So that’s done. ‘The book’ completed, given very flattering reviews by the publisher’s (anonymous) readers, all their suggestions incorporated into the text, and ready to be despatched to Bloomsbury on Monday. Which is a month before their deadline. Next step: the copy-edit, then proofs, then bang! Into the bookshops. With one or two free copies being sent to my favourite Tory MPs, like Jacob Rees-Mogg – to put them right about British history.
This will be my farewell to the writing world: my Vier letste Lieder (sp.?), if you will. The last few weeks I’ve been worrying that it might be my Bruckner’s Ninth: i.e. unfinished. Or my Mozart Requiem: completed by an inferior hand. (Obviously I’m not comparing myself…)
Not that I’m thinking of departing this world yet. Last night, however, I got chest pains that made me think I might be a goner soon. But it no longer matters, I thought, having finished the book, so I can die happy. (Until the reviews come out.)
Of course it wasn’t a heart attack. The main thing I suffer from, I’ve decided, is ‘hypochondriacal hypochondria’ (to coin a phrase): i.e. always assuming that anything that afflicts me is simply my mind making it up. The cure will be if it turns out to be something real, like a heart attack. That will be a kind of relief. ‘So I’m not wasting everybody’s time…’
I’m leaving the copy-editor to decide on some of my juiciest expressions. E.g. can I refer to Boris Johnson’s ‘wet dreams’ (of ‘global’ and even ‘galactic Britain’). Is it OK to describe the original African slave-traders – the ones who caught and delivered the slaves to the Europeans on the west coast – as ‘Moslems’? Can I mention the part played in the monstering of Corbyn by the (Jewish) Board of Deputies without being accused of anti-semitism? That would probably get me expelled from the Labour Party, if I hadn’t already left it. I’ll see what he or she thinks. (Probably a ‘she’ in my experience; a highly-educated young woman confined to the house and trying to cope with toddlers at the same time as my typescript.)
I’d be lost without some writing to do. Which is why I hope to get back to serious blogging soon. Although finding anything ‘serious’ to blog about is getting more difficult in this ‘Peppa Pig’ age.