Reducing One's Conditions: The Current PSofL HQ

10/09/2014 20:10


I'm editing off my novel in reducing conditions, in our current headquarters, this strangers' house. I'm living economically in a shared storage unit on a residential street... among these sensations of the halfway house, this 'lodging' that's full with...


Horizontal tyre marks on the white upvc entrance. 

Badly stained armitage shanks toilet sink set. Paint spattered doors.

Black bristles in the letter box, well used, splayed out. 

An old divan providing refuge upstairs, resting on an abused industrial oatmeal carpet.

Ring upon ring of coiled steel cable, and two wicker chairs rescued from a field.

Coughing people running the taps beneath the roar of the flight path.

Dozens of bulging anonymous cardboard boxes – mostly labelled FRAGILE.

An empty cash register resting in the lounge, abandoned among two upturned tables.

Collections of unfitted piping; the house flanked by lines of sinking, decrepit asbestos garages.

Yellowed soap dispensers everywhere.

Stairs that look like a polluted sea bed.

Vats full of vinegar, overgrown garden.

Blue sacks of rubble and ripped out wiring.

And a landlord starved of attention.

I'm editing here, on a minature folding table, where the two cuckoo clocks don’t tick and strangers burst in unannounced.

The sound of this junk-of-a-house at night: the pop-twanging in and out of empty paint tins.

Brutes through the walls. Mouthbreathing next door in a whirr of unintelligent noise.

Downstairs live 200 small jars of preserves; 1000 pink sachets of granulated sweetener, open to air.


This is reducing one's conditions to the night-day split arrangement. It's the fraught environment in which I get my writing work done.




Reducing One's Conditions: The Current PSofL HQ


Date: 16/08/2014 | By: Ken

I'm re-reading "Down and Out in Paris and London" at the moment. Nice to see that you're still channeling Orwell there. Hopefully living on more than bread and water. Good luck with the novel revisions!

Re: Awesome

Date: 17/08/2014 | By: MG

Wonderful book, especially the fleeting Hungarian character! Thanks Ken, it won't be long before I have a manuscript in front of me that I've stopped fiddling with... I tell myself.

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