A few years ago, I went to UEA and did an MA, the Creative Writing One that is pretty well known and has turned up quite a few good writers (Kazuo Ishiguro etc). As student-writers, we were encouraged to keep notebooks with us at all times. Possibly this was to prepare the majority of us for glorious careers as skilled phone message takers/office dogsbodies rather than literary superstars, but the reason we were actually given is that it’s a good thing for a writer to be observant and sensitive to things going on around them, and to never let life go unnoticed. (This is a good thing for anyone, to be honest).
As a result, I have lots of little notebooks filled with bizarre fragments of sentences. I have saved text messages on my mobile phone for when I haven’t had a notebook with me (one of which reads ‘mobile phone screens in the dark, like stars, each a far off galaxy that wants to communicate’, which I like very much, but do not have a clue as to its meaning.) When it comes to online life, a notebook isn’t always practical, but Delicious has proven to be very handy. I add stuff to Delicious like crazy (full list of stuff is here) , but I don’t go over it too often. So I did that this lunch time, and added a few more links to the side panel.
All are worth checking out, but in particular, the London Review of Breakfasts is very good. They didn’t think much of Kalendar, a hip new cafe that’s opened close to my house which I’ve yet to check out, but the write up of Wetherspoons at Stansted Airport is very funny:
“[The breakfast is]… eaten quickly, and it’s surprisingly good although everything on the plate has the same texture: mushy and soft. It’s not Rembrandt, it’s not even Damien Hirst. It’s more Rolf Harris; simple, accessible and easily digestible.”
I’ve also finally added Yahoo’s Tom Coates’ blog, Plastic Bag, a favourite across the blogosphere which I’ve been checking every so often for ages, and Going Undergound, a blog about the Tube, which has a good post about the ‘voices of the tube’ here:
“Emma Clark who is the voice of the Victoria, Bakerloo and Central Line also gets a bit tired of hearing her voice but being Miss Mind the Gap had it’s
moments. In an brilliant interview with b3ta, she said: ‘You should have heard the multiplicity of ways they made me say ‘Marylebone.’ Mahree-lee-bone. M’ree-labbon. Mary Lob-on. It was bleeding hilarious.” She also admitted that there were some spoof recordings to pass the time “Me and the producer did record some spoof announcements after the LU suits had left the session, purely for our own amusement. Stuff like: ‘The man in the green coat is sitting in tramp’s piss.’ And ‘Passengers are reminded that reading ‘Captain Corelli’s f**king Mandolin’ is strictly prohibited.’ “