Wednesday, April 11, 2007

It's four in the morning, as the old song goes. I think it may be Leonard Cohen......outside my hotel room is a tower with the city's radio frequency in yellow lights, below is the pizza place, Ask, picked out in red neon, where I ate last night. I can't find a way of turning the air conditioning off and it's keeping me awake. There are six pillows on the bed. Whoever needs six pillows? The wifinetworks here are mostly password controlled and the hotel I'm staying in charges a small fortune for internet access in the room, which astonishes me, given what the room must be costing. I'm not paying, but I resent lining the pockets of opportunists. This truly is where the word fleece seems appropriate.

I meant to save a piece in the Indy the other day on Ian Hamilton Finlay. It was celebrating some of his neon work. I had no idea he worked in neon and was delighted to see his monostitches mentioned. There's a wonderful poem of his called Ring of Nets and of course, the other lovely one is Blue Sail (I think that's the title).

Sitting on the tube on my way to Euston yesterday I was wondering what lives my children will have when they're independent. Whether they'll have all the emotional resources they need. Someone once said to me that leaving, going away, was like dying. I can see that, in one way but I think it might be flawed.

Anyway, I'm alive and in Liverpool but so far have only seen it in the dark. The station is grand, though, and has a sense of arrival, of occasion, its two massive clocks greeting you with the time, its two domed roofs showing off their girders. I'm looking forward to seeing the city's Georgian streets. Many years ago I came here and was taken around Toxteth and Granby. I was writing about race equality at the time. Liverpool 8 was a pretty angry place and with good reason.

I've brought the book The People of the Sea by David Thomson with me. It explores the legends of the selkies - seal women. It's a while since I read it. I'll enjoy re-reading. I'll enjoy seeing the sea again. This air conditioning makes me wonder if I am actually on the earth or maybe this hotel room is a capsule and everything around me is a hologram.

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