Tickets To The Devil*

“I have to write the blog,” I say to the parentals, on arrival at our hotel.  It’s the little Art Deco establishment where we spent a night earlier in the week.

“Don’t you want a bath?  Or to change for dinner?” Mum says, gazing at my pink dress.  Have been sleeping in it in the car all day.

“No, I can’t,” I say.  “Have to write the blog.”

The anxiety about not-having-written-today’s-blog has been building ever since waking up from this afternoon’s sleep.  The wren flutters down my throat and into my stomach.  There’s nothing for it but to knuckle down to some writing.

So, I’m sitting in the charming courtyard of the hotel, drinking a glass of chilled Bordeaux something.    There are window boxes of red geraniums behind me and olive trees and oleanders in pots scattered around the garden.   Collared doves sit on nearby aerials and the buildings have red chimney pots.  It’s so pretty here.  We could be in an Agatha Christie novel.  Perhaps the door to the courtyard will open and Hercule Poirot himself will mince across the floor, put his handkerchief on a chair and sit across from me, adjusting his white gloves.

The door to the hotel kitchen is open and there is a rumble of machinery.  Am not sure what: maybe a dishwasher.  French pop music plays on a radio in the kitchen.

The panther lies on the sofa next to me, grooming himself.  He rasps his flank with his rough tongue.

Now that I’m writing something, the wren stops flapping her wings.  My mind is calmed by the action of getting-some-words-down.  As a creative writing tutor once told me: “People spend lots of money on therapy to talk about why they’re not writing, but the only cure for writer’s block is to write, everyday if you can.”

The parentals have just descended upon my quiet writing space.  Had better finish this and converse with them, if want any supper…

Attached photo is a beautiful place where we stopped for lunch on the way here.

Happy Friday everyone!

*1968.  By Richard P. Powell.  Novel set in the fictional Xanadu hotel in the late 1960s, following a group of characters competing in a duplicate bridge event.


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