It feels like a bit of an in between time at the moment. Before something starts. Before the cogs begin to whir and and wheels begin to turn. Before an event of significance happens.
Somehow, I find myself in Leeds, in the north of England. Living in a residential area filled with chavs, small aggressive dogs and hyperactive children called Kane and Kyle.
I feel like I'm preparing, getting ready for something important. Or maybe it is just nice to tell myself that, to justify this downtime, this isolation from seemingly normal everyday existence.
I have spent some time thinking about Buddhism and I want to know more.
I have spent some time pondering Polyamory and I would like to investigate further.
And I suspect that I spend more time than most ruminating on the best way to play two overcards, in a shorthanded Limit Texas Hold'em game, when you've been just been check-raised by an aggressive opponent on the flop.
Poker player Andy Black spent five years at a Buddhist retreat before returning to the game and finishing fifth in the 2005 World Series of Poker.
When Joe Strummer hibernated, he went and holed up in Paris where he ran the marathon (whilst smoking).
Some say that Richey Edwards, guitarist with the Manic Street Preachers, has never stopped hibernating.
Me? Well what am I doing? Sometimes I ask myself the same question.
I drink tea. I eat pasta. I watch films at the local arthouse cinema. I try and fail each month to attend the local crime book group and schedule an induction at the gym. I scrutinise and analyse poker hands and strategies with the concentration and alertness of a chess grandmaster. I visit towns and cities in the north of England - once I may even take a camera with me. I listen to Faith No More. I avoid contact with people who I've worked for before, so as not to have to reject the offer of paid work. Most of all I enjoy the time, space and freedom afforded to me by my current circumstances.
I don't expect any rockstar has ever spent a lengthy and fruitful period of time ensconced on a council estate in Leeds. But my friend tells me that the Sisters of Mercy's offices are based nearby, in a rundown industrial area. Well they haven't released and album for 19 years and I expect the rent is cheaper there.
As the snow falls, I lie on my bed, feeling the springs digging into my back and gaze over the panoramic view of West Leeds offered by my bedroom window. The pristine white vista is only broken by the glisten of the barbed wire that surrounds the derelict mill building which was earmarked to be turned into apartments, a plan now mothballed due to the credit crunch. And I wonder if this scene will make it into my biography. Somehow I doubt it and the writer, who will be trying to piece together my life after I turned him/her down for interview, will skip to the part where I became successful at _______.
That would be a mistake because this time is important too. I can feel it.