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The Pram in the Hallway

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  • zilch
    • Aug 2006
    • 644

    The Pram in the Hallway

    Interesting article from the Guardian

    The parent trap: art after children

    Is the pram in the hallway the enemy of good art? Frank Cottrell Boyce, novelist, screenwriter and father of seven, makes the case for chaos
    The most commercially successful British writer (JK Rowling) and the most ferociously inventive (JG Ballard) were both single parents. Edith Nesbit had three children of her own, and then adopted the two that her feckless husband had with his mistress. She founded the Fabian Society, precursor of the Labour party, and still had time to write 60 novels, among them the most purely funny pages in the language.
    I get time to practice my flute at the weekends because my daughter kicks me off my computer so she can watch her Peppa Pig DVDs.
  • Pietro_Mercurios
    Eternal Champion
    • Oct 2004
    • 5801

    i had one of my brothers, his wife, 5 kids, my dad and one of my sisters staying over the weekend so i didn't have time to read the article.

    i did get into kindly-uncle-telling-stories mode so i guess i did exercise my creative juices because of the kids.

    i also got the cool uncle award from the teenagers for wearing ac/dc and camembert electrique t shirts.


    • L'Etranger
      Veteran Moorcockista
      • Dec 2003
      • 4772

      There's something to it, though.
      I had a great success showing my first long documentary at a certain international film festival some 20 odd years ago. Everybody slapped me on the back and potential financers asked me what I had in mind next. The ideal moment to present a proposal and hang on for dear life....
      Err, I had nothing to present having been to busy with brood care that last 8 or 9 months and very exhausted by sleepless nights and adapting to this third person in our "conspiracy to cope with Life".

      I caught up again much, much later, and in a world much changed. But my special field of interest at the time in which I had gained some expertise - Latin America - was pretty low in demand as the Iron Curtain had fallen and the "New East" was the thing to make films about.
      Much, much later I finally compromised by taking up a deskjob (in the same business) when the opportunity came to ensure a more regular pay and regular free time for the two kids we now had. I think most children want regularity in their lives, and care less for the exoticness of dad's job. Mom's was still freaky enough, a mime and performer doing her own comedy shows.

      Another thing with kids in the house is "thinking". You sit somewhere in the house and think - but it looks like you're not doing anything, so they all feel free to engage you in whatever they need that moment. Thank Goodness the Viennese or the Parisians (or the Turks) invented the Café where you can go and sit and drink coffee and think and even write notes ...
      Unless just there, there's this poor bugger who went to some film classes with you in the year 197x and who wants to talk about the film he told you about in 197x and still hasn't started ...
      Last edited by L'Etranger; 08-02-2010, 03:11 AM.
      Google ergo sum


      • David Mosley
        Eternal Administrator
        • Jul 2004
        • 11823

        Mike's written a bit about raising his own children and fitting breakfast & the school run in around writing/editing/publishing New Worlds, etc. in the '60s. You might find some comments in the Q&A but there's also his autobiographical essay in the Into the Media Web collection.
        _"For an eternity Allard was alone in an icy limbo where all the colours were bright and sharp and comfortless.
        _For another eternity Allard swam through seas without end, all green and cool and deep, where distorted creatures drifted, sometimes attacking him.
        _And then, at last, he had reached the real world – the world he had created, where he was God and could create or destroy whatever he wished.
        _He was supremely powerful. He told planets to destroy themselves, and they did. He created suns. Beautiful women flocked to be his. Of all men, he was the mightiest. Of all gods, he was the greatest."


        • zilch
          • Aug 2006
          • 644

          Originally posted by L'Etranger View Post
          Thank Goodness the Viennese or the Parisians (or the Turks) invented the Café where you can go and sit and drink coffee and think and even write notes
          I do find myself stopping by a cafe on the way home some nights so I can sit and read, or just space out and watch the world go by.

          I used to do visuals in nightclubs, I stopped, you can't be coming home at 7AM stinking of stale cigarettes and with a headache from 9 hours of drum and bass or techno or whatever when you have small people waking up.

          I kind of miss it, but such is life.