I must say this quietly in case the Chinese Gods hear me and pay me out for my presumption, they’re a bit too good at that, these old Chinese Gods. But I’m really beginning to feel that my life as a novelist, which has been in the doldrums ever since my previous publisher went bust or ‘ceased trading’ as they insisted I should say, is now picking up at last.
Last week I saw the cover for Everybody’s Somebody and thought how good it was and I’d no sooner digested that when I was sent the cover of the e-book of Girl on the Orlop deck and I think that one’s even better than Everybody’s Somebody one. At last I have covers that say ‘this writer is intelligent’. I shall get a swollen head if this goes on!
But it’s given me quite a kick, I have to admit, especially now that I’m going to give interviews to the local press which makes me believe that the book really is going to come out.
The second happy moment happened when I was watching the Glastonbury Festival and saw Jeremy Corbyn speaking to that enormous crowd and offering them hope, quoting Shelley’s ‘Rise like lions after slumber,’ to encourage them I’ve been using that quotation over and over again on various social media over the past few months, so it was like meeting an old friend.
Rise like Lions after slumber,
In unvanquishable number.
Shake your chains to earth like dew,
Which in sleep had fallen on you
Ye are many – they are few
And then, just to put the icing on the cake, I’ve had a special guest to stay with me. He arrived on Thursday, stayed with me for three days and kept me company day and night, joining me at breakfast, sharing my lunchtime sandwich – he was very partial to smoked salmon – and my evening meal and helping me to write my novel. He’s a dab hand or perhaps I should say a dab paw on the keyboard. We only had one slight difference of opinion when he discovered the fireplace and the chimney and decided to try his hand or paw at being a chimney sweep. I am, of course, now quite enamoured.
And over the weekend, naturally enough, two of my great-grandchildren who are equally enamoured came to visit him, bringing their parents with them! We had a great time in the garden, playing with the cat, lounging on the hammock and picking a good crop of cherries. Sometimes life is just so good.