Houston – 1

I know this post isn’t strictly about writing, or books, or reading – but you never know. Who’s to say that something won’t happen over the next few days that proves to be the unexpected trigger for a poem or short story or even – who knows! – a novel. Speculative, tangential, use whatever word you choose, but you can’t deny the potential.

And the day has started remarkably well. First off I managed to get Facetime to work straight away! I feel a little less distant as a result. Then I walked back to the hotel I was supposed to be in last night, just to leave my bags ready for a later check-in, and guess what? they had a room available already! So now I’m unpacked and getting settled (hence starting this) before I wander the streets.

I have more of a choice now too. My window is from 9am to about 3:30pm, just before I meet a colleague for an early dinner ahead of the working week. Around six hours.

There’s a Van Gogh exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts (continuing the theme from yesterday) that I will probably take in, as well as the Museum for Contemporary Arts which is nearby. That will be 12-3 sorted. Between now and then? The only open ‘thing’ is the zoo, which had been my intended recourse (and it’s near the museums). But now I’m settled in comfort and on-line… If I stay busy reading and writing until just before 11, I could pop to the huge mall across the road in search of a stetson..!


So I wrote, mainly; and went to the mega-mall to check prices of things like trainers and Levis to compare them with the UK (both cheaper, the jeans by almost 50%).

The Van Gogh was rammed. I willingly paid extra to avoid the 200m queue to get in, and then skipped through the first room where people were congregating in front of reproductions of some of the iconic works, their audio guides to their ears. After the second room the crowd thinned out appreciably. I was glad I went early.

The highlight for me was an ‘irises’ painting in the last room. Truly stunning.

It was interesting though, my reaction to the paintings having seen that film on the flight over yesterday. I was trying to imagine the person behind them more than I was looking at what he had produced. What was plain however, was the talent, the variation (perhaps surprisingly), and the sheer volume of production – especially when you consider the fact that he was ‘locked up’ for a chunk of his life.


Later, in case you’re wondering, Tex Mex. Some stunning freshly made guacamole and prawn and crab enchiladas. Yum!