Pursuits of a Personal Nature
Which is all well and good if you’re of a gardening ilk.
And there were a couple of kindly souls who’d seek his advice on bug treatment and fertilisation advancements and this would please Gardening Guy no end. Because someone had taken an interest – in his interest. And that, of course, is a nice thing to do.
But behind his back I always saw a rolling of eyes and a sighing of sighs and I vowed never… NEVER to speak of my own personal passion and weekend pursuits EVER.
Especially in the company of the people I worked with. It was bad enough trying to ‘keep it’ from people I lived with and slept with, let alone trying to reveal it to those with whom I spent the majority of my life. Nope, my hobby would remain a figment of my own imagination. Literally.
And now I remember why I felt this way. It’s because the minute you tell somebody you work with that you’ve written a book/are writing a book/intend to write books until your fingers fall off, then you aren’t even met with the well-intentioned looks that Gardening Guy got. There’s a brief pause. (Is it ‘stunned’? I’m never sure. And I’m equally never sure whether to be insulted or flattered by this stunned pause). Followed by a widening of the eyes and a rising of the eyebrows and then you know precisely where this is going:
“So what’ve you written?”
And after you’ve explained – without wishing to appear a staggering combination of pompous/useless/deluded – that you haven’t actually had anything published… yet… there follows:
“Oh you SHOULD”
Like it’s a choice. Like it’s something you haven’t thought of having done yourself. Like it’s such a simple, obvious thing to do that it’s taken the Newly Qualified Teacher of PE and Personal Development to inform you of this and why didn’t you think of this before, you MORON!
And this is the point at which the blood begins to heat up very nicely and the stunned pause somehow transmutes from audience to performer and there follows what any writer worth his/her salt would ruefully term a pregnant pause which lasts all of three minutes or until PE/PD Teacher grabs his warm photocopying from the stack and runs off back to his class, totally disinterested in any form of conversation continuance.
Of course if I’d told him I’d spent the weekend with my arm up a cow’s arse in my passionate pursuit of animal husbandry, I bet news of my 'novel' endeavours would have been round the staffroom like a dose of Andrews.
Sometimes it’s best just to say nowt.