Yes, I’ve done it! I’ve written 50,000 words in just over 22 days and now for me the war is over, I’m putting on my demob suit and packing my bags and waiting with the other troops on the airstrip for the planes to take us back to Blighty. It feels good to relax a little, stretch out and not have to worry about how many words I’ve done today or whether I’ll get to the end because I’m there! I made it – and even though it’s only a very rough draft with lots of repetition and more loose ends than a bag of wool fragments, it is real. Something which did not exist five weeks ago is now in the world and will soon be putting on its first pair of boots and going out to look for a good time. Ah, they grow up so quickly, these novels! Once a twinkle in their Mummy’s eye, then a tiny collection of dots on a page, they soon outstrip their first set of clothes and are fully weaned. Then before you know it they’re off to take their place in the world.
I can’t bring myself to think about editing yet. It’s time to focus all my efforts on the *l*c*i*n and the rest of the time kick back and enjoy a well-earned rest.
Last night’s TV was nothing special – or so I thought, but then I realised there was the climate debate on Channel 4 and a little later a ‘candid’ interview with Elton John. The climate debate was excellent for several reasons: in the absence of Boris Johnson who was running late – sorry, scared – and the leader of the Brexit Party who is presumably a climate change denier, these two leaders were replaced by a pair of melting ice sculptures. Though this had been mooted as an idea we didn’t think they’d actually do it – but they did! It was brilliant and well-deserved. Boris Johnson is now in a huff and threatening like his pal Trump to ‘review’ the Channel 4 licence; meanwhile little Govey, having been dispatched post-haste to deputise for his Glorious Leader*, was denied entry on the grounds that it was for leaders only and jumped up and down outside squealing ‘they won’t let me in! Mummy! It isn’t fair!’ and other such mantras. * he’s not even the deputy leader, is he? Hang on, who is? Any ideas?
Inside it was the most civilised debate I’ve seen in a long time. The five leaders were broadly in agreement, the only differences being in terms of the timescale and detail of their plans. I’m disappointed that Labour are not fully committed to scrapping the disastrous expansion of Heathrow but Corbyn made some good points nonetheless and was the only one to tie climate change to wealth disparity. Nicola Sturgeon as always came off best – that woman really does show everyone how it’s done – and the others were fine. There was no slanging, no interruption, no rudeness, no insults – in short it reminded me of how political debates used to be. My only sadness was that in this election time there was still the necessity to score party points and I live in hope that we will at some point have a government of national unity to deal with this. Because climate change is a war and we have to win it. Johnson may live to regret not attending the debate: the first rule of politics is, always show up or, as C P Snow put it, never be too proud to be present.
I really wanted the ice sculptures to have melted by the end (just as the Tory and Brexit party arguments would have done) but alas they did not; still it’s well worth watching. Here it is on youtube as it’s not available on All4, because All4 is crap, and here‘s poor little Govey being turned away from the party.
Aw. Sad face.
On a much lighter note, Elton John bared all on the Beeb in an interview with Graham Norton. It was basically a whistle-stop tour through his life and career but what struck me was, in the midst of all his diva-esque outfits and over-the-top addictions, how ordinary and down-to-earth the man was. I got the same sense I had when seeing him in Rome (when in Rome, go to an Elton John gig) – that he’s one of us. There was no preciousness about him; he admitted cheerfully to being bald and wearing a toupee, to being 72 years old and to having had addictions and weight problems; yet this was no tear-filled celebrity confessional, just an ordinary bloke talking about his life. I’ve always liked Elton, he’s a one-off and the fact that he’s been friends with lyricist Bernie Taupin for more than fifty years says it all. So watch the climate debate, shed a tear (of laughter) for poor little Govey and then watch this. You’ll be glad you did.