Spring advances and a new task engages me
After the record-breaking February warmth, the weather has returned to something like normal; in other words, it’s been predominantly chilly and damp but unpredictable from day to day. Nevertheless, spring is decidedly here. Daffodils bloom, other spring flowers such as archangel are rising, there’s blossom on apple, cherry and magnolia trees and forsythia bushes, the blackthorn flowers are already beginning to fade, and buds are opening on horse chestnut, hawthorn, maple, elder, sycamore and willow. Birdsong is becoming more and more intense, and woodpeckers are busy perforating tree trunks in every stretch of woodland.
It’s heartening. Notwithstanding the omnishambles of Brexit, which has succeeded in sucking all the oxygen out of British politics for the past two years without (as far as I can tell) asphyxiating either the Prime Minister or the far-right vampires on her back benches, Nature proceeds regardless. I’m trying to ignore what’s happening and failing to happen in parliament and striving to emulate Nature instead.
Most of my writing projects have been put on the back burner because I’ve received a businesswoman’s autobiography to edit. It was ghost-written and it’s as big a shambles as Brexit. How dare people set themselves up as ghost-writers when they can’t write even competently? For much of the manuscript, my task won’t be editing so much as rewriting. But what a story! Starting from the proverbial humble beginnings and with little in the way of qualifications, the narrator established a business from scratch when she was thirty years old, and despite a quite incredible succession of barriers, setbacks and downright disasters since then she’s it kept going and made it thrive. And she’s done it all herself, largely unaided. Yet when I’ve talked to her on the phone she’s presented herself as an ordinary, level-headed, unassuming woman with a warmth of character and a lovely sense of humour. I can’t help but admire her – even though she made a poor judgment in selecting her original ghost writer.
If I can turn the horrible manuscript into the book it deserves to be – and believe me, I’m going to try – it will be an inspirational read.