So Mercury is in retrograde right now. It’s a thing.
And it’s not alone out there. Mars, Saturn, Pluto, Jupiter, they’re all in on it too. We’re talking five simultaneous, synchronised planets orbiting backwards around the sun. (Okay so technically they aren’t actually going backwards, but their proximity to the sun makes it look like they are. Or something. Astronomers call this an ‘apparent change’. That’s good enough for me and explains a lot about my life right now).
“Don’t contemplate a life as a writer unless you have a huge appetite for solitude, and more than that, in some sense you are most alive when alone” – Martin Amis
I slip out of town late on a Friday. It’s dinner peak hour at home but Hank waves me off, children clinging to him like barnacles. I’ve packed my laptop and a stack of books and I’m heading west for the Blue Mountains. I’m escaping.
It was 1996. The new boyfriend and I were taking a break from our London jobs and were holed up in a cosy bar in Prague, smoking Camel cigarettes and writing feverishly in our notebooks with the kind of earnest intensity that only twenty-somethings can get away with. New Boyfriend even had a fountain pen (hey it was the nineties). Massive Attack was probably playing on the stereo.