34 days – that’s over a month off, isn’t it? Go me.

Moving on in time, I still see a point in scratching away the little five bar gates on the wall here.

To be honest, I wasn’t sure about the value of carrying on. With the writing, I mean. The usual feelings of ‘who cares?’, the fact that even I don’t, to an extent… I mean, I am getting on with stuff, not dwelling on My Sober Life. It’s good, though. I like sitting at the keyboard bashing the pieces out. The posting is not so far too much of a hassle to maintain.

Riffling through some folders, though, in search of something suggestive, I found a diary note from about eight years ago. Hilarity. It’s the same stuff I’m writing about now, somewhat obviously. Looking back on it makes me smile kind of tiredly.

It’s all in the way that pretty much everything I feel dogmatically certain of, or at least excited enough to make note of, turns out a few years later to be ever so slightly at least 10mm of twist out.

Celebrating academic success, employment, friends’ weddings, solstice… one good reason after another. The weekend, the weekend starting early, the midweek hump, Monday horrors. It goes to way back before summer, back through spring, where each green shoot was worthy of a toast, to winter… back and back in a sequence of drinks, those wet circles linking back in an Olympic chain to a massive ring on the wall of the dungeon.
What I recognise in the continuing drinking, where the pint becomes two, becomes two-fer or three-fer bottles of wine, the false economics of alcohol dependency, is that I have still got my head fogged to an extent by fears of the past. Fear of past fuck-ups repeating themselves, repeated fears I have known in the past. The past like bad dreams, always a weird Holbein skull skewed, distorted, foregrounding the bleached bones in the green grass and purple heather. Rarely a view of the wider vista, the good things I can look back upon with contentment, that balance emerged from.

Taking control, I recognise this excited feeling, the very cells and atoms in my hands tingling with energy.

Stuck record. So, yeah, everything’s going well, good attainment there… but I will continue to notch the walls for now.

Keep my eyes wide open all the time, as someone once said.

Following a short hiatus for…well, I don’t know what one might call it without sounding like a ginormous ass: de-rutting, groove reclamation, headspace refurbishment (“Hey, I like what you’ve done in here…”)… a comfort break… The Mortal Bath resumes refilled, topped up, nice and bubbly.

It was half term holidays this week just gone, and some sort of physical distraction from the scholastic toil was required. The stated aim had been to build a henhouse. This is the second time I’ve built one, and it was much easier going now I have more than the barest notion of carpentry I did the first time. I’m still fairly cack-handed, but it seemed to fit together less troublesomely.

So, I’m pleased to record, this evening, as the sun shone over the garden (which it has failed signally to do the entire rest of the leaden-skied week, by the let’s-emigrate-to-the-Mediterranean-immediately way), the coop was completed:



We cracked a can of Amstel to toast its wooden goodness, and as a libation for the future roosting joy and eggy successes of its inhabitants. (Clunk of cans, distant approving cluck of hens…)