Saturday, 31 October 2009

Five Obsessions

Kit over at Kit Courteney Writes has passed me an award that apparently stands for integrity, commitment to excellence and stubborn optimism, and means I get to fill you in on five obsessions of mine. I then get to choose five victims, um, five nice blog folk to ask what makes them tick as well. An opportunity for writing and being curious! Bring it on.

NB: It has actually been harder than I thought to write down true obsessions. I like a lot of things, but I am not obsessed by any of them. So the things below are the closest I have to obsessions and rituals.

One: My novel

I think about it day and night, to be honest, which is a perfect example of an obsession! It will pop into my thoughts in the morning, while on the tube, at work, in meetings, on the tube again, in the evening, before bed. I think about it far more than I seem to do any work on it.

Two: Story ideas

If I am not thinking of the current novel, then I am thinking of other story ideas. I usually have a few going around the merry-go-round that is my mind, and sometimes I stop the ride and examine one idea, play with it awhile, add a few embellishments and then send it off again. After a while of doing this (it could be years) I will pull it off the ride completely and write it down. That is the best example of how I get ideas for stories.

Three: Second-hand book shops

I can’t pass one of these (or an antiques fair) without stepping inside. I simply can’t – what if one of these shops has a Graham Oakley Church Mouse book that isn’t £30? What if they have the 1965 Fontana editions of Agatha Christie books? What if they have the red Tiswas annual? What if, what if… no matter where I am, I will have to have a look. If the shop is closed I will stand mournfully outside, nose pressed against the window, in the manner of a Dickens urchin at a bakery window.

Four: Making a cup of tea as soon as get to a B&B room

I love staying in hotels and B&Bs, and one of the first things I always do is seek out the little kettle, awkwardly fill it with water from the sink, stare in bemusement at the walls until a plug socket reveals itself, and make myself a cup of tea. I then perch on the end of the bed with my cuppa, and eat the little free biscuit, and everything will feel all right with the world.

Five: My Remembrance Day poppy

I buy a red poppy as soon as I see a poppy seller. I carefully attach it to my coat and stride off for the day. When I look down again the poppy will be gone, and I will have been proudly wearing a pin. I will then buy another poppy. And so it will go on. So far I am on poppy number three, and I am not even sure it is still pinned to my jacket. I will have to go and check, and later no doubt I will have to buy another one. I don’t want to buy a poppy badge, as ultimately I think I give more money this way, so really everyone is a winner. Just don’t frown at me when you see me without a poppy, I will have no doubt already donated a tenner.

And so, I nominate A Letter From Abroad, Aspiring Writer, A Rose Beyond the Thames, Music Obsessive (should be easy for you!) and A Cat of Impossible Colour. Please don’t feel you have to by any means, but if you fancy sharing your obsessions please go ahead!


Kit Courteney said...

Good choices.

I left my novel out of my list in the hope it would feel left out and attack me in the night wanting to get on with some more editing... but it didn't.

I'm the same in hotel rooms... it just has to be done!

Rose said...

how nice- I will share. I'm on poppy number 2 by the way- which is very good for me, normally it would be at least 4 by now. The new sticky ones should be avoided if you have a wooly coat I have learned.

music obsessive said...

Well, who can resist a challenge? Not me, so you can find my response at and like you I have tried to look at my dreadful habits rather than just 'things I like'. I have also left out both my book and my blog although these are fast becoming obsessions as well. *sigh*

Jayne said...

Hi Kit! I can't believe I left out Twirl bars! I think it's safe to say I am rather obsessed with the Twirl of Goodness (I think that is the way forward for their advertising campaign, personally).

Jayne said...

Hi Rose. Good point about the sticky poppies! I am still, miraculously on Poppy Three... ah, but then I have had a week at home. Not much chance for it to slope off.

And please do share your obsessions! That would be fun. I am thinking perfume might rate highly... ;)

Jayne said...

Hi Martin! Thanks for sharing - I have already dashed to your blog, love your answers!