There’s a special knack to urinating on moving trains (by which I do not mean, running along the platform trying to water the carriages). For men this involves bending one knee and wedging your shoulder against the wall - even then this doesn’t assure any form of accuracy. Newton’s first law about a body in motion not wanting to shoogle about, does not really apply. Especially when the train is going round corners. Quite how ‘women who hover’ manage I’ll never know.
But I digress. The thing I can’t do if someone’s watching is write. The only exception to this is She Who Must Be Consulted On Matters Of Esoteric Spelling And Grammar. Oh, and the cat. Everyone else is off limits (I know Lee Goldberg was talking about this recently, but I can’t remember when, so no link for him). The reason this is an issue for me today is because I went down to Glasgow and back today to sign another 500 copies of the dreaded book and record a 30 minute radio spot for Radio Clyde (details to follow at the end of the week). This meant the train – business class again, so I can write: ah, the joys if an empty, tiny carriage and something to plug the laptop into – not a problem on the way down, but definitely a problem on the way back. Some nasty person wandered into the already crowded carriage around Dundee and sat down next to me. This is like anti-viagra to my writing libido. Or a naked picture of the queen. Either way, it spells creative flaccidity.
So in the end I spent about five hours on various trains today and only managed 1,318 words. That’s 263 words an hour, or four and a bit words a minute. My cat can type faster than that. Still, I suppose it could be worse: at least I managed to get some writing done. And I think the radio spot went quite well (though I’ll not know for sure until it airs in a fortnight) and the delectable Janis at the HC warehouse says all the books I signed today have already been sold, so that’s good too.
But tomorrow I have the entire day to myself! Hurrah! I will aim for my daily target of eight and a bit words per minute (well, don’t want to burn myself out now, do I?). Then Friday is pretty much a writing write-off as I’ve got to pretend intelligence and lucidity for BBC Radio Humberside and BBC Radio Scotland. Then it’s the weekend and some Olympic level sleeping.
And now, Robin: TO THE BAT CAVE!