Sour times, unsettling times. Politically, I don’t think I’ve ever felt so entwined with what’s happening – this huge potential for what could happen, what’s bubbling on the stove. It’s real too, there’s no place for drama in the seriousness of the world we leave as inheritance. The best writers should look outwards as well as in. I struggle to find words that do justice, not to how I feel, but to the gravity of the situation on a world scale. It’s creeping in to my writing though, and so it should.
This week has been a juggle between work and a child with norovirus. I had a good day in Keswick yesterday with my sister who’d driven up from Leamington Spa. We walked around the shops at dusk, drank tea, talked about people we knew and drove back to fireworks in the yard. The house had been transformed in my absence by a very creative ‘elm’ shower feature. I’m very lucky to have a joiner and an artist ‘in house’.
I haven’t written as much as I’d like. I have submitted a few things (again with one eye closed). I know I can write but I do need more time – reams of it, acres of it. Maybe hours would suffice. I think of my dad’s two wonderful novels, unpublished despite the best efforts of me and my sister and the best living literary critic. There are no more novels coming along so commercial value is limited. Publisher’s responses – full of praise but rejecting publication for financial reasons. I have them all in a file, letters flattering and futile. A cul-de-sac. I believe in those books more than I believe the sun will rise tomorrow (around 7am), though I’m sure it will drag itself onto the winter horizon.
Winter’s definitely in the air here. Tights and cardigans. Soon, hats and gloves. I bought a thick silver scarf on the way to a social services conference this week. “If winter comes, can spring be far behind?” We’ll see on Tuesday.