Today I have been mostly writing a short story called Lamppost Man. I got the idea when I was walking up Queens Rd and saw a man in a cherry- picker changing the bulb in a lamppost. I hadn’t thought about it before but I guess bulbs in lampposts have to be changed from time to time, same as any other bulbs, and it set me thinking about the people who do this job and how they are like the lamplighters of today. I wasn’t sure where I was going with the story but it’s reached a conclusion now, so that’s all good. I shall probably send it off to a magazine soon.
When I’m not writing I love walking around this area and looking at what people do with their gardens. It makes a change from the West End where seasonal varieties include mattresses, swivel chairs, burger cartons and in summer what looks like the entire furniture of the house thrown into the front garden. Here, people go in for trees, shrubs and flowers, or possibly patios. There is one house that has a dead swivel chair next to the bin, but it’s the exception not the rule.
Last night I watched ‘Ladies in Lavender’, a very moving historical film about two sisters living in Cornwall between the wars. One day a body mysteriously washes up on the beach: it turns out to be a young Polish man. They look after him while he recovers but one of them develops an unhealthy attachment to him.
There’s brilliant acting from Judi Dench and Maggie Smith, with Miriam Margoyles supporting. Go watch.