It was at this point that I glanced up at the calendar that hangs above my desk - and saw that the next Abba post was to be by, er, me. Curses! Not an idea in sight for that either. I reached for my notebook, desperately seeking inspiration.
Then I came across the beginnings of a story inspired by my grandson, who is undeniably gorgeous but also on occasion Rather Naughty. Hm, I thought, reading about the mother who was a Very Fast Knitter. Intriguing. Must come back to that when I've finished climbing the mountain-so-much-higher-than-Everest that is my current work in progress.
Next up: the beginnings of a story about an old man who has to give up his allotment. Not very thrilling, you may mistakenly think - believe me, that story will plumb the darkest depths of the human heart: full of drama, tragedy and pathos, it will leave you feeling wrung out, such will be its power. (If I ever finish it.)
Turn over a few pages, and onto the stage comes the Willow Man. I've already written a book about him, so he really can't complain, but he's currently being threatened by a gigantic Morrison's warehouse apparently made out of green Lego - so perhaps he's due for another story.
And finally, one that's been niggling away since I went to Brittany two years ago and visited the inn where Gauguin and some of his friends stayed for a few months: the Buvette de la Plage. But that one's still on the boil: no, no, it doesn't matter how much you plead, I won't tell you another word. (The picture was taken nearby.)
So what have I learnt from this exercise?
- You should from time to time actually look through all those notes you've made in that oh-so-pretty notebook.
- It's not just about having ideas - it's about actually doing something with them.
- Hurrah! I have more ideas than I thought I did.
Now - I suppose I'd really better get on with the mountain-in-progress - and then I can take some of those fine ideas out, dust 'em off, shake 'em out, and show them the light of day...