I remember the carpet in the bungalow by the sea, over-patterned by Mother’s bookcase and the battered cover of Palgrave’s Golden Treasury of Songs and Lyrical Poems. And that’s where I came in – learning rhymes through repetition. The Lake Isle of Innisfree is hard-wired into my cortex.
Now it’s Woolf and Lessing with a hint of Kafka who preoccupy the spaces in my mind.
Music has always been a key feature in my world: blues and jazz, Billie Holiday, Louis Armstrong and currently Tom Waites. I love to be shifted by a voice that has travelled but, in general, I write to the sounds of my environment. If my Litmus piece had a soundtrack it would be an orchestra tuning up.
I rely upon a number of journals for a patchwork of ideas while the bulk of my writing is created on my phone in notes. I write as I walk, as I move through my landscapes, unless at home where I have a still place in the shed amongst the blown in leaves and moss.
I don’t do fur, it makes me sneeze but I do appreciate the fleeting interactions with the neighbour’s dog. I love its pure abandoned spirit, its unshackled joy in the prospect of ham.
And cats? I admire their sense of self.