Starter for Ten – 24/07/19

Starter for Ten is a daily writing exercise where the aim is simply to write for a full 10 minutes. No editing or revision is allowed after the 10 minutes is up. The aim is to try new things, experiment with voices and styles and be bold. Suckage often occurs.


I have a new tactic to stop procrastination. In my office there are two desks, a sitting desk and (because I’m easily influenced by health editorial) a standing desk. I alternate between the two desks based on how stiff and how lazy I’m feeling. I actually find it a really useful tool because there seems to be a different energy between the two positions and sometimes you want to take a slouchy, crushed-vertebrae sort of energy into a piece of writing.

Anyway: the technique. I am positioned at the sitting desk. Over at the standing desk is a large mug of tea and a packet of blue Hula Hoops. Until I’ve finished this Starter for Ten I am not allowed to cross the divide and receive my reward. I didn’t even have a sip of the tea while I was bringing it out to the office. Plus, if I delay too long then the tea will be a sub-optimal temperature. Cannily though I did open the Hula Hoops and had ONE of said hoops. This has primed my salivary glands and I’m now drooling thinking of crushing each and every one of those saline tori encased in their shimmering cerulean home.

I wonder if when we leave the EU if we can finally address the issue of standardising the flavour colours. It’s often bothered me since I was young when I always refused to eat Smokey Bacon crisps because they were West Ham’s colours. I didn’t have any particular reason for this antipathy towards the Iron Men, there was just a strong collation in my mind between the colour and the flavour. Why is blue salt and vinegar, but sometimes cheese and onion? Why would you choose blue to represent cheese and onion? If ready salted are the neutral/flavourless/vanilla option – wouldn’t it make more sense to have them wear white rather than red?

Tea’s up!