I know I’ve not written properly for a while; my apologies. I also know that it’s been a while since I used this notebook and any one of my continually growing collection of fountain pens.
There’s been so much going on in the world lately and more specifically with me and my world. I guess that’s why I haven’t put pen to paper (or fingers to Freewrite Traveler) for a full-on creative burst. Yes, I’ve still had to write for my Masters and even though I had already written my piece, I felt I needed to create a fresh new work in order to kickstart my own juices again. I hate being told to be creative. It’s like when you say to people that you’re a comedian and they ‘go on, tell us a joke’ or you let slip you do magic, and they ask for an impromptu card trick. It’s something you have to prepare for, be it mentally or physically.
I think it did help, though. The fact I’m now sat on a bench on a cold Saturday morning at the beginning of February, using my notebook and one of my continually growing collection of fountain pens. Is this piece for the blog, for Instagram, for the Masters or for me? Initially, I’d say for me. It’s my breathing space. It’s my time to be me again. Not a son, a parent, a brother, a nephew, an uncle, a student, an employee, a coach, a mentor, a teacher, a tourist, a politician, an IT consultant, a taxi service, a traveller, a dancer, a drinking partner, a boyfriend, a cleaner, a cook, a mechanic, a motivator, a guitarist, a TV guide. I am, for the last ten minutes on this bench listening to Spotify, simply me. To the world at large, I’m anonymous again. And for the last six weeks, I’ve been building up to this moment.
In six weeks’ time, I’m meant to be heading over to Paris on the Eurostar and staying an evening whilst enveloping the sleep with as many of my own points of interest that I can fit in. But with everything happening in the world at the moment, who knows what is going to happen. I'm waiting for Eurostar to cancel my train again and possibly the hotel to close up for a brief time to tourists. Anyways, I could still make it to Paris. But I wouldn’t be staying at the originally planned hotel. I’d go for a much cheaper, more modest accommodation. Especially as I’d only be using it as a base camp to charge my phone, rest my head and tend to any blisters on my feet. I would hopefully retrace a few steps of Lily Collins from Emily in Paris as well as head to Au Père Tranquille to sit, eat and write. I’d look at the church beside Les Halle and try to gather more history from any available information there. I’d also head to Montmartre in the 18th or 18e, as the locals would write. The basilica has constantly eluded me. I know it’s a tourist spot, but from my scholarly religious point of view as well as the culturist aspect of myself, I’d like to see it and snap a few shots.
I also need to stock up on a few bits from Monoprix.
However, the English Lockdown 3 isn’t lifting, and the talk about restriction easing will only happen a week before my planned departure. That leaves the altering of my Eurostar ticket too close to change for free. The hotel can be changed as I went through Booking.com and made sure I had free cancellation. Then there’s the childcare to consider. If I’m still having my boys for online schooling, I can’t really leave them unattended – their mum works at a different school which means we rely on a childminder. If she’s not able to have my sons, I’m stuck. There’s no point in worrying until I know what’s going on (Eurostar may even end up bust by then). Worst case scenario, I simply rebook for yet another winter visit and hope it happens. Not that it’s on the cards or even on the table, but December is a long way away. And how January has gone for me, let alone the events of 2020, quite literally, anything can happen.
Yes, December is after my Masters and as such, any physical research will be too late, but that’s how it goes. I’m creative enough to manage 15,000 words on a topic – especially with diversity and diversion on my topics. Even now, my mind is wondering. I took the lid off my fountain pen and wrote the last two sentences without it “posted”. The balance was off and it felt too light in the hand, making my wrist work harder and thereby giving a tension that can only be released by squeezing it between my thumb and middle finger until it clicks. I guess it's time to post the lid on the barrel again and carry on writing. In fairness to the pen, the cold wind snapping at my wrist doesn't help matters at all.
Sometimes I like being anonymous…