Friday, January 20, 2017

Inauguration of Trump

A day of working happily on my Skelton Yawngrave MS today. In a triumph of optimism over experience, I feel that at long last the real book is emerging. Worked from home doing this, and having some freelance related conversations, and Edinburgh related conversations by phone with Beth.

After lunch I walked through the park and eventually settled in Starbucks where I did a good few hours work there drinking tea and a large Americano.  The novel  seemed quite far fetched when I started it several years ago. I imagined as a backdrop to the story a scary political movement attempting to take over the UK, creating a climate of fear and suspicion. Now it seems almost tame.

A young guy I was sitting next to suddenly said, "You're writing a story! What are you writing?" as I was bashing away on Scrivener. I fell into conversation with a young Spanish Chilean guy, who was a budding writer of fantasy and science fiction, (it's always 'budding'). He was a great admirer of New York, the greatest city in the world, apparently, and of the US. He started telling me the story he was working on. It was set in New York and had lots of wizards in it. His politics seemed slightly to the right of Mussolini, with a strong flavour of eugenics thrown in. Despite this I couldn't help but slightly warm to him, and afterwards as I was walking home thought  I should have bought him a coffee, as he in retrospect he was in Starbucks for warmth and electricity and he told me he had lost a job. Made sure I walked my ten thousand paces, seeing as I didn't fancy the gym again.

How apt, this chance encounter on the the inauguration of Trump. I came home after five and switched the TV on. I caught the end of Trump's demonic America First speech. Then listened to the idiotic religious leaders, because Christ, must definitely have been okay with pussy grabbing, laughing at the disabled, racism, the worship of money and so on. Then I saw the Obamas being flown off to the dustbin of history with their mad notions of rationality, human decency and policies such as access to healthcare.

I always wondered what it must have been like to be in Germany in the 1930s and now I have to imagine no longer. This is how the slide into madness happens. And the constant niggle: what am I going to do about it? Number one thing is refuse to normalise it, but beyond that? It is time to find a way to be positive. But what times we live in. In the UK we have our PM announcing the launch of Global Britain, open for business. And how do you best launch a business? Step one: fuck off the half a billion customers on your doorstep. You couldn't make this stuff up.

So Lorraine home after a trying day, and wanting to have a pint of beer and a cheeky snack in the Preston Park Tavern, which we did with admirable efficiency. Betty met us there too. A nice relaxing evening, catching up on the week. But everyone tired and we headed for home early.

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