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 If I had to describe myself in one word I would plump for “withdrawn”. If I had to describe in two words how I wanted to be, it would be “not withdrawn”.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.