Comfortable is not always comforting...

New is the keyword of the week, even though I feel anything but as I continue through life as if wading through diluted treacle. My Mum was moved from the hospital today to a 'home' in East Manchester where I'm told she is being kept 'comfortable' - with the help of morphine. It's amazing how important that one word becomes when a close member of the family is sick. 'Comfortable' can put a million restless minds at peace. It conjures up images of a chintz armchair beside a fire, a cat sauntering by. But it isn't in this case, nor, I suspect in most cases where the patient is dying or badly hurt. It simply means they are sufficiently drugged up and not lucid enough to give too much of a shit either way. And, it has to be said, comfortable was not a word that often appeared in my Mum's vocabulary so I'm sure she wouldn't be placing as much value in the word than her children are and if she was more aware that she had ended up in a 'home' she'd be screaming blue murder for someone to get her out. And that's not so comforting.

Anyway, despite all of this the creative process is still hard at work - despite my sending a few text messages and them being misconstrued and subsequently questioning my entire texting ability, until my friend pointed out that texting is like reading the bible - it's always interpreted in the likeness of the person reading it! (Which is why I don't do religion but that's not just another topic, but an entire blog!) Maybe my inability to convey a clear text is also part of my 'suffering' a bit of writer's block recently - a bit of 'stuck-ism' (see treacle, above). Even so I have still forced, nay encouraged, myself to get to the library, to read and try and feed the old phrontistery which in turn produces words on the page. You know I had that problem in the Humanities reading room - where the issue staff seemed to know zilch of what the word actually means, well I gave a sharp swerve and instead entered the strange little reading room of Social Sciences (1st floor). And my, what a pleasant surprise. It's much smaller and narrower, more galley-like, and not much to look around at, but offering much more character - and more importantly - very friendly counter staff. I had a heavily pregnant woman guide me through the online periodicals section from the reference desk and, when I returned some books (there is no 'WAIT HERE UNTIL YOU ARE CALLED FORWARD SIGN') and automatically gave my desk number the woman behind the counter looked at me as though I were an alien but with a smile and said, 'you don't need to give numbers here love,' and that just about summed it all up. How different can two reading rooms be? The difference between social sciences and humanities, is what. Humanities = nasty, social sciences = good!

And returning to the whole 'creativity hits you out of nowhere' topic, whilst sitting on the bus today I had a spark of an idea - less a spark more of a fan in that an entire story fanned itself out in a way I haven't experienced for a while. At first I thought - ooh, great screenplay as I could see the entire story as though it were a world in a grain of sand (i.e. 90 minutes) but tonight I thought I'd best get it down as soon as and find myself beginning what I hope may be a new novel. No clues yet though. New things have to be protected at all costs.

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