Simon, my editor, liked what I'd done with The Doomsday Testament, which was a relief, and I took a couple of days off during our few days of summer last week and drove up to Dunkeld, the little Perthshire town on the River Tay. It's a beautiful place, packed full of history and with gardens and walks along the river where I watched a fisherman catch a salmon (a rare event in my experience) and then lose it (which isn't). Earlier, we'd driven a couple of miles out of town to the Loch of the Lowes nature reserve where you can get incredible views of ospreys at the nest there. Once rare, you can now see these beautiful birds from the Highlands to the Borders. I once watched one swoop to take a trout from the Forth while I was fishing a couple of miles from my house and it completely took my breath away.
|The bridge over the River Tay at Dunkeld|
The Royal Wedding? Managed to avoid it entirely, there's only so much oily sycophancy a man can take. Osama Bin Laden? How could the White House make such a hash of the aftermath? If you're going to commit state-sponsored murder what's the point of making feeble excuses about it? The Scottish elections? Utterly compelling. I've met Alex Salmond a couple of times and he's a charming man with an ego the size of Edinburgh Castle. Giving him an electoral majority is like putting a chocaholic in charge of a sweet shop. Mark my words, it's going to be messy.
So now it's back to Avenger of Rome and head down for a couple of months. Valerius ships out for Antioch and a date with destiny in the Armenian mountains. Can't wait to get there.