Meme post (kind of)
This is a callback to my friend Diane, a writer, whose blog The Spy and the Storyteller I heartily recommend to anyone interested in creative endeavour. (I'm passing on the Liebster thing because I don't read enough blogs that are really eligible.)
What problem do you dwell on over and over again, large or small?
I’d have thought this was the same for everyone; mortality. It’s a bummer.
Who do you wish you were more like and why?
My greatest shortcomings are laziness, lack of creativity, and a failure to live up to my own moral standards. To be fair to myself, these are not uncommon human traits. So, the person I would most like to imitate would have to be hard-working, creative and morally upright.
Just because I’m wearing a Born to Run t-shirt today, I’ll go with Springsteen, my first real hero as a teenager.
What’s the best place you’ve ever been to and why?
London, no contest. Even though I only actually lived there for 3 or 4 years after graduation I consider myself a Londoner. I know my way around and I love walking around the place with friends from elsewhere and telling them little bits of local history or myth that I’ve picked up along the way.
I particularly love idiosyncratic spots like the Soane Museum, the doorunderneath a lion statue on Westminster bridge where police officers used to put their feet up and have a cup of tea, and the gravestone for Giro the Nazi Dog. On my next trip there I want to go to the spot in Clerkenwell where you can put your ear to the pavement and hear the “lost” Fleet River passing below you.
What reliably inspires you time and time again?
Pop music. Countless are the times I’ve been in a glum mood when a favourite song pops up on the shuffle and three minutes later I’m singing along with a huge smile on my face.
What’s your favourite book – go with your first gut instinct on this one!
OK, my gut instinct is Tristram Shandy. I suppose it is partly because of its importance, and the fact that it is so playful that it could have been written at almost any time. It certainly fits every description of post-modern literature that I’ve ever come across.
I love it when a book is both technically interesting and a rip-roaring read. This novel makes no sense at all in narrative terms but keeps you entertained with a mixture of japery, humanity and sheer chutzpah.
There’s also a brilliant gag on page one about the narrator’s conception.