THE JANUARY MAN
“If you set yourself to it, you can live the same life, rich or poor. You can keep on with your books and your ideas."
– George Orwell, Down And Out In Paris And London
Outside, we are three days into 2019. I didn’t do a whole lot on the 1st, but over the last couple of days, this has taken up the night shift like a sponge - and for once, all of that cover blurb is pretty accurate. I’m enjoying it very much… it’s good for the soul to visit a different country for my noir kicks too. Scandinavia was starting to get just a little bit claustrophobic.
I kind of like January for the same reason I think The Fellowship of the Ring is the best in the Lord of the Rings sequence. It is fuelled by Hope.
Hope for a better tomorrow is as good as the human psyche can possibly get. Nothing beats hope. It’s the one emotion we don’t share with the rest of the animal kingdom. If you were of a cynical mind, I guess you could say hope was nothing more than lying to yourself, but it’s way more than that.
January comes around and if last year sucked diesel through a plastic straw for you, you can square it off, stuff it in a box and forget it ever happened. Hope is good like that. Hope is the universe’s way of forcing you to take a lungful of sea air when all you had been sniffing before was fumes.
Thus, I have hope. Hope that this year, I can work smarter (and therefore faster) than I did last year (during which I thought about things way too much) and commit more of the things stewing inside my head to paper or guitar. Hell, there was so much hope lying around the house a couple of days ago, we even scoped out some houses in Normandy for a possible future move. That’s not a place I had ever considered living at all, but now I’ve had a look around at what’s available, I have ummm… hope.
As is also traditional around this time of year, I laid out some of those things called ‘plans’. So far, it’s amounted to making a few travel plans that will take in my annual ‘sabbatical’ to Florence sometime in October, repeated trips to Poland and Belgium for work and I’m scoping out some new places to investigate simply because I should. Considering Copenhagen is one of my favourite places on Earth, it’s been a while since I’ve been over, so I’d like to include that too.
Writing wise, there are old plans, current plans, future plans… I have so many things in the pipeline, I usually don’t know where to start but I have learned much in the last year or two, the biggest one being to start at the beginning. So this morning I did just that. One project on the desk… nothing else until at least a first draft of that is finished.
Meanwhile, I have a new addition to the family…
…and it’s fitted into the pantheon real well. Another thing I started a couple of days ago was to record myself playing the proposed Deadbirds setlist. Once a day, every day. All original material interspersed with a few covers I’ve been toying with. It’s proving to be an interesting experiment in ‘getting better’ that’s for sure.
Anyway, here comes 2019. May it be everything all the other years were supposed to be for you. I’ll leave you with this - which is wise in the extreme: