First, the writing. It's a process, not an event.

It's typical that, on my last day before plunging myself back into the day job, I could now do with a good week working on my play. It was only yesterday and today that I garnered the momentum, first through a natural development in the story, and the second, because the script had a read through from four actors in Richmond. Having my words read out was both very helpful, and at times, particularly towards the end with one particular 'monologue', rather cringey. It's all good though and there seemed to be no doubt that the material was timely and relevant.

Another reason why I didn't get much done it during the week was because my uncle in the west of Ireland died. Suddenly I have no uncles left on either side. My Mum's four brothers all died within the last decade or so; all way short of the old three score and ten. My Dad had six brothers. Kieran was the last remaining. So it's true. Women do live longer, in this case at least. All of my aunts are alive; the four on my Dad's side, including the oldest, now deep into her eighties, and the two on my Mum's side. I was not close to any of these aunts and uncles - most lived far away. It is a rite of passage, to bury the previous generation. And it brings mortality right up close and, for myself, a sense of needing to do things; to live vitally. But given the rightful pessimism of our climate scientists, and many others, it makes striving for 'things' absurd. This weekend's FT featured Lunch with 94-year-old philosopher Mary Midgeley. And hers was another voice that prophesied imminent catastrophe. I can't help but think that many of these warning of the collapse of civilisation, are all in the winter of their lives - save for The Guardian's George Monbiot. And some of their cries of doom are the same cries that the aged have made for millenia. It is true that we cannot hope to consume at the rate that we have been doing. It is obscene. Catastrophe? Certainly global consumption of the earth's resources need serious attention, including tackling the continuing growth in population, which creates more strain for the future. Perhaps creativity and the need to express are the things that will become even more important? That's more of a rhetorical question, actually. So many of my friends are engaged creatively; ceramics, acting, dancing, gymnastics, photography, writing, painting. Life affirming. Sharing their processes in different ways. We cannot go on shopping, piling up stuff we neither really desire or want. Or need. I wrote a piece for Guardian / CiF last week, which looked at the pressures to keep buying and changing cosmetics as they go through their late capitalist 'product life cycle', initiated by a tweet and comments by Emma Watson, the young actress.

A good friend and fellow Kingston alumni (we did our PhD at the same time too), Heidi James, has a new book soon out, called Wounding. I read an early version of it, but I am looking forward to reading this version, published by the brilliant Bluemoose.

Tracks of the week: Paloma Faith - Can't rely on you. Kendrick Lamar - Swimming Pools (Drank). Agnes Obel - Chord Left. Clean Bandit - Sea Shanty.

Reading/To read: FT Weekend / Roseberg as white Jewish guardian of 'pure' hip-hop in the New Yorker. Wounding by Heidi James.

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Location:Mortlake, London,United Kingdom


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