January 8th 2009
A year ago, to the very day, I was rendered unemployed by the failure of the delightful company that for eight years had been my work place. My colleagues and I had worked hard at either the broadcasting end of publishing or the publishing end of broadcasting, we could never quite determine which, but it mattered not as we loved books, we loved what we did and happily so did many of the kind people who consumed our endeavours.
The intervening 12 months has been, as you might imagine, defined by the search for work, failure to find any and beset by all the dull, contingent difficulties that such worklessness bestows. During this time a dark, blank lethargy overcame me, borne out of the sense of loss, grief even, for the role and responsibilities that had defined my life every day of every week for the previous eight years. I mourned for my 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year, hassled, pressured, but no less adored job. Less post-traumatic stress syndrome, more post stress trauma syndrome. I had become a statistic, an unlucky pawn of history. But that was last year and last year is over so this year it’s all going to be very different. Or so I hope.
There are encouraging signs that re-employment may be nigh. Possibly as the Literary Editor of a weekly magazine of some history and repute, possibly as the Artistic Director of a Literary Festival of less history but equal repute. Either way it will be good to be back amongst the bookish and bright, the wordy and wise.
This blog then will follow my path back to an office. Along the way we will pass by authors I know and have known, books I am reading and have read, books you might like, books you might not. We may from time to time meander from the path to look at such objets d’interet as the blue plaques on the walls of London houses to notable trees that catch my eye, we may discuss concepts from the origins of the feral parakeets that abound in the Royal Parks to whether Morris Dancing should be rebranded as Britain’s only martial art.
So then welcome all and enjoy this occasional biblioblog with bells on.