I’m in an unfamiliar position at the moment, inasmuch as for the first time since I don’t know when I’m not in a wild panic about work. I’ve just sent off the edited manuscript for the new book, dispatched some ideas for future projects to my agent and written all the monthly columns I need to write. I can almost relax. What a strange feeling.
I think my generally stress and depression-free status has a lot to do with emigrating. Since leaving England life has taken on a much less frantic hue. Rather than listening to the road-rage and blaring horns of a north London street – not to mention having my old wreck of a car, with useful timing as it turned out, written off by a couple of incompetent thieves – I now look out from my office window at a tree-lined vista and from my lounge window at ships easing gracefully in and out of port.
It’s funny, especially considering that I was born and spent nearly my entire life there, but I don’t really miss London at all. I’m sure I will – it’s a lot harder to get to Charlton matches now, that’s for sure – but as things stand the old city isn’t calling me back with a siren’s cry.
It was a bit strange reading the new book again after barely having thought about it for a couple of months. For one thing, being the procrastinator-general, I can tell just how much of a tearing hurry I was in to write the thing before yet another deadline slipped by. Thankfully my quite brilliant copy-editor Zoe has done a patient, brilliant and stupefyingly thorough job of unpicking the factual and syntactical knots in which I invariably tie myself and the thing reads quite nicely now. Roll on January when it hits what I believe are still called the shops in Britain.
Right, I think I’ll make a start on that Laurel and Hardy box set for the rest of the afternoon.
Pip pip.