Day 15

5.02 For the first time in fifteen years, David Dimbleby didn’t do Question Time last night after being rendered unconscious by a bullock. This, surely, is an excuse. It sounds like a made up fact, like Moira Stewart only eats Wine Gums; Chris Tarrant actually clockwork.

It turns out that quite a lot of writers have had getting up early routines over the years. The Terry Pratchett line that (in a roundabout way) gave this blog its name probably needs modifying: “No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first, and is waiting for it,” along with a whole pretentious slew of underslept figures from the literary world.

But There Before Light’s real spiritual grandfather is Anthony Trollope, who “woke in darkness and wrote from 5:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m., with his watch in front of him. He required of himself two hundred and fifty words every quarter of an hour. If he finished one novel before eight-thirty, he took out a fresh piece of paper and started the next. The writing session was followed, for a long stretch of time, by a day job with the postal service.”

The postal service: I hope he got the job thanks to the early rising, and the close understanding of the needs and drives, hopes and fears of postmen that it gave him.

6.41: On another subject in which I have an interest, Pakistan has passed a bill regulating organ donation and outlawing the sale of organs. Good for them. Pakistan’s situation gives the lie to my current bete noir, who seems to think impoverished Americans have the right to traffic their own organs in spite of research that finds: “Paid donation, regulated or commercial, leads to coercion and exploitation of the poor and benefits the rich. This situation has forestalled deceased donor program and hence other solid-organ transplants.”

End of rant.

6.59: A morning more of questions than solutions, in fact more of questions which turned out not to have the slightest relevance. Still as the great Bruce Lee realised, “A wise man can learn more from a foolish question than a fool can learn from a wise answer.” Forward then to the weekend, and sleep. To quote the equally-great Dan Quayle, “It’s a question of whether we’re going to go forward into the future, or past to the back.

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~ by David Thorley on November 13, 2009.

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