I'll probably try to work on the way up and down: a nostalgic return to the days when I wrote The Emperor's Elephant on the train back and forward between Bridge of Allan and Edinburgh. I didn't find it quite so easy the last time I tried it, but six hours in front of the computer with no internet access is just what I need at the moment. If I get fed up, I'll read one of the dozens of books in my ever-growing TBR pile.
Truth be told, I've always found London a bit intimidating. Too big. Too impersonal. Too many people. Too many bricks and not enough grass and trees. As the song says: I'm just a small town boy ... I can't breathe properly unless I'm within walking distance of the countryside. Last time I was down, I got bit lost and had to ask directions. Three people ignored me, two just said 'Sorry mite' and walked past and the guy who eventually set me straight had a Scottish accent. What do you expect, I hear you ask? Well it wouldn't happen in Bridge of Allan or Jedburgh, or Edinburgh or Glasgow for that matter. It makes me uncomfortable to see so many people living their lives in self-imposed, self-satisfied blinkered isolation. Something quite 1984ish about it. If you dropped down with a heart attack would they help you, or just step over you?
Anyway I'll let you know how I get on in the next blog. With fifty-odd of Britain's best historical writers in one place at the same time there has to be something worth talking about.