Archived entries for Denrele - test

Day 6 – Denrele

Wake up late (almost 10). Have to be in North London for 12 for a Christmas crafts day/saturday lunch with friends.

Am now very aware that I am yet to pack and a sort of low level panic has set in. I really hate packing. I really hate moving and yet this seems to be the only thing I’ve been doing this year. I have moved 3 times this year already and I still can’t get the hang of it.

I’m too distracted to even remember to do my morning pages and abandoning my usual routine at weekends doesn’t help. Instead I’m straight to faffing on the computer. Then I head towards North London. It’s a cold day but sunny. I left the bike at work last night so I’m taking public transport.

Crafts and lunch go well but I’m a bit distracted and jittery. Nothing feels right today and I cannot settle. Head back to South London around 5.30, stop along the way to pick up the bike from work and am back home before 7.

I start pulling things together and packing them away. I realise I have no empty boxes but I decide I’ll just chuck things in bin bags instead. I don’t care. I just want to clear the room.

I am such a hoarder. No matter how empty handed I am when I enter a space I always leave feeling that I have filled the space with junk. This is no different. I don’t understand why I am constantly surrounding myself with junk. I don’t even like clutter and I’m forever admiring those people who keep a clear desk and somehow manage to be tidy and organised. I decide that once I’ve moved into the new space, I will be better at keeping it clear. But I always say that. Sigh.

Pack some more then take a break to watch Spooks on the iplayer.

Feel really sleepy. Switch off computer and get to bed. It’s 12.30. I’ve not done any writing today. No meditation.

Day 5- Denrele

Another early morning start as am meeting up for send off breakfast with work colleagues. Do my usual morning stuff then head out to Cafe. It’s a nice thing to do on a Friday morning before work. It would be great if we did this every week but this is a special occasion as someone on the team is leaving for a different job.

Breakfast is done by about 9.30 and the work day begins. It’s a really slow day. I’m not much in the mood for work. I’m moving on Sunday and I’m preoccupied with all the stuff I need to do. I haven’t even called the van man yet to confirm moving times and I haven’t even begun to pack. Too much to do and my procrastination reflex is kicking in.

After work I head out to an observatory in Mill Hill. A friend who is into astronomy has arranged this and I’m looking forward to looking through huge telescopes and seeing some stars.

As it turns out, the night sky is so cloudy today that we only get to see the surface of the moon. Mildly disappointing but I’m in good company.

We grab dinner and talk about life, the universe and everything. Head back home.

I usually like Friday night because with weekends come the luxury of bucking my routine, catching up on programmes, sleeping late. Today, I’m bone tired but determined to just spend time in tv fantasy land.

All in all Friday is a bit of a write-off. Nothing get’s done. No packing, no daily discipline, no meditation. Bit blah really.

Day 4 – early start

Wake up naturally a minute before my alarm goes off at 6.30am. I have an early morning press preview in the West End before work, so I’m anxious to get the day started. Do usual morning pages, tea, fag, ablutions thing and hit the road at about 8. Get to my preview around 8.40. I’d aimed there for 8.30. No matter.

The preview goes well, there’s plenty to see and the very enthusiatsic PR person walks me through the entire collection, while also telling me about exciting developments which I sadly cannot share on the blog yet. Also  talk to the brand proprietor who is also a keen cyclist, so lots to talk about. I had allotted 30 minutes for the preview but I only managed to escape and hour later.

Cycle like the furies to work. Am late. Again. Shit. Still no reprisals from the boss. I feel all sorts of guilty but launch into my tasks for the day. Not really much to do, so it’s mostly a faff of a day. As we reach the end of the year, things are clearly slowing down and although I still have projects to manage it’s treacle slow getting anything done.

Lunchtime is the bacon bagel and I sit in again and look through my goodie bag from the preview and flip through the lookbook. I ran out of tea this morning and there in my goodie bag is a lovely pack of ten organic morning tea bags. Perfect. I take this as a sign of cosmic provision. It’s all good and there will be tea tomorrow.

