HIT THE NORTH!

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I think there are good things to come, you know. Just an inkling!

Now, if you’d asked me about the colour of the future on Sunday evening –

as I lay in bed in the eldritch tendrils of a capital city comedown underslept hangover, re-enacting the baby-on-the-roof scene from Trainspotting shot for shot, sweating, shaking, starving, nauseous, lashed by waves of panic and agony that boomed and crashed on my fragile shores, all the while with the Fall song ‘Hit the North Part 1’ locked into my brain on endless rotation for some fucking reason, but only the repeated screamed refrain ‘HIT THE NORTH!’ and the subsequent succession of blasted angsty horn honks, and can you imagine lying awake until 6 fucking am wrestling off a massive anxiety attack in a black room all alone, while your withered brain, freshly insane, screams at you-HIT THE NORTH!! DA- DA- DA- DADOOOO HIT THE NORTH! – endlessly and forever and oh god here it comes again, another wave of nausea and panic and I’ll never sleep again, oh my god- HIT THE NORTH!!! DA- DA- DA- DADOOOO HIT THE NORTH!!!!-

if you’d asked me about the future then, well, I imagine you’d have received a less breezy reply.

But my chemicals are all balanced out now, ha ha, and tomorrow is bright! I actually quite like that song, you know. Despite all the horror.

So then: Good Things at Present and Good Things to Come

Jeanne! Jeanne is a very good and wonderful thing! My gorgeous silly French girl. It’s been 13 months since our first kiss, it’s been a cumulative 8 or 9 months living together, and every morning – and this really does blow my mind – every single morning we wake up and share a smile. And when I get up in the night to use the loo and stagger back down the hall into the bedroom, I climb into the warm bed and put my arm around her and say something like ‘je t’aime mon coeur!’ and somehow, without waking from her dreams, she says it back. No idea how she manages to reply while unconscious, but it makes me smile and I’m grateful for it and– fuck me, I sound goofy. Whatever. It’s nice.

And Bristol! I love it here. It’s beautiful and free, and ah- those hot air balloons get me every time. Last night Jeanne and I went over to my little brother’s university flat and we drank wine and played board games with his flatmates. I’ve not laughed so much since… well-

Since I saw Sam, my best mate, in London last weekend. We had a messy one Friday night and spent Saturday morning sitting in his back garden drinking tins and reminiscing about the old days when we were in a band together – a band called Sex Rain – and we got smashed on cheap cider before our school’s final assembly in year 11 before playing a gig in front of 200 people and closing the whole damn show.

Then there are the books on the horizon. That’s right! Plural! There’s 2323, the time travel disaster comedy (sound shit like you say it like that, but it’s not, honest), and then there’s my new project: The Berlin Diaries. I never intended to publish them, but enough people have recommended I do it over the past couple of years that I think I’d be a fool not to listen. If several dozen people all independently urge you to do something– that’s got to be a sign, right?

So I’ve started collating them. I’m going to trim them down, bulk them up, try and get some sort of consistent tone throughout, maybe a bit of an arc, and then I guess I’ll be punting that off to publishers some time in 2020.

Speaking of 2020: big things, man.

I’ve started saving, and so has Jeanne. Next year we’re either thinking:

South America – start in Rio, maybe winding up in Mexico for the Day of the Dead???

or

Europe – buy bicycles and a tent and just get lost. Sleep wherever, eat whatever, visit every national park and just fucking live.

How much more could you ask for, ey?

HIT THE NORTH!

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