It’s 4th September and I’m sitting in the same spot I was a year ago. Outside on the stone steps of the farmhouse drinking coffee thinking and watching. Watching the finches land on the telegraph line that runs parallel to the driveway and then out into the open world.
My blog flows along those wires. How it works, I don’t know and I sometimes think it’s all a big trick. There is no blog or internet or facebook. Or email or chat links. Just a broken wire at the end of the driveway floating in the putrid cow trough by the gate.
When I write this blog all that happens is that the data goes to the end of the driveway and stops. Then a program secretly installed on my computer starts generating useless stats and comments to keep me believing I’m connected to the outside world: ‘Like the blog, Ogs. You should write a novel.’
Twenty years ago when I lived on a farm in Provence, all I had was the letter as a means of communication. Walking to the post office in the village each week to send them off. Waiting with immense excitement for the reply in a few weeks time.
I miss that. The build up to receiving a letter. Opening it up in private to read some puerile words about a puppy going missing and it getting found in a local supermarket. My gran loved puppies but never had one because she hated dogs.
Living on that farm in Provence was one of the best periods of my life. No TV, no radio, no computer, no phone. And only twenty years ago. Makes you wonder doesn’t it whether all this new technology is a good thing? Even though I enjoy writing this blog, I’m borderline, veering towards a firm NO on the matter.
What isn’t new, is that I’m moving on again. Bordeaux bound in four weeks time. I have a place to stay as well now. All I need is some work. Hard work as well. Some grinding labour. Some real blood sucking, muscle crunching work that leaves me dead at the end of the day. Barely able to summon enough strength to hobble to the nearest bar to order a litre of wine and some heavy food.
Digging holes and filling them in with concrete. Lifting bars of steel with my bare shoulders. Shovelling and moving piles of gravel from one place to another for no apparent reason. Mindless labour to cleanse my soul after poncing around here this past year writing a book that I was told to write by some ass clown reading my blog.
Bordeaux. Bordeaux. Bordeaux. A city I’ve spent less than 24 hours in: a World Cup football match, a bag of chips, some wine, some tapas and some beer. And yet I’m now obsessed with living there. And why not? As my great friend Stan said to me one night while walking back from some boozer in Nottingham a long time ago:
‘Everybody’s got to be somewhere.’