Just keep adding the layers …  I do wonder what it is that is stopping me from turning on my electric blanket and climbing straight back under the covers?  Am I nuts?  There’s nobody here.  I feel exhausted and the driving wind and rain battering the windows is doing nothing to strengthen my resolve.  It’s Friday, though, and that timetable in my head is relentless.  So, here I am, at my desk, obediently committing my thoughts to paper – or a screen.  Anyone brave enough to read them?

Pathetic fallacy. Two words I learned in school which I have never forgotten.  Seemingly incongruous, together – literally – their meaning is obscure.  However, that quirkiness, shall we say, is exactly what I like.  A recognised literary term, apparently, its origins go back to 1856 when it was first attributed to an English cultural critic, John Ruskin.  Be prepared at all times!  Who’s to say that that question won’t come up in a future episode of Who Wants to be a Millionaire?  Remember I applied, several years back now, when we recorded a drunken video believing it to be hilarious?  Thought I had it in the bag and Jeremy Clarkson was going to love me – or not!  Still no word.  Regardless, I continue to retain the mindset of a future contestant, squirrelling away nuggets of general knowledge which may prove invaluable one day.  One day …  More of that later.

Pathetic fallacy.  Described as the ‘attribution of human emotion and conduct to things found in nature …’.  The weather.  Not a happy bunny!  Angry, depressed, the full quota.  Why not just add to the doom and gloom?  Funnily enough, I often ask myself which I dislike more – being too hot or too cold?  There have been times, in Rome, when I thought I would, gladly, trade the heat and intense humidity for the cooler climes of home but not anymore.  Yes, one can add another layer, turn up the heating but, ultimately, one cannot erase the grey; brighten the sky.  Someone, please, turn the lights back on …  Turn the Lights back On.  Billy Joel’s first single in seventeen years, have you heard it?  Isn’t it strange that one can be completely oblivious as to how much one has missed something – or someone – until it/he/she reappears in one’s life?  Does that even require a question mark?  Perhaps, not.  More of a statement.  See what over-thinking does?  Who am I kidding?  Most cannot even be bothered to use a capital at the beginning of a sentence anymore, let alone possess any inkling about the distribution of commas!  Focus …

Billy Joel.  That voice.  Those songs.  Touch the heart, why don’t you …  In a class of his own, always was.  It’s forty-five years, now, since I saw him at the Usher Hall in Edinburgh: 21st February, 1979.  I just paused, there, to open the old blanket box beneath the window and check that the freezer bag containing my cherished ticket stubs is still there.  Phew!  Billy Joel, Chris Rea (1979) and Dire Straits (1980), among others.  Both Billy Joel and Dire Straits cost £3.50!  My God, you can’t even buy a glass of wine for that today, never mind such wonderful memories …  Billy Joel was a rising star, back in February 1979, having just released his album, The Stranger.  Nineteen years old and in second year at uni, we had the best night!  Tweed jacket and white sneakers, he sang five encores, ending with Only the Good Die Young from on top of the piano.  Lucky me!  No such thing as ticket stubs anymore, everything is on your phone.  Photographs and memories.  Nothing tangible.  How sad.  These small, coloured pieces of paper – for that’s all they are – are faded now but remain precious catalysts to so much.

Back to the present – more’s the pity – and it’s still hammering down out there.  17.15, it is dark now; meant to be.  Just referring to my notes …  Ah, yes, The Apprentice.  Why?  Why did I start watching it?  Time I shall never get back, it is a microcosm of all that is wrong with the world today!  I blame Becca.  She used to watch it and I happened to mention to her that I had recorded the first episode – although, I was leaning towards deletion.  No, no, I pressed ‘play’ and, voluntarily, spent an hour ‘in the company’ of the most arrogant, stupid, egotistical people ever?  No, not ever.  I mean, they are everywhere, now, the intellectually-challenged with the corresponding inflated egos.  Buy one, get one free!  This lot on The Apprentice, however, claim to be the entrepreneurs of the future.  Suffice to say, they have, actually, been through an application process and been accepted!  Is there meant to be a comedic element to this programme?  Of course, there is a nod to the now obligatory quotas as some – though, surprisingly, not all – of the boxes have been ticked.  In possession of a brain?  Granted, not that one; however, let’s not forget that the winner secures the sum of £250,000 and a partnership with Sir Alan Sugar – supposedly.  Come on, he’s nobody’s fool!  Anyway, so bad, it’s entertaining, I admit to having watched Episode 2.  Akin to watching an adaptation of Lord of the Flies on speed – the production, that is – welcome to the worst of human nature.  In short, it’s all about me!

Something Prince Harry has been accused of this week when, on hearing of his father’s cancer diagnosis, he caught the first flight – commercial – over to see him.  Of course, it was headline news as Harry was attacked, once again, for seeking publicity and a means to line his fast-waning purse.  Hang on, though, is there any proof that it was Harry, himself, who alerted the press?  Few more cynical than me, even I am inclined to defend him, here.  Admittedly, he has a damning record, but methinks he is paying a huge price for his mistakes …  Anyway, having flown all that way, his ailing father granted him all of thirty minutes in his company – apparently – before buggering off (pardon my French) to Sandringham.  Loving father seeking reconciliation!!  No room at the inn, Harry was left to spend the night in a hotel before hot-tailing it back to LA.  I’m sorry but Harry comes out of this badly?!  Not in my book.

Rewind and I mentioned One Day at the onset.  An acclaimed book by David Nicholls, to date, it is one which I have never read; however, the film adaptation of 2011 starring Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess … well, it has never left me.  Poignant in the extreme and entirely relatable, much of it was filmed in Edinburgh.  Several pages of my burgeoning quote books are filled with the words of David Nicholl, so evocative; so spot on!  No accolade too great …  Today, I found out that it has now been made into a series, released on Netflix yesterday, I think.  The comments on Instagram are glowing.  Who knew, the world still has a heart.

So they were pen pals now, Emma composing long, intense letters crammed with jokes and underlining, forced banter and barely concealed longing; two-thousand-word acts of love on air-mail paper.  Letters, like compilation tapes, were really vehicles for unexpressed emotions and she was clearly putting far too much time and energy into them.  In return, Dexter sent her postcards with insufficient postage: ‘Amsterdam is MAD’, ‘Barcelona INSANE’, Dublin ROCKS.  Sick as a DOG this morning’.  As a travel writer, he was no Bruce Chatwin, but still she would slip the postcards in the pocket of a heavy coat on long, soulful walks on Ilkley Moor, searching for some hidden meaning in ‘VENICE COMPLETELY  FLOODED!!!!’.’

David Nicholls, One Day.

How did he know?

This is Trish, signing off.