So here I am, in Amsterdam. midnight, troughing on a cookie the hotel kindly gave me when I arrived earlier, and drinking extremely milky tea. I am here to hold some business meetings and watch the football and I have achieved both those goals. My many colleagues are all out on the town doing what young men do and I, well I am here, blogging because this is what this young man does. I have to ask myself why? What is it about the allure of a set of streets loaded with sweets that I found so unappealing? I think for me the answer is in the word ‘romance.’ My view of the world is all about the squeezing out the sucker so that it oozes over me with excitement and joy. Somehow a young girl in a shop window looking as alluring as she can to attract me through her door is as far away from my ideal of romance as it is possible to be. But that is just me. I really want to stress here I have no problem with people who walk the streets or sit behind those alluring doors – it is just not for me. That’s all. 

I am thinking out loud. It is late after all and I type with the haunting beauty of Campbell and Lanegan singing ‘No Place to Fall’ and I feel at one – me with my hands on a keyboard in a foreign city but somehow connected to those I love the most through this medium of communication that sets me free as a bird.

Over the last few weeks Cute Cheeks and I have had the most amazing fortune to see some live music of the highest calibre including two of the most ear caressing beauty in Kate Walsh and then Creosote and Hopkins. I laugh at the joy in that. Good times. And this, my dear blogging readers is the rub of it all, that we choose our life to lead in the way that suits us best and then we lead it. I often feel the pressure from others to live my life in their way but tonight, probably especially as I have swum against a tide, I say no to others and yes to me! I will do as I see fit for me and then, and just possibly, I might find more of myself and therefore fly. And I do want to, fly that is.

As I walked back to the hotel tonight, down quiet dark streets in Amsterdam on my own and not entirely sure where I was going, I felt no fear. I felt only elation. I was free. 

It is this sense of freedom that Amsterdam gave me this night, not because of the obvious streets, but rather those that I chose to walk down alone. Oh yes – I like those streets and I intend to walk them some more. In so doing I may just find a little bit more of myself and there, I will find more for my writing, for On Ashover Hill, for The Birthday Gift, my poetry, and my next book, The Conversation.

I will walk. I must walk. I have much to find out.