July 1st, 2016
Americans have this wonderful expression: Life turns on a dime. Every so often, life certainly seems to. You're going on with business as usual, getting up in the morning, reaching for the teabags, going to your desk.....same old, same old....how many more cliches can I use before the sentence is up...and then everything changes. Two planes hit the twin towers and nothing is ever the same again. You fall asleep at the wheel and end up in a wheelchair. Or, on a lighter note, your agent calls you and tells you he has just had a six figure offer for one of your books from a major publisher. In fact, since I'm enjoying this, let's take the fantasy one step further - all the major publishers are in a bidding war for your latest book and the offers are making publishing history.
So, in every writer's dream you go from slurping tea in the early morning light to walking down the red carpet of literary history with cameras flashing and money dropping down from heaven. Why not? History is made of moments like this. Britain is right in the middle of one of those fairy pirouettes. London Bridge, as the nursery rhyme goes, is falling down. Pulled down by the people, no less, and the Oxbridge toffs are jumping off like fleas.
Who'd a thunk it?' - another apt American expression. This green and pleasant land, this bastion of decorum, is heading down the toilet. Scotland is trying to succede and Ireland is trying to be one country again. Just like the old days. Perhaps all that is happening, all that ever happens, is that history is spiralling back on itself. Just as my man Yeats said it would do. And doing it on the tiny circumference of a small silver coin.