During the recent succession of lockdowns I made a discovery. Even the most dedicated reader, it turns out, can feel like they’ve read enough. I wanted something different. Like millions of others I turned to crafts. I didn’t have enough creativity left to engage in creative writing or art – like I’d been doing for years – but I craved something that would put my mind off the dystopian nightmare the world had become. I’d tried my hand at knitting before and figured, now that I was stuck at home, I might as well try something new.
Banksy, the artist, enjoying a little staycation in my neck of the woods? Leaving behind some new works for everyone to love and/or hate? The idea immediately caught my imagination. I had a few days off, so on a bus I hopped, to see for myself what all the fuss was about.
Self-publishing is often frowned upon, seen as a vanity exercise that removes the gatekeeper function of traditional publishers and releases floods of drivel onto an already saturated media landscape. My own opinion is a bit more nuanced. I think publishing and self-publishing can easily exist together. Indie and DIY approaches have long been common in other creative sectors, such as music and film. And with everyone broadcasting themselves on Instagram, Facebook and TikTok, I can’t see why self-publishing my thoughts in book form would be a weird or embarrassing thing to do.
A reflection on writing and walking, and writing about walking, upon reading Robert MacFarlane’s The Old Ways
What’s the point of walking? A meditation on an early summer walk across Norfolk from Roman fort to sea front.
About halfway between Acle and Great Yarmouth lies Berney Arms. It’s hard to explain what Berney Arms is. It’s not a village. It used to be a pub, but the pub closed down in 2015. It has a windmill, but the mill is currently closed for maintenance. It has the most remote railway station in the UK, three miles from the nearest road, but the station is closed until further notice. In short, Berney Arms is nothing.
If anyone needed prrof that the impossible is possible, I’ve been shortlisted for a novella competition. Some reflections…
The situation: a few unexpected days off work. The desire: a holiday. The challenge: make it cheap and cheerful. The solution: a micro break.
I am a technophobe. I don’t have a smartphone. My laptop is at least ten years old. Its spelling checker… Read more The Haze of Holidays Past: Or how a Dreadful Shopping Experience Brought back a Lovely Memory
Thinking about Vienna, I thought of touristy clichés: Sissi, opera, Mozartkugeln. Naff, quaint, boring. Not to worry. I wasn’t going… Read more How I Was Almost Eaten By Fish In An Abandoned Bunker: An Unusual Travel Story