I’ve always hated the new year because I don’t like the idea of time passing. This has nothing to do with book deadlines which were ‘next year’ suddenly becoming ‘this year’ or anything like that, although that does induce a certain panic. But really, it is just a mourning of the passage of time. I miss the world before 9/11 and although the 20th century may have been filled with ghastly wars and bloodshed, I miss it as well, and not just in a regretful, nostalgic way, but sometimes quite achingly, as if it were a friend who has died. I want it back. Ridiculous, of course. I should get out more.
So many things beckon on the going out front, too. New films, new performers, new exhibitions. That’s the trouble. I read a review, think ‘oh, I must,’ then don’t, then hear of something else and say ‘I must’ and don’t, until I have a bank of ‘musts’ as long as my supermarket shopping list. Then I have to make a ‘must’ list from the ‘musts’, because it’s too late to do them all, and then a ‘must’ list from the truncated ‘must’ list, and oh dear! In the end I just stay at home and watch more West Wing.
And what a joy that is, although does everybody have to walk and talk so fast, and does Toby always have to address his beard? My family never caught the WW on the telly, and bought the boxed set of series one as an antidote to Brideshead Revisited, which we have watched over so many Christmases past that we can fill in the dialogue ourselves. No more Sebastian! No more Julia! No more Lord Marchmain, I decreed, at least not for a while. Let’s get to know President Bartlet. Two episodes (so much better without the advertisement breaks – I’m only ever watching boxed sets in future)and we are hooked. We watched the end of series one on Sunday night, and on Monday morning I was back at the shop, panting. ‘Please, please, please don’t tell me you don’t have series two in stock’. Luckily they did, so now we can’t go out until that’s finished, and then there’s more, and more, and more. Perhaps I’ll never go out again.
It’s exciting waiting for the publication of Blaze of Silver, and book one of my new trilogy is almost finished. I don’t know about other authors, but I’m always surprised to reach the end, because when I begin, the end seems so impossibly far away. It creeps up on me – a bit like the new year, I suppose, except that I’m always glad to see it.
Onwards and upwards,