It’s Going To Be A Trilogy
I’ve been granted leave of absence by my doctors so I’m off to Madrid for the weekend to see my oldest friend, who has been restricted for a very long time by one of the toughest lockdowns in the world. The thought of fresh sights thrills me to the core. As much as I love my flat I’ve seen a little too much of it lately.
I’m in the sweet spot wherein my infusions are still working and I feel the best I’ve felt in two years. I’m far from fit, though. I just looked at my old exercise regime and was awed; 100 press-ups to warm up?? Now I can manage just one press-up before collapsing. But tomorrow I’ll manage two.
On account of being Not Dead Yet I’m giving it my best shot, writing the third part of my blurred-memory memoir series. After ‘Paperboy’ and ‘Film Freak’ will come ‘Word Monkey’ – that’s how my first job was billed.
It’s meant to be about writing but already family, doctors and friends are creeping into the pages, not to mention the talking squirrel. It’s very hard to stay on the tightrope that keeps something from being offensive, because inevitably there will be a lot of jokes about death. The best way to write humour is to be deadly serious about it.
I always admired the writing in ‘Green Wing’ because it was a hospital comedy TV series without illness or patients and mostly surreal jokes, and the hospital was treated as a kind of adventure playground. It even managed a closure episode. The tone is everything – can I get away with jokes on upsetting subjects?
So, Madrid, then a quick train down to Barcelona, where friends are complaining that they’re freezing to death at 16C, whereas the British will be in shorts. I’ll report back on the pandemic situation from there.