I have been in bed for a good portion of the week, laid up with a terrible cold. Therefore, I’ve posted my comic about the apocalyptic consequences of cloning Sherlock actor Benedict Cumberbatch, rather than write smart things.
Seriously, I was totally out-of-action this week. I even forgot the word “pentangle” for about five minutes. How embarrassing.
Edit: There are some spelling errers and mistake grammar in the piece above. This is actually a good thing; it shows how doing multiple revisions of the work helps you catch those annoying glitches!
Sometimes, I jokingly refer to my parents house as the “Hindle Family Book Repository”. They have a lot of books. I have a lot of books too, and I’m similarly bad at storing them, but I’ve had to move a lot more. Above is the pile of books on the coffee table, which has a Joan Aiken book of stories, Craig Thompson’s travel-comic Carnet de Voyage, and a romance book. All these books are in the process of being read, or have been read recently. We’re good at reading.
We are, however, bad at tidying up, so things pile up around us, like paperwork and magazines. I quite like drawing the shape of piles of paper, but I’m not as fond of having them around. Piles of books are better, as they can usually support the weight of a mug of coffee. The grey splodges are copies of The Friend magazine, which were two complicated to deal with properly. I did like drawing the RCA connectors though – I used to be really into stereo gear.
Under the chair is another miscellaneous pile that I’m not even going to attempt to describe. It has a copy of the Spectator and a train time-table, but everything else is a dusty mystery of the ages. Don’t touch it; you may anger the natives.
When I explain how crazily my parents keep hold of things, people often say “oh, that sounds just like my grandparent before they went really crazy”. For instance, I recently opened a suitcase to find a collection of polythene document wallets, like you would put in a folder. These things are worthless, the sort of plastic product you can buy in hundreds for a pound. And this was a suitcase full of them. Mainly, the ones that had been screwed up and creased during use.
It’s not like they only keep broken, worthless things, mind. It’s just that they keep deciding to add new things to the collection without throwing the old things out. There’s no process of evaluation that has to happen, a process I learnt when I moved house three times in one year without a car (because, seriously, if you have to carry a thing to a new place, you soon learn how much you care about the thing).
I spent the whole of Sunday obsessing over my space pen, because I’d lost it. I also broke my tooth, but I was far more concerned over my pen. I mean, that pen’s damned good.
I think it’s because I’d had that pen on me, continually, for over a year. I originally brought it because I saw Merlin Mann toting one in a video, which is a terrible reason to buy an expensive pen, but it’s a space pen. It’s the pen made for NASA’s astronauts, and it’s super-duper in that it can write underwater and in fire and upside-down. I’ve tested this (apart from the thing with the fire).
But it’s also tiny. When I came back to recuperate at the Hindle Family Book Repository I knew I’d lose it at some point; tidiness does not run in our genes. In fact, so messy is our house that I knew I wasn’t about to find it after the first five minutes of looking for it. I huffed and I puffed, and generally made a bit of a twat about myself by extolling the virtues of this pen to my parents.
Really, I was just annoyed at myself for losing it. It’s probably the only thing I’ve kept on my person for the whole year. It’s usually warm when I pull it out of my pocket to scribble notes. Or to pass it to somebody who really needs a pen, making me look super-organised (although it’s blatantly obvious I’m not).
In the end, I let it ruin my whole day. I did brake one of my teeth, but I was so annoyed about losing my pen I didn’t freak out and panic like I usually do about dentistry (perhaps this is a side affect of recent events – don’t sweat the small stuff). Eventually, I went to bed, annoyed at losing the pen, but more annoyed at myself for not letting go.
I woke up the next morning and put my favourite jumper on. In the pocket was my space pen; it’d taken all of two minutes to find it, and most of that time was spent working out which arm to put in the armhole.