The rest of the day goes by quickly. I’m still phone-less so I’m relying on emails from friends and making plans the old fashioned way – designated meeting place, designated time – to get me through. I send a few last minute emails to Naomi who I am meeting later at a reading at the Whitechapel gallery. And another friend who I am meeting tomorrow for a trip to the observertory to see the stars.

I leave my desk a little after five and manage to do my daily discipline till a little after six. Then it’s back on my bike and on my way to Whitechapel. I’d almost cancelled this trip as I was knackered and I though the ride to East London and then back to the house would be a mare. But I tend to challenge these notions of what I don’t feel like doing, so I decide to at least make an effort. As it turns out the bike ride is the best thing about the night. The readings do not go well. The audience is dry and uncommunicative and this makes the poets jittery. These are good poets but there is just no connection. One poet doesn’t even bother to intro her peices but burns through her short and evocative poems at the rate of knotts, barely stopping for breath, let alone applause. I find it hard to care and am finding it hard to stay awake.
I leave during the interval.

I decide that if you are going to do a reading you have to at least attempt to carry your audience with you otherwise don’t bother. This is a lesson. I need to practice performance more. With that in mind I decide that I will do some open mics in the near future to try out new work and practice my technique. I’ve also decided that it is well worth the extra effort to memorise a few pieces. There is something about the removal of all extraeneous matter from a performance that makes you inhabit a poem more and give a better performance. I will have to try out this theory. We’ll see.

I get home around 10, fully intending to write my log for the day but I’m hungry and there’s no food in the fridge. I settle on tea and five oreos. These do not fill me up but the hunger pangs subside and it’s too late for a full on cooking session.

Get to my room, switch on my computer and settle down to watch a programme. Remember to check out a a short animated documentary that I found while web surfing at work earlier in the day. It’s called Ryan and is a beautifully conceived piece about creativity, genius, negativity and how they can all impinge on each other. Watch it. It’s gorgeous.

It’s past 12 when I finally finish my web sesh. I make a show of meditating, lying down on my back. I probably only get 5 minutes of real focus then it’s gone. I’m too tired and have another early start in the morning. So I give up and just let myself fall asleep.

Day 3 – the one where I skip a day

I came late to the party, so although this is officially my first log apart from my intro, I’m calling it my day 3 log entry.

Today I woke up late. When I say late, I mean 7.15 am. For me this is  late. I usually wake up naturally before or by the alarm at 6.30. This messes up my routine. The reason for all this is that over the weekend I lost my phone and all my contacts and photos therein. Trying to get another one from Orange was like pulling teeth and in a fit of pique I cancelled my account. I am actually quite relieved. They were treating that phone contract like a license to print money and I was done with it. Losing my phone was probably the universe’s way of telling me to cut those thieves loose. But here’s my dilemma. I am sans phone – which effectively means I have not only lost my main mode of communication but my watch, my diary and my alarm clock.

To compensate, I downloaded an an apple alarm clock app that is supposed to gently beep me awake in the morning. I think this is a good idea. It works fine the first few days then it starts going nuts. Yesterday it hacked into my itunes files and wakes me by blaring dance music at me at ever increasing frequencies. It will not allow me to press the snooze button. I switch off my computer. Today it just didn’t bother to come on at all. This alarm clock app blows. And that is why I wake up late.

Still I do my usual thing – reach under the pillow, pull out my writing pad and my pen and begin my morning pages. A little digression/note about morning pages: If you’ve read the artists’ way then you’ll know that morning pages is one of the mainstays of the practice. You get up in the morning and write three full uncensored pages – or the rough equivalent of 30 mins worth – of anything that comes to mind. You do it first thing after you wake up. That’s when it’s most effective.

