As I Was Saying…
The site is back up! This is entirely down to the uniquely talented creative director Simon Moore, who created the site in its first, most elegant incarnation (I’ve found the pictures we used for that one and I’ll post them next week). Next we’ll pick a new look for the site and get a few back-end things sorted out that were bothering everyone.
What a couple of weeks – a return to full sight for me, a proper London snowstorm of the kind we regularly had until a decade ago, the start of a new novel, the incoming paperback version of ‘Wild Chamber’ and the approaching publication of ‘Hall of Mirrors’, plans to sign in the North of England later in the year, new projects in the offing. Next week I’ll be in Berlin visiting friends, then signing books in London before heading to Barcelona. Not having the blog allowed me to be far more productive on the next novel, so I’ll try to keep these posts down to 4-5 a week in order to maintain my writing pace.
Last night I took a stroll through snowy Bloomsbury to Covent Garden, to meet up with old friends in a cosy pub. Many years ago, when Covent Garden was not an especially salubrious neighbourhood, I nearly bought the house on the left of the above shot. It was run-down and narrow-staired, but very atmospheric. I eventually decided against it when I saw that it never got sunlight.
Every time I think the city has lost its uniqueness we get a moment that brings everything back. Last night the streets were muffled and deserted. Londoners don’t know how to dress for the cold, and wander about in trainers and summer jackets clutching at themselves, or they’ll stand outside a pub drinking and chatting as if they were in the South of France.
I passed this familiar corner – the pub is the one that disappears in ‘The Victoria Vanishes’. Beyond it on the right can be seen the block of flats where Mr Arthur Bryant now lives.
Last week I was on the late night tube and it felt like being on a stage set, with everyone greeting each other and various groups breaking into song. That distinctly Dickensian air was in evidence again yesterday. Judge for yourself – and it’s good to be back.