I’ve always thought there are exactly enough hours in a day. This view is mostly based on the fact that a day is constructed of 24 hours (excluding leap days) and so if we were to start adding hours willy-nilly to it, it’d get fairly confusing. Meeting people would be difficult, watch and clock manufacturers would have a horrible time redesigning everything and no doubt all those extra hours would get full of the sort of crap that was filling up the other hours anyway. Then people would just complain that there still aren’t enough hours in the day and eventually we’d have year long days where everyone was dying from exhaustion. On the plus side, one year in the population would have been reduced dramatically, causing far less things to do on a daily basis and probably making 24 hours more than enough to fit everything in.
I would like more time. I am not a Time Lord, I don’t have time shares, I don’t read Time Magazine, so I’m not really sure how best to get more time. At best I have taken to putting my phone on ‘Do Not Disturb’, turning off Twitter for an hour or so and generally trying to claw some actual time back to do things. Things like wondering if anyone has tried to call me or responded to anything on Twitter. I’ve had several moments over the last few weeks that have made my brain race with ideas. I find these moments the most exhilarating and exciting when they appear. Despite discipline and having had to learn how to sit down and write, the days where I plan to write will never triumph over the ones where something sparks a thought and I scribble and scribble and scribble. They don’t happen as often as I’d like and sometimes, when they do, I have to put them on hold to deal with admin I have to do, or answer a call about something, at which point when I finally get to put pen to pad, the fire in the idea has died and I tend to have forgotten what it was all about in the first place.
Last week I went on an actual holiday. A proper one where I went somewhere there was very little to do and so I had to resign myself to just lying in the pool and reading. I didn’t have a choice. I tried to have a choice and me and L spent the first two days half at the pool then half walking around exploring in excessive hot weather till we both realised there was nothing to explore and so back to the pool. So, over 7 days, I relaxed and read several books (list below if you’re at all interested). I also spent some time not trying to do anything. At all. As a result I came up with the idea for a novel, how to possibly make my sitcom idea work, a one man play or short film and a few new gags. I’m not sure any of them are good or worthwhile, but I had them and I got excited about them and that’s a starting point. Then this week, since getting over the fug of returning to erratic weathered, busy reality, I’ve finally figured out how to fix the bit in my solo show that hasn’t been right for all 16 shows so far (annoyingly), and a comment from someone has made me realise another project I’ve been working on has a whole new avenue to it. Amazing right?
I live for that. That feeling as though you might be able to realise an idea that actually makes you laugh or feels like it expresses your current mindset. I sometimes feel that if I didn’t have comedy or a creative job with which to voice these ideas I’d go quietly insane. So I’m so pleased that these 5 ideas have arrived. Except…well, except that’s now 5 things to be working on, in addition to another two things I should be working on as well, in addition to all the admin for all of those things and other things. And in addition to probably seeing my family at some point and my friends. And L. And suddenly, there is not time enough for anything because days have only 24 hours in them.
Yes I’ve downloaded time management apps, yes I’ve read articles on how to do it and no, none of them say exactly how to stop the world interrupting. So maybe we need more hours in a day. Until everyone dies of exhaustion and there is less stuff to do and 24 hours makes sense. And then, and only then, will I be bored because I just don’t have enough to do. Ultimately, as always, there is no winning. Which is lucky, as there’d definitely not be any time for an awards ceremony.
Books I read on holiday (you have probably read them all already):
John Niven – Kill Your Friends
Finally got round to reading this after many recommendations, the fact it’s being made into a film and I like following John on Twitter. Never have I enjoyed reading about a character that I loathe and oppose the mindset of quite so much. You will hate the narrator, you will hate everything he does, yet you’ll have to keep going because he’s so much fun to hate.
Neil Gaiman – American Gods
Yeah, again you’ve probably all read this. I’m so late to the Gaiman camp and I can only apologise to the whole world for the terrible error I’ve made in doing so. American Gods is a truly incredible mythological fantasy of the finest quality. I do so hope one day it could be an amazing film or tv series but I also hope it never is as they’ll never do it as well as the book.
Cormac McCarthy – All The Pretty Horses
I loved The Road, and No Country For Old Men so I thought I’d try one of McCarthy’s less depressing and bleak books. It’s an unusually structured book, but wonderfully so. A Western set in the 1960’s, with one young man’s adventures, some of the most beautiful full descriptions of the New Mexico wilderness and some unexpected but wonderful feminist, anti-war and humanitarian messages.
JK Rowling – The Casual Vacancy
I had no idea what this was about but as a Potter fan I was overcome with curiosity. I saw the Amazon reviews with a stark mix of 5 stars and 1 stars and little in-between. What I didn’t expect is that it would be such a gripping tale of small town politics, with strong messages on class division, elitism and snobbery mixed with strong depictions of human emotions and relationships. Very much enjoyed this.
I’m currently reading George Monbiot’s ‘Feral’, on the rewilding of humanity. So far, it’s incredible and makes me want to be outside a lot more than I am.
I’m doing my latest tour show (which should be fixed soon) only a handful more times in London, Wales and then at the Edinburgh Festival. Check www.tiernandouieb.co.uk for gigs and sign up to my mailing list for more info on all things me.