Finished A Patriot’s History of Britain yesterday – apart, obviously, from corrections and additions to come later. I never trust my computer – or electronic things generally – so I decided to copy all the files on to a memory stick, preliminary to printing them out on to good old-fashioned paper, in case there’s a sunburst or something that wipes all these invisible things out. Then: Panic! The files disappeared! All that work wasted! I screamed and thrashed about, in what I imagine was the first stage of a nervous breakdown. Then Kajsa came up and sorted it out. I don’t think it’s because she’s cleverer than me (although incidentally I think she is), but simply because she can remain calm. Anyway, everything is ready for the print-out this afternoon, when we’ve bought more paper. Then, holding my baby in my arms, I’ll feel more secure.
My publisher still has to accept this final version, although I can’t imagine – after the glowing reports we received on the Proposal – that they’ll turn it down. Apparently their ‘Board’ doesn’t meet until next month, which is a bit of a bugger if the book’s to come out before Christmas, as I’d rather hoped. It’s very topical; which means that it could get out of date quite soon. In particular, Boris might be gone in the meantime; which may render the term I coined for his government this morning (in the bath, where all my best ideas come to me) may seem less apt than it does today. The phrase is the one at the head of this post. Has anybody thought of it before, I wonder? I’m quite pleased with it.