My last entry finished unexpectedly expectedly. Like the entry about endings explains (The Not So Secret Diary of An Englishman in Paris), there are two types of ending; expected and unexpected. I knew that at six o’clock Parisian time I’d need to be finished as my scholastic peer would have finished her conference and we would meet again. With me being sat in La Mosquée de Paris, I was a mere ten-minute walk away. In theory, I could have finished at ten past six. However, she unexpectedly finished at half-five. And then that ten-minute walk was her being on the phone to me, getting directions. It matters not that my writing was cut short on that occasion for spending time with her is amazing. We talk about so much. Her field, my field, the world in general.
I am now sat back in a Costa Coffee. In Barkingside. Before work. I have just over three weeks to complete my EMA. I have enough material from the August trip to write a new piece, which is a relaxing thought. All I need now is time. As things start to reopen post-pandemic Lockdowns, time gets altered and removed. Monday to Friday during the working day, I lose eight hours. Saturday hours haven’t ever been available as I have my boys and I give them as much of my time as I can. Sunday mornings is rugby with the boys. Yesterday, (being Monday) saw me at a regular Salsa venue. Tonight, I am visiting another club as it is their opening night and I have known the chap for over ten years – as a point of note, it was 2011 when I judged him in the British Salsa Championships up in Bolton. Tomorrow, being Wednesday, is now rugby training with the boys. Friday night is “date night”. This leaves the mornings. I normally go into the office one morning a week. I’m now also going to be losing Thursdays as that is when I take the boys to the childminder before school. They’ll be staying with me after rugby training as their mother wants neither the rush in the evening nor the struggle in the morning. This means that shopping will now change to Thursday morning. My main time available is Sunday afternoon. Which is great. But not once have I factored in my training for the London Marathon. This is taking place three days after the deadline of the EMA. In short, I have to write, edit, proofread and submit in little over three weeks, be fit and healthy and able to complete a twenty-six-mile journey whilst remaining awake for work and patient for children playing rugby. Any free time will be dedicated to myself and my sanity. Still, after the EMA and London Marathon, I have a week of work and then I’m off to Ibiza to celebrate finishing everything. A few weeks after that and I’ll be back in Paris. I probably won’t be writing whilst there but I’ll be gaining inspiration. As always. And taking photos. As always. Plus, I’ll need to think about my visit(s) for 2022.
Taking a break from worrying about everything and having a side-thought, I still want to purchase a yellow ink for these fountain pens. Which isn’t actually true. I still want to purchase a yellow ink for a new fountain pen. I’ve not looked into which pen it’ll be. The range of yellow inks from Cult Pens and their Diamine collection is a little too overwhelming for me at the moment. This orange is lovely and vibrant but if it were to be this shade in yellow, I think it would lose a lot visually. Being honest, I’ll probably wait until this notebook is finished and I replenish the inks before buying the yellow. It’ll give me more time to choose the pen, the ink and obtain a new notebook for the continuation of my nonfiction writing.
I have decided that this journal, these entries, will be the EMA. I shall type them up, edit them and use them as a diary. This will be a behind-the-scenes take on the book. Most entries have a mini theme to them, and it is those that will be expanded upon, creating a chapter for the book. Not all are able to be used, but those that can, will. I know that some days have more than one theme or point of interest, but I shall simply continue to utilise those for longer chapters. Some will also be more in-depth than others. As much as I would love to have a paperback book on every bookshelf, I’d also like a coffee-table book on every coffee-table. They would be two very different books. The paperback, and maybe hardback for book signings, would be the fully expanded written version of this, previous and future notebooks. The coffee-table edition would have the inclusion of some of my photo collection, totalling over a thousand photographs, already. Not all photos are appropriate nor of the required quality. This is because what I take photos of using my phone isn’t always deemed entertaining or enthralling. There could be five or six photos of the same bridge from slightly different angles. Or adjusted light sources and focal points. Some may simply be blurred. Or too dark. But this really isn’t something I should be procrastinating with at this stage of the Masters.
Life has a funny way of turning out. I’m broke, living in a cramped bedroom that doubles as my office and study space, whilst sleeping on a bed that’s out to destroy me. Yet, I still look at the positive future. I may be old enough to have worked for twenty-five years. I may also be old enough to have to work for another twenty-five years. Nonetheless, none of this really matters. I have a pen and paper and my mind is thankfully able to function properly, most of the time. It’s a matter of perspective, for me. As long as the sun rises and the world turns, there’s a future waiting for me that is relaxed as my demeanour and filled with love to the same amount that I have to give. I may not be on my teaching journey anywhere but that doesn’t mean it’s over. I can teach in other ways. I may not be the famous stand-up comedian that I once dreamed about becoming, but my jokes are still (subjectively) funny. I may not be the million selling, Booker prize award winning author, but I’m still writing. Unfortunately, I’ve only another fifteen minutes of writing this morning before my expected ending. This will give me time to finish my coffee and muffin before heading home for another laboriously monotonous workday. At least I have dancing tonight to look forward to.
And who knows, eight hours in front of a computer screen could be long enough to find a new yellow ink…