As I sat on the edge of the bed to put my socks on (yes, old age is catching up on me) I ran a scene from my imaginary life through my head. It was the one where I appear on BBC Breakfast after winning a major poetry award and impress a watching TV executive so much that I am offered a chance to have my own TV show, wandering round the countryside talking and eating in tearooms.
There would, inevitably, be a string of offers to appear in other TV work, followed by a celebrity lifestyle and a book contract. Obviously, a man who has to sit down to put his socks on isn’t going to be doing Strictly Come Dancing or I’m a Celebrity… but I’d be happy to do Celebrity Gogglebox. When it comes to sitting round watching TV and talking rubbish, I flatter myself that I have few equals.
I was sitting in a studio, putting forward the idea that I was the Jackson Pollock of poetry, just throwing words at pieces of paper, when a sudden (and unusual) profound thought came into my mind.
“As soon as I get downstairs,” I thought, “I will write that down. There is the basis for a scholarly essay in there and it will establish me as a leading light in the poetry establishment.”
Well, that’s what it would have sounded like if I thought that way. What I actually thought was “Oooo!” That’s pretty much the reality of my thinking. If you add the word “shiny” that covers 90% of my thoughts these days. I know I’m supposed to think about sex every seven seconds according to the research, but frankly, I can’t fit it in. (Yes, I’ve been watching too many Carry On films over Christmas…)
Talking of thinking, I found this article very interesting. Before you read it, think of a white bear, and don’t click the link until you’ve finished thinking about it. When you stop thinking about the white bear and read the article, all will become clear.
Anyway, I got downstairs (another thing that I used to take for granted but which takes a bit of thought these days) and Julia was making porridge. She put sliced banana and blueberries in it because she thinks I should eat more fruit. And, as I ate the delicious fruity porridge, I realised that I had forgotten the rare and precious thought.
And that, so far, is the story of 2021. I had, as you can probably guess, no picture of porridge with fruit in it, so I offer a picture of plums instead.