Friday, January 04, 2019

Woolgathering (you have been warned)

I've been fighting off the winter blues. This New Year I've felt nothing but dread for the coming year. What new horrors did this government have in store for us? Right on cue, the Home Secretary whips up a 'crisis' over a couple of dozen refugees arriving in boats across the English Channel. Not only does he label them 'illegal migrants' he suggests we should deter asylum seekers arriving this way in order to discourage others, despite the fact that under the 1951 refugee convention, refugees have a right to claim asylum and to enter countries through irregular routes. The desperate people in question were Iranians, and statistics show that three quarters of Iranians seeking asylum here win their claims.

And you know what? I wasn't going to write about politics today. The dreadfulness is always in the back of my mind and it just popped out.

On New Year's Day I posted an article entitled 'When you're dead I'll read in bed.' Some of you may have been shocked by the title, but you need to know that thanks to Dave,  death is always in the air at Hepworth Towers. Every night the last thing he says to me is: 'Good night. See you in the morning, if we're spared.'

As a break from reading Michelle Obama's Becoming in the evenings, he leafs through the Screwfix catalogue, and last night he said 'This is what we need!'

'It would make a handy spare bed, and it would make transporting cadavers really easy.' 
(Yes, dear readers, he means mine or his.)

Last night we also watched The Big Sick - a film with an unfortunate title, but which we both enjoyed. I've been paying a lot of attention lately to structure in both screenplays and novels, and I look out for plot points in films. I said to Dave last night, five sixths of the way through the film when something sad happened, 'This is what they call 'the dark moment.'' 

'Oh yes,' he said, 'they used to have that in Sooty and Sweep, right at the end, when everything had gone to pot and Harry Corbett said 'Bye, bye, everyone. Bye bye.'

'No, Dave. It's not the same thing...'

Meanwhile, I have been continuing the rewrite of the novel - Friends, Lovers and Trees, which now has the possible new title - Even When They Know You. I have reworked the text so much that yesterday I felt like Mr Earbrass:
“Not only is it [the book] repulsive to the eye and hand…but its contents are, by this time, boring to the point of madness.”

I have sent it off to two good friends, who are going to give me feedback. Bless them.

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