1 November

by Michael

Sophie is on a business trip in Italy, which means I get to experience the thrills and spills of being a (temporary) unemployed, stay-at-home single father (aka “writer”) for a week – ‘unemployed’ because I have taken the week off work to ensure a chance of getting through it in one piece.

So far, so good. Edie was at nursery all day, and having seen Sophie off at Victoria station, I had a very nice afternoon drinking tea, doing the New York Times Sunday crossword (#104 in the Omnibus, volume eight) with Radio 3 in the background and the steely winter sun shining in through the window.

The clocks having gone back yesterday, it was dark all too soon, and especially so by 5 when I went off to collect Edie from nursery. Mind you, I am a big fan of Greenwich Mean Time and think it is bizarre that we attempt to change Time rather than the times at which we schedule our appointments. It makes me think of a definition from my Discreet Dictionary (albeit one that I don’t think I have yet uploaded – there’s a mini-project for my week off) about how science is essentially an attempt to stop the world in time, study it, fix it if necessary and then start it all going again. Obviously this is doomed. I used to think that economics was the kind of study that attempted to fix the world in a moving, dynamic state but given the events of recent years, I’m not so sure of that theory any more.

Edie is with me all day tomorrow, but then I have three clear days to indulge myself. And while I have just this minute booked a ticket to see The Social Network, I do intend to spend the majority of those three days on my writing projects. These currently consist of (at least) the following:

  • Selecting from 3 or 4 ideas one to develop into a short story intended for the back page of Nature magazine;
  • Continuing to slowly translate La psychanalyse du feu by Gaston Bachelard into English;
  • Planning the novel of which I have written the first chapter already without having any idea what it is about or where it is heading;
  • Writing a play about ghosts (this may not be an entirely original concept, but I think there are interesting angles to explore).

Wish me luck!