In the Hole

It’s not an opaque reference to something freaky.

I went to see Emily Chappell talk about her new book and it was brilliant. She used a simple structure, talked about food and bike riding and spent lots of time chatting to her many fans, which was very nice. I caught up with other friendly folk like Vilas. It was definitely a room full of endurance people and I felt a bit out of my depth.

Emily asked how the book was going,  and I think I said something along the lines of ‘it’s hard right now, I’m trying to bring it all together and finish some bits and work through the themes and the really annoying bits which don’t write themselves’. She asked, really nicely, ‘are you in the hole?’ or maybe it was a gentle statement, ‘you’re in the hole’, either way, it was hole-related and it summed up the vortex.

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Essentially, it’s in my head every waking hour of the day, as though my brain is working on a puzzle. I have to stop and write things down, or pull over when driving. I now have fragments of bits of things EVERYWHERE. This is my mind. When I talk about it I get a bit stuck, sometimes even teary – and I have no idea why this is. Lots of strange, intense and inchoate emotions suddenly appear. I’m not sure what I’m tapping into with this book but I think there are definitely more than a few layers of journeys, and there are going to be some more tears. It just makes me seem weird and slightly unhinged in conversation, and I’m sure it’s why I didn’t get a job I applied for recently: because I’m going mental working on a mental book and it was self-evident.

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So tell us why you want the job?

I went to Preston on Saturday to do the last-but-one interview with Gethin Butler. I was really nervous because in my research he seemed quite guarded. It was needless, he went straight to the top of my list of lovely people to interview. I am excited to write this chapter. We had some straight up brilliant teacher-talk as well. LOLZ.

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I have some super photos to put in the text. These are great. The one above isn’t one of them but does show Gethin going vollgaz on a bike that looks too small.

Lastly, this came in:

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