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Friday, 27 July 2012

I saw the sun this morning, and am making a note in my diary. Do not be confused by those images of a sunny Olympic London. That is not the real world. In fact, it may well be a mock-up from that studio that brought you the moon landings in 1969…. 

Up here, in the real England, the weather remains cool, damp and depressing. And the forecast for next week, when we cycle coast to coast along the Reivers Way, camping en route? Heavy showers, blustery winds and temperatures around 18 C (64 F).

Harrumph. I’ll be glad when autumn comes: then we can stop hoping.

On a brighter note, business is booming. I have sold copies (plural) of Toad. And that’s all I’m saying for now. E-publishing is clearly a risky business, and the hard work starts with publication. I knew this already, having self-published Yesss!!!! United In Defeat ( back in the late 1990s. Ended up flogging it outside football grounds, which gave me a valuable insight into the lives of street-hawkers - and into the response of Man City fans to anything red, like my book-cover….

So, two e-books out there - and who knows, one day they may jump through all the many hoops and actually appear in the Apple bookstore. You see how restrained I’m being? Meanwhile, with no work on my desk - no paying propositions, that is - I have had a long hard look at the material which, one day, will emerge as Work As Playtime (Life in a Time of Full Employment). I am beginning to think that, after fifteen years, I may just be lighting on a narrative method, a tone, and a persona which will carry the stories I want to tell. I may in fact take a deep breath and post a chapter while I’m away next week. But then, again I may decide I haven’t the courage.

News from Mike Pannett: one of his small and growing American fan clubs - based around a public attorney in the state of Kentucky - is pushing to get him over for the Kentucky Book Fair in November. Mike reminds me that the reason James Herriot did so well over there was that some newspaper reporter vacationed in the UK, came across one of the books, wrote it up in a paper back home - and within weeks saw it hit the top of the best-seller lists. So… he’s quite excited, which means that my phone will be red-hot the next few days. Actually, I see no reason why it shouldn’t be worth doing. I’m a great believer in the word-of-mouth method of promotion. I might even go with him, and see my brother, who lives outside Frankfort.

Well, today we go to celebrate A’s grandson’s first birthday. It’s a three-hour luncheon party, so goodness knows how the little feller will cope. Hope he’s not overwhelmed with all his new toys. He’s getting a piggy-bank from me, with a few coins rattling around in it.

The sun is still out. What is going on?

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