Friday, August 20, 2010

As is so often the case, I started off with the intention of writing something short and succinct

You must be as delighted as I am to hear that, next year, I shall be a dad again.

I’ll tell you why you should be so nauseous with happiness.

Last night, the mystery singer made another of his little visits outside my home. He performed an original composition that actually managed to rhyme “black coffeeeee” with “Do you want meeee?” which, as far as I’m aware, is a lyrical first.

Unfortunately I couldn’t quite muster the strength to get out of bed (it was 3am) to record any of his ONE HOUR set. But of course, once the stork delivers my latest miniature insomniac, I’ll be up at that time anyway and able to record this nocturnal one-man-talent show. All for you.

In the meantime, you can make do with an excerpt from this fantastic article wot says having kids is good for art.

Reading it made me cry. Except I didn’t, right, cos I am a REAL MAN.

We were still students when we got married and had our first baby. It must have been hard work. We didn't have a washing machine and we couldn't afford disposable nappies – but mostly we were drugged with happiness. Our only conversational gambit was: "Isn't he amazing?" Friends were mostly delighted, but also slightly appalled. From the first they'd take me aside and commiserate. "That's it now, Frank, the pram is in the hallway."

The full quote – from Cyril Connolly – is: "There is no more sombre enemy of good art than the pram in the hallway." In fact, we didn't have a pram or a hallway, but in the dark watches of the night I would sometimes look at the Maclaren Dreamer buggy in the corner of the tiny kitchen and think, is that it then? Will I have to go and get a proper job and never write again?

Happily, I had married a woman of terrifying courage who, the day I was offered a proper job, said: "Don't do it, Frank. Go to the library, write something for us." I didn't produce a work of precocious genius, but I did get myself started as a TV hack. Ever since then, fatherhood and writing have been inextricably intertwined for me.

I'm not the only one. The most commercially successful British writer (JK Rowling) and the most ferociously inventive (JG Ballard) were both single parents. Edith Nesbit had three children of her own, and then adopted the two that her feckless husband had with his mistress. She founded the Fabian Society, precursor of the Labour party, and still had time to write 60 novels, among them the most purely funny pages in the language.

My children have been a crucial part of my work in ways that I find hard to account for or anticipate. If I need to go on a research trip for a book or a film, we'll usually go as a family, and I find that – apart from the fact that it's useful to have extra eyes and ears – people and places tend to open up to you more.

It's worth reading the whole thing.

On another note, they've finally done a great follow-up...

to this, one of my favouritest ads ever

Right, that's it. Sorry for banging on.

I'm off on my holidays.

Zut alors! Mange tout!

No comments:

Post a Comment