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● Plus my novels, stories, verse, vulgar interests, apologies, and singing.
● Most posts are 300 words. I respond to all comments/re-comments.
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Wednesday, 24 September 2014

On furlough from oblivion

Beyond VR's head the bright numerals say 6:21. Four minutes from do-nothing to do-something; the time of day when I am supposedly at my brightest.

A timid transfer from horizontal (back, shoulders, bum) to vertical (left hip issuing osteo-arthritic signals). The carpet is rough to the soles of my feet as I unhook my fleece dressing gown (US: robe) from the en-suite door. Quietly in the dark, since VR is, or was, asleep.

In the dark study I flick switches marked Canada, USA, France and other distant exotic places. Outside, dawn is perhaps a quarter-of-an-hour  old. In a month's time I'll be doing all this in the pre-dawn blackness.

Downstairs, an old man's right hand gripping the bannister, straight to the old man's comfort room - the downstairs loo. Carefully targeting.

And now an additional task: drawing the heavy French window curtains at the rear of the house, then reeling up the seven blinds and letting street light into the lounge.

Trickier stuff in the dark kitchen. I scissor open a foil sachet and use the moist fragment of fabric to wipe my eyelids free from blepharitic crud. Bathe my eyes. An old man's emergence.

Upstairs the monitor glows with promise. Study door closed I am able to switch on the desk light. The cursor flutters over LiveMail.

Hello! Does anyone remember me?

Blest Redeemer (revised), 141,758 words

The Catford flat lasted much longer than Judith expected. During her six-year stay she changed her job twice, welcomed and dispatched half a dozen women who helped her pay the rent, planned and supervised the loss of her virginity and ceased to be a teenager without necessarily becoming an adult.


  1. Quite a lovely ambience drawn here, rendered in soft tones. Only a cat is needed to complete the morning. And tea, as you shuffle to the screen. Morning has broken. Lovely.

  2. That BR para is some of the tightest, most informative writing I've ever encountered, Robbie.

    Damned fine piece of work!

  3. "Planned and supervised", as if she was a curious spectator. I could just imagine her standing there with a clip board, but we know, just know, that she is a fiery one underneath!

    This really is good stuff ... give me some more!

  4. Stella/Crow/Blonde Two: Sorry about lumping the three of you together when you all deserve separate responses. I hope you'll see why in a moment.

    First, though, my gratitude. It's not just that you've been kind, but that this kindness comes comes from informed sources. All three of you write well; I know this because I've read your stuff closely. I can recognise the effort and/or talent in what you have posted. So what you say say means something. It warms and encourages me.

    It also, I fear, encourages me to be pompous. Feel free to point this out - it's all part of the writing process.

    Just recently I passed the thousand-post mark. Given that I limit most of my posts to 300 words that's 300,000 words total (Tone Deaf and Works Well, combined). But my responses to those who have commented on TD/WW and and to other posts probably exceeds that since, alas, I'm given to running off at the mouth when I'm not restrained. Say another 400,000 words. A cumulative 700,000 words.

    During my blogging career, which started in 2008, I have simultaneously completed three novels: Gorgon Times (100,000 words), Out of Arizona (120,000 words) and Blest Redeemer (140,000 words). Second Hand is part finished and presently stands at 60,000 words. In total: another 400,000 words.

    Grand total: 1.1m words.

    Why all these figures? Am I boasting? Could be. Since you're all more than smart, though, I'm sure you'll have guessed: posts, comments and novels have a common denominator: written prose. And there's something else: all this prose interacts. Writing and (oh-mi-god) rewriting novels can, if I pay attention, make for better posts. And vice versa.

    Leading me to a big, though not too risky, assumption about your comments and your posts. Both consist of prose and prose consists of two things: facts (or opinion or speculation or preachments, or whatever) and the way this material is presented. All three of you are aware of this and it is this awareness that compels me to read what you write. So we're all in the same boat and that's why your reactions have extra force. And why I'm so grateful.

    Too long, wouldn't you say?

  5. All it boils down to is that we communicate better with the written word than verbally, although I rather expect, RR, you are fast on your feet as well. You are someone who just HAS to write and my guess is your mind is constantly framing sentences. We are fortunate to have an audience.....I think it was Gabriel Garcia Marquez who said "There is no Me without You". I, for one, am grateful for the generous attention you pay.

  6. What Stella said...and so well, too.

  7. Both: Stella is half right. Alas, in conversation I wear diver's boots and they're getting heavier. Soon writing is all I'll do. It would be nice, at that point, to call myself "a writer" but I doubt I'd get away with it. "Eccentric" is the best I can hope for, with all the dogs turning out to bark. I may go the whole hog and grow a beard. Again, thanks.

  8. There's a tenderness about this piece that I really like. (Maybe because you're being less self-deprecating than sometimes, and a bit more tender toward yourself?) I'm touched to be allowed into your early morning routine, and glad to be one of the souls who occasionally flickers into recognition on your screen.

  9. Love the title, again.