How on earth did I think, three years ago, that writing a novel would be a good thing to do with a hangover and that it might solve my debt problems? Everybody knows the only way to pay off debts is to borrow more from another provider and hope that your future self will be better equipped to deal with the problem than you are. Hangovers are even easier: just wash down a double dose of ibuprofen with my patented ratio of orange juice and bubbly water and you'll be back down the pub in no time.
Hangovers and debts are BAD reasons to write a novel. A plausible good reason might be that you can't work out how to change the banner at the top of your blog or that you are a self-obsessed pseudo-existentialist with too much time on his hands. As I fit both these categories, I thought it high time I had another go at a longer project. And this time, I thought, just for a different challenge: no time-travel, spaceships or zombies.
You are probably thinking that I have set too hard a task for myself and you're probably right. I'll probably run out of steam and have to introduce an improbable apocalyptic event (supervolcano, anyone?) at about 15000 words, but for the time being my theme is rural decline due to the evils of capitalism (and definitely not the ravishings of a giant nuclear ape created in a secret government experiment).
As an inveterate city dweller who tends to rise at the crack of noon, I am obviously ill-suited to tackle this subject on imagination alone. So I e-mailed one of my contacts in the farming industry (oh alright, my brother) and asked him to describe milking procedures to me in a few brief lines which he duly did and, well, I never drank that much milk anyway and its amazing what they can do with almonds these days.