Mondays. I don't like them. Tell me why...
Well - to be honest: i'm not that bothered about Mondays really: it's Tuesdays and Thursdays that tend to get to me. Those extraneous days that merely mean there's one more day before you get properly close to the weekend.
But today was day five of an extended seven-day weekend and I'm finally getting to that point that happens just before you go back to work where you can wake up without screaming, aware that you can wake up when nature tells you to rather than when the alarm does and take things at a pace that you want to.
Our Kid recently text me and asked for the new Bon Jovi best-of for Christmas: so I ordered it from the interweb and decide to spend the day upstairs doing something I've done precious little of this year.
To whit: a painting.
My attempts at art this year have been a bit on and off: I did a one day course early in the year and haven't done a lot since - until recently when I signed up for a Naked Person course (aka "Life Drawing") with Mad Penguin Lady (my favourite eccentric art teacher).
To be honest I didn't really enjoy the course that much: it had been a while since I'd really tried to draw at all and I found myself trying hard just to remember anything I had ever learned: producing a series of pictures that would have added nicely to my modern art exhibition Demented Jelly Babies, but would have added little to the study of the human body - I got quite depressed about the whole thing.
But with a day to spare and a project in mind I picked out one of my canvases-in-waiting and began a painting (sadly I can't tell you about it at the moment, as it will be a christmas present for someone)
So, with a background of Bon Jovi on the stereo I sat and spent the day painting, taking breaks from time to time to allow the acrylics to dry (acrylics tend to be my weapon of choice - watercolours are too wishy-washy and troublesome and much as I like the finished effect of oils I just don't have the patience to wait three weeks whilst each bit dries.
I spent about 4 hours painting in total inbetween washing up and making meals: then set off into town to meet a friend.
My friend, USM, is someone I've known on and off for about 6-7 years now and we've kept in touch even though we no longer work together. We both have a love of sci-fi and we both pretend to be writers: him rather more efficiently than me. The thing is that I struggle with writers block - somewhere along the way I kinda lost my belief in my ability. I think this came because of two things: firstly I get stuck in endless re-writes and secondly I know that the finished result will only ever be read by a handful of people. But also because sometimes the ideas just refuse to solidify.
I was telling him a few weeks back that I, like many writers, am likely to be distracted within a few seconds of starting to write: to turn on the TV, spend time staring at the cat and thinking "how cute" or finding any number of excuses to do anything other than write and he said, "well, why don't you come and meet me? I usually sit in a bar in town and write in the evenings: we can just sit opposite one another: break the tension when we get stuck etc etc etc'
And we meet. And we chat. And we write. I get more done in one evening over a couple of cups of coffee than I've done in the last couple of months. The lack of distractions and the change of scene does me good, as does the company.
So today was a good day for me: I did a lot of things that make me happy and for a change they went pretty well. It would be nice to earn a living doing things one enjoys: but realistically very few people do.
But still: I think we all need days like these once in a while