I am transported back to a train or tube journey, I cannot recall which of the two that it was, but I was in a carriage several years ago. As I travelled across London, a young lady sat across the carriage from me wildly writing on post it notes throughout her journey. Peeling them off and sticking them to her knee as she went.
At the time, it struck me as odd. I was not the only one who wondered what she might be doing, what she was trying so hard to remember. Her brow furrowed as she did so. The pen clearly not writing quite as fast as she was thinking.
What odd behaviour, I thought, like many others around us within the carriage. I wondered if she was alright, her demeanour frantic. Now as I am transported back to this image and memory, I have a better understanding of how when writing, a flash of inspiration can strike at the most inopportune moment, you grab the nearest thing and begin to write, the urge taking hold of you completely. Words tumbling across the page, if you are lucky enough to have a page in front of you at the time, but arriving even faster than it is possible to write them down. At the end of her journey, she collected them all up and shoved them into her bag as she alighted at her station, her eyes darting from side to side as she left.
Thinking back, I hoped that she was a writer. That whatever temporary madness was caused by the stream of thoughts would be outweighed by her talent. That her words and thoughts were wonderful and would be read by many and appreciated. I silently wished her all the best in her endeavours.
We all have our places for inspiration, I have always been a bit of a people watcher, I also have a fairly good memory for people. I don’t usually forget a name and I can recall people and moments in time from many years ago. This is at times both a blessing and a hindrance, but for writing it gives me a plethora of people at my disposal which will form characters in stories, just as they have done in my life. I spend a lot of time up on the hill, which I enjoy writing about, whenever I am searching for solitude, or rest and need to replenish my soul it is my sanctuary, but alas it is not where I spend all of my time. I also live elsewhere, closer to my family and the places I grew up. I have thought about moving from this place on several occasions in the past few years, but have always stayed relatively close, choosing not to sever the ties here.
It occurred to me today that I have the perfect window on the world here for my writing so why would I wish to move… I am perfectly situated on a busy road, which overlooks a school playing field. When the children are not there, it is a green space with rabbits running wild and leads to allotments, where people come and go at all times of the day and night. It is a busy corner of the street, heading towards a nursery, where children are dropped and collected and their play is heard all day. There is also a primary and secondary school. The parents park outside the house and walk their children in, gathering outside to meet their friends, talk, smoke or just walk past. There is also a cycle path, where people jog on a Tuesday night and it is not the best time to walk a lively dog. The scouts meet over the road, the meeting place of an almost secret society, which I have never been privy to. There is a leisure centre down the road, and shops nearby, with enough characters to fill a multitude of books and that is without the ones that I have actually met over the years.
I also have considered that I may have too many pairs of pyjamas in my cupboard. As I put away the washing earlier, I noticed them just sitting in the cupboard all clean and folded in a multitude of colours, ready to sit around in all day, whilst I write my bestseller. More than a different pair for every day of the week is probably just greedy, I have amassed them over the years, not knowing that it was in readiness for such a time as this, when I am sitting up writing at 3am again and feel the need to change into fresh ones when I am finished and ready to sleep. I don’t have the heart to throw any of them away, strangely the different colours can offer inspiration and tone to my writing, dependent on which ones I am wearing. Red can be racy, Sky Blue can be dreamy, Lemon can remind me of Spring, Lavender of France and Black can be just plain dark or sultry. Hmm, Is that more than slightly mad and I wonder, can a girl have too many pairs? Surely they are like shoes aren’t they, a girl can never have too many pairs…