At two in the morning I rolled over, smitten by inspiration and insomnia, and typed a thousand words which seem to have knocked me out of the writer’s-block rut that my latest project has got its giant many-spoked tsar-tank wheels stuck in. Then, still unable to sleep, I reached for the book pile and finally got round to reading No Such Thing As Dragons, which was just as wonderful as I had expected, in its carefully, consciously limited way, with little flourishes of creative brilliance occasionally seeping through the cracks. Then I fell asleep and had surreal dreams of grated-cheese hair and fumbling bolts and cartridges in sandstone caves behind dark green curtains.
WAFS lecture was fantastic; a quite young, bearded, German lecturer with a wonderfully stereotypical accent belting out the historical laws and customs of war, with a delightful self-aware style that raised chuckles about poison-gas technicalities and wars in the 1870s. I contributed! The guy knew his audience, and knew his subject, and it was a pleasure to learn. (“I have a cherman passport but I didn’t personally take part in zer holocaust….I didn’t even think it vas a good idea!” …maybe you had to have been there.)
In the free hour that stood between that and the next lecture, an analysis of Gandhi which I had all already learned at GCSE Religious Studies, my phone buzzed with exchanges, James S thinking of getting L4D2 to round out our zombie-slaying foursome. After the lecture I chatted with James R and Jon and Jony about war and gas and jacketed hollowpoints and science and chemotherapy and refrigeration and submarines, in a wonderful tone of openness and mutual fascination I’m only really used to online or with my brothers.
The sun came out, and the air had a warmth I’d almost forgotten, and when I came out of the library and saw the great clock tower saying I had all the time in the world, I sat beneath a spreading tree, reading in the sun.