The beach, Cadiz.

Blog

jimmy Hogg

04 Mar
2015

Wednesday,
March 4th,
1.45pm
The
beach, Cadiz.

Seems
like as good a place as any to write, I just had a coffee and I’m all
geed up so it’s either write something or have a little dance with
the black widow spiders of my mind. Spending all of my time outside
and having not shaved or even trimmed my facial hair in a while has
left me looking a bit Robinson Crusoe- or at least that’s the
romantic version- to the locals I probably look like a homeless
paedophile who’s had a bit to much sun and has began to compare
himself to characters from popular fiction. But certainly, there is
something of the crocodile about me these days- I can’t help but
think of Ben Kingsley in Sexy Beast, “Look at you, you’re like a
crocodile, like a big fat leatherman, we could make a fucking
suitcase out of you!”

I
stayed up pretty late last night- until two, which is late for me at
the moment- I was just having a youtube party, watching music videos
and live performances, seeing where things took me. That went on for
three hours and I can barely remember anything specific that I
watched, save that most of it was from the Jools Holland series
Later.

I’ve
been listening to a fair few podcasts, some really good stuff- The
Richard Herring live at the Leicester Square Theatre Comedy Podcast
is pretty good, he can be a bit tedious, childish and limited and
he’s a bit samey once you listen to a few of them, but he has such
excellent guests from the comedy world- Armando Iannuci, Mark Thomas,
Simon Pegg, Edgar Wright, David Mitchell, Steve Coogan, Sarah
Millican- and I haven’t even listened to those ones yet. I did listen
to the first of two with Stewart Lee, one with David Baddiel (which
was a bit shit), another with Ben Goldacre (not a comedian, but a
doctor of medicine, nonetheless excellent) and have just started one
with Tim Minchin whose stuff I like, but in interview he is whip
smart and I have a new found respect for him. He manages to be
consistently funny while also having a fucking point and being
unafraid to talk about difficult subjects that may not be funny.

I’ve
also listened to a few episodes of the BBC Radio Four Book Club
podcast- one with Stephen Fry was excellent, there was another about
Homage to Catalonia- a book I’ve never really gotten my head around-
and one with Jonathan Franzen talking about one of my favourite
books, The Corrections- I also just got a book of essays by him
having finished reading Hemmingway’s Moveable Feast, which left me
thinking that I had to reread all of Hemmingway’s work because I
don’t think I really got it the first time. And many things are
pointing to the fact (and have been for a while) that I should read
The Great Gatsby (which I did in school and thought it was ‘okay’-
obviously I was too young for it), Robinson Crusoe (which I’ve nearly
bought about three or four times and now seems utterly apropos given
my face) and something by Evelyn Waugh, probably Brideshead
Revisited- which I might not even like, but he seems to be so
important to so many writers whom I admire. Really, in short, I need
to read more- I think that everyone thinks that though. I, however,
mean it. I’ll start with the very low aim of one book a month in my
normal life, maybe just an hour a day, that should be plenty. If
there was a performance enhancing drug that made you want to read I
would cram it into my face by the fistful.

Now,
although I’m sending large chunks of these- shall he call them
journal entries?- to a handful of people there’s a part of me that
thinks I’ll be able to extract around 5,000 words or so which I can
hone and harness and perfect and maybe have the semblance of some
kind of semi-watchable solo show. The thing is, I think few things
are more tedious than travel stories, people harping on about the
food and the wine and how cheap everything is and how friendly the
locals are and the weather and then transgressing into how difficult
it is to get from one place to another and having the poops and then
being ripped of by someone and getting stranded and then being helped
by another human being in such a way as to have your whole life
transformed and your outlook reshaped and then you go back to work
and you’re really nice for the first few weeks until you return to
being that intolerable cunt you’ve always been… yeah, I’ve been on
holiday, I’ve travelled, I get it. That said, Charlie Brooker was
talking- and this is not new information, just something that he
reiterated- on The Richard Herring podcast about how it doesn’t
really matter what you talk about, it’s just about the delivery, how
you tell the story. I have to keep reminding myself of that because I
so easily dismiss ideas because I think it’s hack, or cliched or too
obvious or been done before. Another good piece of advice I garnered
recently was from Hemmingway, where he talks about not thinking about
ones writing at all except for when one is writing. He fills his head
with books and conversation and food and drink, but keeps his mind
off his work until he settles down at his desk. This makes a lot of
sense to me personally because I have spent a lot of time in my head
writing words, phrases, drawing out ideas and then when I come to
write them it’s as though the previous extrapolation has destroyed
them.

There
are lads by the beach doing sprints up a concrete promenade that
leads down to the sand. It’s making me feel quite doughy, so I think
I’ll pop down and do some exercise on the beach before my nap…

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