3 November 2002
So why do I want to write a weblog? (Sorry, but I can't call it a blog - not yet, at least, perhaps not ever. Ugly word...)
Partly it's unreconstructed vanity, I suppose, that indescribable pleasure of talking about oneself; but there are more serious issues afoot. This is an important and a testing time for me, and I would quite like to have a record of the next few months; a commitment to regular entries here could ensure that I keep one. So if I end up talking only to myself and about myself, that still serves a purpose.
More important still, of course, I can talk about the cats. And cooking, and books. Which, in and around the writing, are my principal pleasures - excluding friends, because I'm not sure yet how ethical it is to talk about my friends.
Trouble with being ethical is that it's almost impossible to talk sensibly about a writer's life - at least, this writer's life - without talking about friends. The wretched creatures are almost omnipresent, certainly whenever anything interesting is going on. This weekend, for example: I went to Carlisle to stay with my friend Susan, who had organised a reading by my friend Toby Litt. Is it ethical to say so, to talk about it, to give them a presence in my diary without their consent? I'm not sure; but I am damn sure that I'm not going to run around asking everyone I meet for permission to record their place in my life. It needs thinking about, but it needs a solution, or this could be a very dull diary.
Ethical or not, I will say this: that Susan made me cook. They all do that. Bizarrely, I'm grateful for it. At the start of this year someone asked me what I was doing for my birthday. I said I was having half a dozen people round for dinner, which would demand several days of planning, shopping and cooking. She could not understand, she could not be made to understand how this was a favourite way to celebrate anything. But it is.
Improvising out of a friend's store cupboards is almost as good, though. I usually come home with something worth remembering; this time it was a mushroom, leek and sour cream sauce for pasta. The leeks give just a little greenness to the flavour - not the acerbity of celery, but something more assertive than the complaisance of an onion.
Oh, and there's another reason for a weblog. What better chance to be pompous? 'The complaisance of an onion', for crying out loud...
© Chaz Brenchley 2002
Reproduced here by permission of Chaz Brenchley, who asserts his moral right to be identified as the author of this work.