Reading. The activity, not the town that’s West of London. I guess that when you’re refering to the verb, it’d be an idea not to use the word to start a sentence. That way, you don’t have to start the word with a capital letter, and it’s easy to differentiate between the town and what you do with a book.

Anyway, reading (see? No capital letter, and as I try to be grammatically correct most of the time, you waste less time wondering what I’m banging on about. Until you read this bit. Whoops. Sorry.) It’s something I’ve done a lot of this year. I’ve never been a huge fan of reading before. It’s one of those things where I either love the book I am reading, and it takes over my life as I can’t seem to put it down, meaning late nights in bed reading until silly o’clock and waking up tired, or I find that the book I’m reading is crap and then I feel aggrieved that I’ve spent so much time reading it which is effectively wasted time.

Also, I have a terrible imagination, and if I don’t have some kind of visual imagery in my head (as opposed to what, NON-visual imagery? What a strange saying), I struggle to follow a story. Every book I read, I tend to get half way through and then recognise the name of a character that comes up, but not be able to place who they are or what they do. It wouldn’t be so bad if they weren’t characters that appear several times, at key moments, throughout the story.

This is why I tend to read biographical and auto-biographical books. Reading about Dawn French, for example, is easy. I know what she looks like. And she refers to people I would recognise: Jennifer Saunders, Lenny Henry, Ade Edmonson, Richard Curtis etc. And it’s easy to remember who her dad is in the book as she refers to him as “Dad”. Took a while to work out that “Fatty” was Jennifer Saunders, I’ll admit, but I got there eventually.

There’s only so many books about famous people that you can read though. So I moved on to non famous people. This started with a recommendation from someone at b3ta to read Join Me by Danny Wallace, which is basically a true story about a guy who effectively started his own cult (thanks to me tapping this out on a phone, that was almost “starved” his own cult, thanks to the wonders of predictive text. Still, I guess that would have made a good book too). The cult was a good cult in so much that it got people to do good deeds, though it’s essentially just one man following a silly idea through to the end.

I read this book a couple of weeks after seeing Dave Gormon’s Googlewhack adventure on tv. Now, Dave Gormon has always struck me as the type of person that you’d want to slap if you ever met. One of the “look at me, aren’t I whacky!” brigade. Which, after seeing his dvd, he plainly is. Credit where it’s due though, he was engaging and funny, and his story is a similar thing - following through a silly idea to the end. Funnily enough, Dave Gormon and Danny Wallace used to be flatmates. As in shared a flat, not a reference to their size or shape.

Anyway, their books seemed to stoke up something in me. If they could follow something daft through to the end, and make a bloody book off the back of it, what’s stopping me? Apart from sheer laziness? And procrastination. And a distinct lack of money? And ties to family? And a job? All that aside and I bet we’re quite similar.

Then I picked up a book this morning called One Red Paperclip, which is the story of how one guy traded up from a single red paperclip to his own house. All by just swapping one item for another. I’m only eighty odd pages in at the mo, but again, it’s something that has struck a chord. This guy got his own house. HIS OWN HOUSE. By trading a paperclip for a pen. Then the pen for a door handle. Then the door handle for a BBQ. And so on. What’s to stop me doing that? Apart from everything listed above, again. And the fact that it’s been done once.

And don’t even get me started on SaveKaryn, which was a website a few years back where an American woman got other people to pay off her debt! And it worked!

There must be an idea out there I can use to a) have some fun and b) make some money from. Surely?

One thing is for sure, I spent all weekend indoors this weekend, barring a couple of hours on Sunday when I had the kids and took them out. And what did I do? I watched the comedy drama Love Soup, which was average at best, and remained steadfastly bored as I had nothing to read.

I couldn’t muster up the imagination to write anything, or the creative juices to think of something fun to do, and just sat there annoyed at the fact that I could possibly have written something better than I was watching, and bitter and having sod all to do.

Roll on Christmas, huh?!

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