Joad called yesterday and I don't think I gave him nearly as hard enough a time over the Esquire article. I'm getting soft in my old age.
I also got an email from Sarah Odedina about my latest book with a long - very long - letter from Helen Szirtes. I have a month or so to get the book - the one that was called Ghosts but which is at the moment called The Secrets of Hawton Mere - sorted out and another draft sent off.
And I enjoyed John Stewart's spin on that expediency issue of Obama's speech. Admonishing Fox News on the Daily Show, he said that 'If we don't stick to our values when they are tested then they aren't values, they are hobbies.' Excellent.
Meanwhile, I have been writing bits and pieces of new stuff. Having had a couple of years with my head firmly in the Victorian and Edwardian periods, I am moving on. That isn't to say that I have exhausted the possibilities of that world, because I don't think that is true at all. I just want to do something else.
I bumped into John Clark today and then, five minutes later, Peter Kirkham (and then the whole delightful Kirkham clan). Peter was telling me that he had met someone else who went to Gosforth High School (as we both did - though at different times). And he reminded me - I think he's already told me and I'd forgotten - that the wonderful Kathryn Tickell went there as well. If you don't know here, seek her music out. And if you have never heard the Northumbrian pipes, you are in for a treat.
I like bumping into people. It makes you feel like I belong here (which I often do not feel at all). This is nothing against Cambridge. I don't think I have ever felt that I belonged anywhere. It probably comes from moving around so much as a child. I am reminded here of the Elbow song, Station approach, whose line, 'The streets are full of goths and geeks' I was just quoting to Peter as a particular favourite.
But it was the line, 'I want to be in a town where they know what I'm like and don't mind,' that I was meaning.