Sunday, 8 May 2011

No news is good news

As I looked out the window today at the rain bouncing six inches off the pavement I was reminded of Juliette Mills in Avanti, telling Jack Lemmon how pleased she was to be in Italy because the British summer was two weeks in May and a week in June.

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
One of the most pleasant aspects of the past couple of weeks has been to sit back and watch all those big news events from a distance, instead of being in the middle of a freaked out newsroom and about two steps from a nervous breakdown.

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.

1 comment:

Companion Wulf said...

The world is certainly changing or, more specifically, world events are changing it. It's really pleasant to find that haven away from it all, lapping up the picturesque beauty. I'd love to be able to travel and just chill out in these places.

Read Caligula and Claudius, absolutely loved them! And am starting to play catch up with your other books and Terry Pratchett's.