Posted by on Oct 11, 2007 in non writing days | 3 Comments

Life does not imitate art

So this is my day. Last night (week two of the radio play course) fascinating, rewarding, so much to understand and learn and me definitely with the most to learn as all the other students seem to have much more dramatic experience than me.

Hit the bed with ideas for the first scene of my play running round my head, knowing that I have a heavy day’s editing to get through but hoping to snatch a few minutes to rough out (block out, as we drama types say, I discover) the scene.

Instead, at 06.20 I am woken by Tony, telling me the bathroom is leaking. This less than precise statement can be explained by the fact that the bathroom currently has no sink (it fell in half) and no radiator and is in a state of semi-demi-everything. Part repainted, part retiled, part floorboards lifted etc. This is the bathroom we inherited when we moved in – 1930s tiles with 1960s artexing and 1970s baby-vomit coloured wash suite and (for reasons we’d rather not consider) a jaundiced baby-vomit coloured toilet (what happened to the original toilet? We’d probably rather not know). We vowed nine years ago to ‘sort it out’ – now we have no choice.

I run downstairs, set buckets under the drips falling from the ceiling. Tony locates the leak (radiator pipe) rips up more damp and rotten floorboards, leaves me basic instructions about how to dry the place out, and leaves for work.

I pour tea and open the back door. Out rushes one Cairn terrier, while the other limps apologetically past me, ears flat. Limps?

Yes, the limp that Rebus developed on his Sunday scramble in the woods is back and worse, much worse. So I pick him up and carry him down the garden. Rebus would walk on broken glass without complaint, so any manifestation of injury is worrying.

The rest of the day does not improve. The vet charges me £30 to tell me he can’t find anything wrong and we should return in seven days, or if it gets worse. I feel like telling him it already got worse, but I have to go home and wring out towels etc so that I can get the bathroom dry enough to vacuum up the rotten wood and other debris before the man comes round to measure for a new window. So I rush out and return to general clearing up duties before editing duties before writing duties …

Then the vacuum conks out.

So today is not one of my vintage days. There will be better days and I hope they start tomorrow, but as far as 11 October goes, it can’t end fast enough.


  1. B.A. Goodjohn
    12th October 2007

    Move house…and woods.

  2. BookClover
    13th October 2007

    God I am still horrified when remembering the bath leaks…and I do sympathise, a lot!

  3. Fiona
    15th October 2007

    ah, a life as sad as mine! Radiators working intermittently with winter scurrying in, new pup has dug crater in lawn, mauled antique teddy bear and destroyed mobile charger plus stood on glass on a walk in a chav-infested park. And we’re supposed to find a calm space for writing? Glad you’re doing a radio course. I did and loved it. My first play is currently under consideration by two production houses. Then again, that may be as far as it goes. Good chatting. Fiona.


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