ended up, in Mallorca just sunning himself and touting for business?

    The way you describe the heat and blades whirring in your room, I imagine some film noir going’s on. I hope there is good femme fatale about to make her entrance and spice things up.

  7. Yeah, well I totally nicked that bit from Apocalypse Now. I don’t think that subtle film references are my strong point. Or perhaps they are. And yes, spice would be good.

  8. I haven’t seen that film. Damn. Is that cat though, is it touting for business?

  9. I don’t know what that cat is doing Lisa. I do know this, however: “Cats and dogs should wear life jackets when you’re travelling. Even if your pet is a good swimmer, going overboard suddenly can be a panicky experience” – taken from the website where I stole the above photo.
    Can cats swim?

  10. Well, it goes to show only parrots should be taken aboard. Who is making dog and cat lifejackets anyway? I have yet to see this and maybe something for the Dragon’s Den. I am sure a cat could swim if needed too, through they detest water. It was like I was asking my friend the other day, if cat was put in the Lion or Tiger enclosure at London Zoo, what would happen?

  11. Pitchy, ambivalence is a dangerous word in my dictionary..a very dangerous word..plus, I am terribly allergic to cats and could die within hours of being close to one, so frankly, I hate them. If I am ever found dead locked in a cupboard with a cat then someone has murdered me.
    If a cat swims in the ocean will it still want to eat fish? – maybe it will dive down thinking it’s the ultimate way to die. Poor wet kitty.

  12. Marge you should be careful telling everyone that this is the way to bump you off. You know how many cats are reading Pitching the World nowadays.

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