Today, setting a fire, dead wood things from the garage, I was taken with a very strong urge to burn all my notebooks. The shoeboxesful in the cupboard. The A6s, the 9x7s, the Moleskines, the fauxlskines, the ring-bound reporter’s pads. All of them.

“It’s either that or carry this shite around for the rest of our lives. Anyway,” (I imagined the scene vividly, talking to J in my head, throwing another handful into the garden incinerator,) “there was nothing of note before now.” (I saw her eyes roll, and her swift comeback. Well, a nice idea, I thought, and started writing it down…)

…she arrived mid-note. The family slept inside. I relayed the scenario. A micro-beat.

‘So… have you burned them?’

I had not. But, the actual factual act of doing so was sealed. It was a done deal, the spark in my head, the slightest of prods all that was needed to stoke the blaze. I scampered upstairs, and down again, clutching a fairly heavy wine box… more volumes than I thought.

20 years of notebooks consigned to the memory hole with glee. Tedious lists of train names… lost in-jokes, forgotten transcendence, unrecoverable glories, confusion, bitterness and drunken scribbles, all gone to a series of blazes. A bright-eyed lightening of the load, a fiery shedding of the shite, a bonfire of the bollocks. Arson is addictive, I alliterated happily to myself, toasting the flames with Grolsch and Glenlivet.

The smell, the temperature, every good feeling I remember from festivals, from camping trips, from other times I’ve enjoyed a ritual purge. All marked with sincere libations to the heavenly hosts, to all our patrons and matrons.

Lighter, reader. Lighter.

Water dissolving and water removing…

Linked articles from the BBC and PLOS ONE science journal bring interesting tales from beneath the ice at Lake Vostok, Antarctica.

Which suggested a Neil Young tune:

Of course, these seemingly disparate, obscure materials could be precursors to the discovery of chilling cyclopean statues detailing nameless forms from beyond geometry…

…but let’s just go back to that ice for a second… perhaps some tonic… mmmm.

Station ident: Tuesday 9th July 2013. The Mortal Bath is liking it hot, sunny and quiet in York. May your day be merry and bright.