I haven’t found many positive things to say about this recent spell of mind numbing cold but last night, I finally found something that made me go “If it wasn’t for this weather…” What could it possibly be? I hear you mutter with a raised brow. Well, if it wasn’t for this weather, I would not have found my Ideas Notebook. What notebook? I hear you…okay, I think you get the drift. Here’s the story. I used to think I had lots and lots of jumpers till I started running out of my normal stash, due to the recurring below zero temperature days we’ve been experiencing. I knew I had more jumpers than I had been recycling to work, so I went to dig out my older stash, buried somewhere deep down inside a suitcase in which I store old stuff I’m not ready to give away yet (Oxfam, I need t pay you a visit soon). And within this rarely visited suitcase, I found my Ideas Notebook.
So what is an Ideas Notebook? Many many years ago (let’s say ten because it was definitely during my undergrad years), I read somewhere that all good writers should keep a notebook to record things they find interesting or inspirational in their daily lives. Overheard conversations on the bus, jaw dropping scenes in the park, seemingly insignificant episodes in the supermarket, anything. So I, the eager young writer, took an A6 notebook and made it my Ideas Notebook. At the time I didn’t think too much about it but reading through it last night, I realise now that I used it more than I remember. The strange thing is that I remember the events I jotted down quite clearly even though, as I said before, some of them happened close to ten years ago. The last event in the book appears to be from four or five years ago. Some of the events recorded actually happened to me. For example, eight years ago, I was once on a three storey building roof with a colleague carrying out a survey when we heard alarms, fire trucks etc but we assumed it was somewhere else. We got down the ladder and discovered that the fire had been in a flat right below us! Scary or what? I had completely forgotten about that. I wrote this down as future inspiration for a story which I have never gone back to. Shame. Other good ones I wrote down are my observation of a child throwing a tantrum in Sainsburys about six years ago. A little boy was yelling “Mummy, I just want you to hug me” and his mother, trying to ignore him, said, “I won’t hug you when you’re acting like that” and carried on picking her groceries. Might not be funny now but was hilarious to watch play out. Or the one where my sister and I were walking home in the year Mad World was a hit single and we were singing it quite merrily as we skipped along. A woman we walked past turned to us and yelled “Stop singing that song, stop it! Stop it!” (or something like that). We were so freaked out, we ran all the way home. There are much better stories in there but I’ll keep them to myself for now. Who knows what masterpiece they might evolve into in future.
So again I say, “If it wasn’t for this weather, I would not have gone looking for old jumpers in my abandoned suitcase and would not have found my Ideas Notebook.” Cheers WInter!