Sweeney Sparrow

Nice Life

© Rhian Bowley

Realised this morning that, until today, my brain has always merged Sweeney Todd and Jack the Ripper into the same person. My brain clearly has a compartment for Gory English Murderers from Olden Times and it’s squished them both together. It’s only when I googled Jack before writing this & wondered why wikipedia didn’t refer to the hairdressing that I realised what my brain had done. The internet also says that Sweeney is fictional?! Pshaw. Next thing you know they’ll be saying Jack Sparrow isn’t real, either.

(You know I write fantasy, not history, right?)

Anyway, that’s a roundabout way of saying that I’ve had a great week and it started in Brick Lane, overlooking the spot where Jack (Ripper, not Sparrow) is said to have murdered Elizabeth Stride. That was the view from the flat I stayed at on Saturday, visiting a friend in London. I confess that as soon as she said goodnight and left me on the sofabed I snuck over to the curtains and peered out, imagining Johnny Depp beneath my window, slashing away with those scissor hands of his. Goodnight, Johnny. Please don’t murder me in my sleep.

I survived, and proceeded to eat my bodyweight in street food at the Sunday market – dumplings, kitchoori, ackee & saltfish, ethiopian salad, jamaican goat curry – I was too full for cake afterwards. A personal first.

Our amble along the Thames (kept referring to it as the Taff – whoops) coincided with a blimp flying* past Tower bridge and I thought I was in Fringe’s alternate universe. Yes, I basically spent the weekend pretending imaginary men were real. They do say that travel expands one’s creativity. And that was the point of my trip – to get away from home for a while, then come back all refreshed & write write write.

It worked. I’m writing faster than I ever have before and getting right into the heart of the story. This possibly helped by the death of my iphone last week (I drowned it. whoops. knocked a glass of water onto it in my sleep) – not being able to go on the internet at any moment is definitely good for my focus. Plan is to finish this draft by the end of next week – gulp – wish me luck! Send me words. Lots of words. Not adverbs though, they are Frowned Upon.

(*Do blimps fly? that seems to vigorous a word for their stately fatness).



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