Category Archives: procrastination

The Kingfisher rests; the Kingfisher gathers. #digiwri

It’s afternoon already. I haven’t even had time to procrastinate productively yet.

I slept long. I’d driven home late after teaching a night class, up top across the Long Causeway through Pennine Moors where you don’t see another soul for miles, was swallowed invisible in the fog, disorientated turns and curves in the daily familiar road. Slow: headlights impenetrable. Late BBC Radio show on subject of ‘Rest’. How people rest, what it means – some claim rest by sports, one by socialising without purpose, some by breathing…me, reading. One card japes “I find writing restful.”

I think he means stressful.

When I spun down the lanes to the bottom of the valley, I found my route closed by midnight road workers. I abandoned my car, walked empty terraced streets dimmed by Yorkshire Ripper-lighting, by a gurgling river, by derelict “dark satanic mills”. I reached home and slept. My fitbit, charging, missed a trick: a 9 hour stint I can’t ever repeat.

So far today, I’ve walked the muddy Rochdale canal, where I caught sight of a Kingfisher. A good omen. Usually, rarely, they zip by, low on the water and all you catch is a disappearing flash of electric blue and orange, a Firefox blur which seems impossible in this murk. It paused on a tree, smaller than I imagine them to be. I wanted it to take flight as a semblance of metaphor, but it resided in pause, studying the Autumn midges, the staid canal, perhaps eyeing me: ‘Get on with it, man. That doctorate won’t write itself.’ But ‘A poor life this, if full of care, we have no time to stand and stare…’?

I collect the car; get down to work. I use artificial light at midday. I put the heating on for a blast.

Right. Writing. Here I go. Relaxing, resting. Hmm, some coffee. OK, back to it.

Whose dog is that, incessantly barking somewhere? Not a distressed bark – more a ‘Trying to write, Howard?’ bark.

Hmm. Editing, then?

Oh, e-mails, alerts, distractions. Switch off. Builders across the road. Digging noisy hecks of phlegm into the street. More coffee. Lunch…? No. Now…where…? Yes, so Kim: “…knowledge is  a human product and is socially and culturally constructed. Individuals create meaning through their interactions and the environment they live in.” (Kim, 3: 2001)…

God, whose dog is that?


Oh this is good background music.

Is that the Beach Boys? An odd context, Autumn indoors in Yorkshire. Nope, Jan and Dean. Oh..

What the …12pm? How? Hmmm, wonder what that Kingfisher is up to now? Should I get some air…? Take a walk? No, no…focus.

Cat strays in, bothering for bits of tids and affection. OK, mog. OK, purr, purr. Surf. Oh, hey, that’s an interesting job/post/Tweet. Damn, bread’s ready. Sorry Huxley (protest mewl). Student messages, requests. No, not now. No, must.

Oh, targets. But first, maybe a quick look at #digiwrimo see if I can make sense of it….hmmm, got an idea..

Write about everything. Now. Sounds. Sights. Thoughts. Write for the next 5 minutes. Soak it in. Illustrate your place.


This 5 minutes, this affordance of creative indulgence, allow it to interrupt the day, allow some presence and pause.

Then, pass it on.

Then, thesis…




Filed under procrastination, writing