clearing skies, temps 10
As I write the pipes are playing. I can hear them recede into the distance as an Armistice Day parade leaves from the church on the corner. It is so unspeakably moving to be here now. To see the crowds, to feel the sorrow. To read the Times and the announcements placed in memory...of men who died in Dieppe and Vimy and the Somme and in ships that went down and planes that never returned. And in Helmund and Basra. The new wars and the new names.
And to hear the eerie, beautiful pipes in this old city.
Very moving. Very humbling. I knew a few of you have a sorrow, a loss, I can't begin to imagine. I'm so sorry. I wonder if it is any consolation, any comfort, that so many people honour your loss? I wonder. I hope so.
The pipes have faded, the parade moved on.
I spent most of today editing Bury Your Dead...come to a sensitive part...needs thought...but also needs action. I find eventually I just need to dive in and see what happens. Make the changes...and trust I'll know when it is right and makes it better, or when it is wrong. Let's hope!
up to page 300 now. I think if I can do 50 pages a day now - this is the difficult, complex, patch - I'll be fine.
Michael went out this morning and picked up the Telegraph and the Sunday Times. We've settled in to a cup of tea and the sunday papers, in front of the fire. Michael was commenting that, this being Sunday, maybe we should go out for a Sunday Roast pub lunch. but I was working, and so he missed his roast. But when I'd gone as far as I could today I threw on my coat and went to the shops and picked up a roast and pudding. So tonight I will make him his Sunday Roast. Or burn down the flat trying. A small prayer might be in order.
I promised to tell you about the flat. It's on the British first floor, what we in Canada and the US would call the second floor. Basically one flight up. In this older and very classic architecture, the windows grow smaller as the floors go up - but the first floor windows in the Victorian/Edwardian buildings are enormous. Our flat has 18 foot ceilings. A beautiful bedroom at the back with ensuite bathroom. A tiny kitchen - barely more than a closet, but perfect for the likes of me. A quite lovely dining room painted ox-blood red...almost laquered. But the room that makes us gasp everyday is the drawing room. A living room to North americans. it's at the front of the flat...overlooking the garden square, and has huge floor to ceiling windows and a set of french doors opening onto a tiny balcony. there are massive bookcases and ancestral paintings and gorgeous urns and a cheery fireplace. How did we get so lucky???
We, of course, pretend to own it...and are constantly discussing how we would (will) redesign things when it is ours. We would not touch the front room...it is splendid.
We've re-arranged a date with Mike and Dom...off for dinner Wednesday to a Spanish/Moroccan restaurant near King's Cross. Tomorrow we'll see sister Carol and have lunch with Erkia, who owns the flat.
I'm trying to find a balance between writing/editing and enjoying London. So far so good. Off back to the Times...though since Mike works for the Guardian we tell him we read that all the time. Actually, the Guardian is a fabulous paper - and they have a great website.
Speak to you tomorrow!