This isn’t journaling. This is catching your subconscious unawares. If you do it right, the things that your mind throws up in those first few minutes after waking will surprise and give you insight into the stuff that your mind tries to protect you from so that you can be a fully functioning human being. At it’s heart, I suppose it’s a form of meditation, except instead of attempting to clear your mind and focus, you are noting down all the stuff that your mind is emptying out. It is essentially a mind dump.

I have been doing this religiously for the past 9 months now and it has become a practice and I can see the benefits but some days are harder than others. Sometimes my mind wanders and tries to impose a linear narrative on what is a random outpouring. Sometimes the process fills me with joy, other times I cry. Sometimes I’m full of anger and self loathing. Whatever it is that is at the root of me that needs to be outed for the day, it comes out in my morning pages and that is why I try never to miss a day.

After morning pages I switch on the radio and half listen to the today programme while having a fag and drinking my tea. I come back to my room get radio 4 up on the iplayer then check my emails. I shouldn’t be doing this. It is a bad idea to settle into an email check when I should be getting ready for work on a day when I am already running late. I do another stupid timewasting thing. I pull up an addictive little computer game involving setting various permutations of coloured dice to score points. This sucks up 30 more minutes of time that is already in deficit but I really need to sit and do nothing and I’m already late, so this is what I do.

By the time I take a shower, get dressed, get on the bike and head out, it’s already 9 o’clock – which is officially start time for work. I’m usually out of the house between 8 and 8.30. It takes about 25 minutes at full tilt to get to work. The air is clear and crisp and the sun is out. It’s a good cycle. By the time I’m parked and locked up and at my desk it’s 9.35. Luckily my current manager is lenient and not one of those crazy clockwatchers. Lucky me. Strange thing is, I actually prefer to get to work earlier, so I can take some time to just settle into my desk before the day’s work begins but I seldom get to do it. I grab breakfast – cereal, which I always keep at my desk to remind myself to eat something healthy in the morning. Read through my emails, check through my task list, faff about a bit and soon enough it’s lunchtime.

I check through my gmail account, order my emails. Gmail makes it easy to organise my emails. I have various labels and sub-folders into which go things for the blog, press invites and releases, stuff from friends, newsletters and alerts. I often hear people complain about too many emails but I have never had that problem. Possibly because I am a crazy email sorting machine or probably because I just don’t get as many emails as everyone else.I see Jacob’s email about the new blog and check it out. It looks interesting so I copy and paste the pages into a word document and print it out to read during lunch

For lunch, I grab a bacon bagel, freshly made from the cafe down the road. Usually I’ll eat at my desk, while checking out facebook and twitter and posting to the blog. Today I’m sitting in so that I can read the pages I’ve printed. The bagel is tasty. I enjoy it and will probably be ordering it again for the next few weeks. When I eat something I like  I have to keep eating it until I’m sick of it. On the way back in to work I have another cigarette. The wind is blowing a gale. It’s cold and I am shivering. I’m standing in the cold swaddled in layers, shivering and smoking. I must look like an idiot.

Back at work I burn through my task list and am done by 3. I spend the rest of the day checking and responding to emails both work-related and personal. I write my intro post to this blog. I write a post to my blog. I make tea, shoot the breeze with my colleagues. Some time after 5 I head out towards Baker street for a fashion press preview. I haven’t had time for my daily discipline. I feel a bit guilty about this but I don’t want to get to this preview late. I take the tube because I’m no sure how far Baker street is and I don’t feel like cycling there. I leave the bike at work.

The preview is predictable, Dj in a corner, photographers, fashion types milling about. Various bits of amuse bouche, clothing racks, lined against the walls. I check out the collection, take a few notes, drink a couple of glasses of champagne, talk to a few faces I recognise. Have an interesting chat with a stylist I’ve just met, then head back south. I stop by work to pick up the bike and ride it back home.

