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Writing In Green Ink On The Piccadilly Line

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23 Aug 2008:

I love my Dad so much. He is a funny old hotch-potch. A bit like me really – which is encouraging seeing as we are directly related. This morning he is a breath of fresh air in this age of the separated communication of text and electronic mail.

‘The next stop is South Ealing’

He lives a simple life and appreciates real things like a bit of nice cheese here and there, old picture frames and writing with old fashioned ink pens.

‘Acton Town is interchange only. Passengers wishing to alight at Acton Town must cross the platform and take the next train to Ealing Common where there is a replacement bus service back to Acton Town’ Thank christ my Dad isn’t travelling with me – he would spontaneously organise a furious sit-in, a noisy riot. He would scale a wall to get out of the station or would start shouting at the guard. But he is with me – I am reading one of his wonderful, scratchyfluent hand-written letters which prompted me to write this. Being a chip off the old block I boarded the train rather agitated as I realised that I had nothing to read for the next 15 stops.

‘The next station is Hammersmith’

Nothing – not even last night’s discarded and stale free paper. Sitting still with nothing to do except stare at other passengers is just too boring to imagine and I am not in the mood for playing the fallback option ‘who in this carriage would you shag if you had to’ game. As it happens, I am glancing around – ugh – no – none of them. What if the world depended on it? More people are coming on. Let’s see.

No.

Four massive guts, two extreme double chins, four sensible shoe wearers and a 20-something who is wearing sunglasses inside and um..excuse me…we are in a tunnel now.

Yes but the world depends on it!! Oh, hang on..at a push I suppose I could muster…oh no…he’s reading The Daily Record. It looks worse than The Daily Sport. Anyway, my Dad saved me. I remembered that I received a letter from him this morning and shoved it in my bag as I left the house.

‘The next station is Gloucester Road. Change here for the Circle Line’

What a beautiful letter and how funny. He does the same thing as me – writes like this – with lots of dashes – and exclamation marks! Like this! We have the same sense of humour and both write very fast. Perhaps that is what it is. It’s really nice to get a proper letter, written in proper ink on proper thick paper. He even does little drawings too. So lovely. I used to write letters all the time – and postcards. Now I just seem to e mail and text copiously. I worked on a big international media project last year and from Feb to July I received 9,483 e mails – absolutely ridiculous. I had a day like that yesterday – received around 72. We are filming next week so lots to organise and lots of last minute questions/stuff to sort – but even so! Can’t you just pick up the phone? I did that yesterday and the person on the other end sounded genuinely shocked as if spoken communication was an odd thing to be involving yourself in these days.

So here I am writing in a book (black moleskine with squared paper) in fine emerald green pen which I could scan and post up but very few of you could read my ‘I should have been a doctor)’s writing. So I shall be modern and type it all up. My Dad’s great letter was the seed which grew into the sapling of an idea and despite the fact his letter and this is handwritten, it has all been processed and become part of the technologyjam that is giving us all pinksore eyes and bloggers bottoms.

Adieu. I’m off to work with Terry Callier, Iggy and the Stooges, and Sparks. I’m so excited.

‘Covent Garden’.

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