I just did a quiz to see if I had what it takes to embark on a blog, and, to be honest I didn’t tick many of the boxes. For a start, I am not one to espouse my views in public, very sensitive about negative comments and I am not interested in the technology of it at all or making it a great success. In fact, I don’t read much online myself either. Doesn’t seem like a good start, does it? Also, one of the main problems is that I don’t have a theme, like darts or gardening or books, about which I can in anyway intelligently write about. However, I am a fan of the written word, and enjoy writing myself, so maybe there is a glimmer of hope!
The blog is named after a Hopper painting “Compartment C, car 293”, found while perusing a book by Allain de Botton called The Art of Travel, in a desperate attempt to find a name. It was painted in 1938 and is apparently owned by IBM. If you are not familiar with the painting, it depicts a woman sitting in a train carriage, her face half obscured beneath her hat, reading, alone and travelling at dusk. The ruggedness of the landscape outside the window suggests a long journey, where hours can go by without seeing a living soul in the landscape.
I couldn’t be further than this figure sitting in this carriage. I could count the hours, or rather the minutes spend in tranquil solitude on one hand. My landscape does not passively roll by. They, my children, require my attention and rightly so. My carriage is usually swinging to the tones of Old MacDonald, and the manuscript or whatever the woman is reading has either been lost, the pages torn out or it is covered in oil, milk or juice or all three.
Perhaps though, this blog could be my Compartment C? Maybe you would like to take a seat opposite me. Any suggestions for themes welcome.