Back home plonk myself in front of the computer. Check to see if there are any new Dr Who programmes on the Iplayer. Not yet, but there’s an animated series so I watch that instead. It’s entertaining. I grab some food from the fridge  – this usually consists of some sort of carb, protein, green vegetable and pepper combo. I usually cook of up a vat and reheat it out of the fridge till it’s finished. For the last three days it’s been, rice with kidney beans, prawns, broccoli, spinach, sweet peppers, onions and garlic and scorching hot habaneros. I eat while checking more emails. Read a few blogs, then settle down to write today’s log. After this I shall meditate and then go to bed. It’s already gone midnight. I’m trying to train myself to sleep for no more than 6 hours a night. I read somewhere that sleep cycles take about 90 minutes each so as long as you wake having finished a complete sleep cycle then you’ll awake refreshed. 6 hours is four sleep cycles. I reckon that should be enough for anyone.

Introduction (warning: I have a tendency to ramble)

Hi I’m Denrele, blogger, writer, poet, working drone for “da man”. I do it all, baby. So why am I here? Well that could take pages to answer but for propiety’s sake, I’ll keep it brief. After around a 3 year hiatus from writing (a period during which I loathed pen and page with an insane and vigorous fervour), I started up again in March. I jumped in the deep end by taking the infamous 30/30 poetry challenge on Facebook and I loved it. I’ve been writing regularly ever since.

This past year has gone by in blur of intense introspection, change and growth. I don’t rightly know where I’m going but it has been one hell of a ride so far and it is far from over. I am currently in a period of cultivating discipline. This includes exercising regularly, eating consciously, and living attentively. Or in other words becoming a commuting cyclist (have wheels, will travel), watching what’s going into my mouth and what it does or doesn’t do for me, a routine of morning pages everyday and meditation before bedtime.

I sound fantastic don’t I? I am not.  It is hard work. I do it because it helps so much and I would be in real trouble without it. It’s a survival thing. I do these things to live. Really.

Okay, apart from that I run a daily blog (I use the term “daily” losely) on fashion called dressed and pressed. I am trying to post a week in advance so that I actually have some breathing space, should I need it. It’s not going great but it’ll get better. I recently signed up for a short story writing course at the City Lit which I start in January. I cannot wait.

In the meantime, I resolved to keep my hand in by doing a “daily discipline” thing that involves me taking an hour each day after work before I head home to do some fiction and/or poetry writing. It is an attempt to poke my all-too-vocal inner critic in the eye. I’m not aiming for perfection in these hour-long moments more a sort of productiveness.
I figure producing something (anything) is better than being stuck in writers’ block limbo. It’s working for me so far. I am just enjoying putting pen to paper writing preposterous and highly illogical storylines, conjuring characters and places… You know, having fun. And building that routine muscle that little bit more.

On top of all this, I also have a social life. I go out a lot. I have junkets to attend, gigs and exhibitions to see, theatre and movies to watch. Then there’s the day job. 9 to 5 every week day I work a contract as a Digital Project Manager/ Web Manager/ Editor. I like having a day job. It helps me hone my people skills (believe me I need it. Ask Jacob. Heh!) My current project runs till the end of the year and I’ve resolved to take January off. I can afford it and contract work is always at a low ebb in January.

I think it would be more productive all round if I just take that time to think about what I want to do next and not waste it worrying about where the next job is coming from because if there is one thing I’ve learned in my not so short working life, it’s this: there is always work. Always. Even in the middle of recession. It might not be the work that you want to do but there is always something that needs doing and someone who will pay you to do it. And in the downtime between jobs you are better served by keeping yourself doing the stuff that you really want to do. That’s the precious time. That’s the time that we all work hard to earn money to buy.

So anyway, veering off topic somewhat… Yeah. I’m looking forward to keeping a journal of my daily doings. Mostly because I need a reminder that I am actually doing stuff and that I am not just a useless, ageing waste of space. But I also like the idea of a community of writers coming together to share process. I’ve read all your posts so far and I have really enjoyed them and I look forward to reading more. And there you have it. My intro. Accounts of my days to follow soon.



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