On Monday past (10th February) representatives of our writing group had a meeting with other interested parties to discuss our local contributions to the First World War centenary. It was a good positive meeting, ending with expressions of goodwill and mutual support, and since then various useful pieces of information relevant to our Heritage Lottery Fund application have trickled into my inbox.

Otherwise this hasn’t been the best of weeks. An old friend’s funeral on Tuesday, 33 hours’ worth of manuscript editing, and a viral infection that makes me want to sleep all the time, have conspired to lower my spirits. My favourite spirit is gin, which when mixed with tonic water, ice cubes and kumquat (or lime if there’s an ongoing negative kumquat situation) invites me to lower its level in the glass. I’m happy to comply. There’s nothing like lowering the level of the spirit in the glass for raising one’s spirits.

Perhaps thanks in part to the gin (and the kumquat) I’ve brightened up enough to think of another absurdity, which clamours to be encapsulated in deathless prose: the tale of the Viking hero, Thorfinn Cludgehammer, who was assassinated by the crew of his longship after he invented water skiing. The visual image keeps returning to my mind, like one of those irritating tunes that keep whistling themselves inside your brain. I’m re-reading one or two of the ancient Norse sagas so I can capture the rhythm of the language and generally inspire myself for the task ahead. Cludgehammersaga must be composed (though it will doubtless be brief by Norse saga standards). Watch this space…



  • Mishka Zakharin 24.02.2014 - 01:11am

    HA!! Neat… (both the “ongoing negative kumquat situation” and Thorfinn Cludgehammer & his travails!)

    I wish you better health–and better weeks!

    • I hope to post something new in the next day or two, having recovered to the extent of being able to walk as far as my office again (a few yards and one flight of stairs from my sitting room). I believe I’ll post an excerpt from Cludgehammersaga.

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