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Writing Piffle
By Chris Chapman
September, 2007, 14:59

Alcohol may induce creative brilliance, but in the re-read a lot of drivel is written.
In days far gone, I always found that basking half-submerged in a bath, smoking a very large herbal cigarette, was a wonderful way of starting off the old grey cells. In the meantime, my fiasco (a far better description of my wife-to-be than fiancée) would sit on the loo seat, drink half a case of brown ale, and take notes of my creative thinking.
The herbal induced creativeness, aided by the extraordinary thought processes inspired by the brown ale, would yield story lines of unimaginable drivel.

And yet…and yet, out of the plethora of scribbled, hardly decipherable notes, there was nearly always the germ of an idea that blossomed, nay sprang, into the most marvellous story line or passage of prose. A piece that even a certain Mr P.G Wodehouse might well have ticked as sportsmanlike.

This bath was always taken at four in the afternoon, after the compulsory two-hour postprandial nap, and mandatory bottle of wine. The evening was spent decoding the aforementioned notes and bashing away at an old Remington with another bottle or two of the grape and Duke Ellington or similar burbling away in the background. The night usually finished in a self-induced coma, caused, in part, by resorting extensively to Mr Roget's lovely invention that, although having no story line, at least explained every word as one went along.

The cold light of morning always brought an air of sober thought into the proceedings when the past night's scribblings were analysed and put into some sort of order. This was when, if the nicotine and caffeine levels were up to par, the convoluted story lines showed their true colours. The ideas, those that seemed plausible, were rewritten into a state of semi-comprehensibility.

At midday the first of the wine corks flew across the room, indicating luncheon. Soon after the body had been refuelled, a horizontal pose was affected affording the mind the same sort of replenishment. Upon waking, we’d fill the bath and the whole process started over again.

This mode or method of artistic creation can go on for months if not years. Indeed, when you are imbued with this way of life, birthdays, Christmases, New Years and all other holidays go by without a murmur. You don't notice them and certainly don't miss them.

Now the problem with this wonderful mode of writing bestsellers, blockbusters, and what have you, was the fact that at some time you had to go out and shop for replenishment, i.e. food and wine, not to mention brown ale. It completely spoiled the thought processes and threw you off the finely tuned balancing act that the routine had inculcated. The best method of shopping was to send out. If you could not, you made it quick and made sure that the thought processes were ticking over somewhere in the dark recesses of the cranium.

We were married during one of the very few times we ventured out into the wide world, but neither of us can remember the year let alone the date…the twentieth century rings a bell though.
All good things come to an end however. Now we sit in front of a screen and the inspiration comes from surfing the net, and suchlike or in my case the occasional glance at my online bank balance. Depressing, isn't it?
I think I'll take a walk up to the herb garden, run a bath, and write this article.

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Chris Chapman is a retired old codger living in genteel poverty, but with a host of humorous memories stashed away in what resembles a brain, has been writing humorous nostalgia for many years, (Published in too many to remember, but most very forgetful) coupled with a load of funny stuff accrued from a lifetime wandering around the globe, in a fit of drunken debauchery. Visit or contact Chris:  or

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