I am also now working on an other biographical project, this time with the family of a retired Member of Parliament. It's gathering pace and gathering substance, occupying a considerable portion of my thoughts.
Then tomorrow morning we take off to the Scottish Highlands for our month-long creative retreat. I am hoping for decent enough weather to allow a little hiking: we need to be in shape for our (unsupported) trans-Corsica hike next September. Apart from that, I expect to do a lot of writing.
The subject was going to be a big one: Nature. However, last night I had an extraordinary dream in which I seemed to be walking with a man whose war letters I edited 20 years ago (and he wrote a hundred years ago). He had the great good fortune to cheat death, one way or another, on no fewer than 13 occasions - like the day he stepped out onto the parapet and saw his C.O., standing beside him, blown to bits while he remained unscathed. In the dream he had just stepped off a biplane, having hitched a ride back to England with an RAF chum.
As we walked, I remarked on the fact that he had survived against all odds, but as he headed home, it struck me forcibly that the War was just as likely to do for him now as while it was in progress: he had the unenviable task of surviving the peace, knowing that all his comrades had been killed. I was filed with a sense that this was his tragedy, to survive alone. He seemed, not so much to be telling me as assuming that I was about to, write his story. How does one account for a dream like that?
Well, I shall ponder it when we get to our cottage - after we've lit the fire and made sure the lamps are topped up with oil.
|If the weather's this good I won't complain|