Archive for October, 2009

Agoraphobia.

Thursday, October 15th, 2009

Given my distinctly patchy record on updating my blog (OK, it isn’t patchy, it’s just bad), I thought I ought to offer an explanation, and apologise to the three people who I know still occasionally check in and find nothing new.

The problem is this: wide, open spaces make me panic.

A lot of my writing, the stuff I get paid for, is constrained. It’s a book about a particular topic, or it’s a column for a cycling magazine. When I sit down I know that I’ve got to come up with something on, for example, cycling. It’s limiting. I can’t write about the pleasure I derive from my three-year feud with the over-privileged trustafarian bastards in the flat downstairs, or my heel-clicking delight at discovering my favourite lamp-shop is having a clearance sale (I have a lamp fetish — see pictures of my favourite lamp here). Not unless I can somehow bend it all back round to bike riding.

Sometimes I do manage to stray quite far from the heartlands of how to clean your chain. In the last year my cycling writing has covered French canals, wet rot in my windows, the vagaries of the average Welsh B&B landlady, cross-dressing, the origins of World War 2 in the Treaty of Versailles, neo-Keynesian economic theory, and the best threats to include with an invoice if you want IPC media, who publish the magazine, to actually pay up. But the thought process still normally starts with bike riding.

I thought that was terribly limiting. It was a regular source of frustration until I tried to write a blog entry every week. Clearly I can blog about anything – and the sheer choice stops me in my tracks, in the same way I that as a child I was silenced by my first sight of the selection in a full-width Italian gelateria freezer. I tend to try to stay on sport as a general theme, but normally, for some reason, I seem to end up writing about golf. (Golf in the Olympics? Bah! No Olympic team should have to devote time to deciding on a suitable design of team jumper.)

I’m tempted to ask other people to suggest topics – but then I’ll discover that even my last three readers have abandoned me.

You haven’t, have you?

More golf, anyone?