21 June 2008
The bees have come back into my life. Outside my shed there is a bush with purple flowers. The bees congregate around it, taunt me and plot my downfall. The bees cannot be trusted. I despise them and all they stand for. Occasionally the bees send in one of their number to circle me in a menacing manner and make stupid buzzing noises. As a retaliatory measure I have cancelled the word bee. Henceforth they shall be known as ‘the little black and yellow bastards.’
I’ve just spent a year living in a shed writing my book. It’s been hard work. There have been times when it has sent me a bit mad, at least as mad as that time in Bulgaria with the talking bicycle. Generally, the outside world has given up on me. Occasionally people still call only to have me babble inanely down the phone at them. Sometimes I mention the bees.
Last weekend I moved back to London. The East End it pretty hectic after all those months under a cherry tree. As we cruised into the bedlam of the Romford Road I received two phone calls. One was from my associate Master Devlin, sat in a gay coffee shop in Prague reading astrophysics. The other was from my new landlord Tony ‘The Tiger’ Bowers swimming in a lake of cheap lager at the Download rock festival. It was a moment of transition.
One of the realizations during my recent communion with the planet Earth, was that liberal free-market capitalism is the best and surest route to health, personal achievement and brotherhood between men. As of Monday, I shall be diving into its clear and bracing waters to splash, frolic and bitch it up on behalf of my new pimp-lady, the delectable Ms Roberts.
If you think its taking a while to polish my tome, don’t worry. Doing it properly is important. The bit at the end, when I reinterpret human civilisation and explain God, took a couple of drafts to get right.
Draw comfort from the fact that it took William Dalrymple 14 months to write his first book. A more relevant comparison is with Alexander von Humbolt. Mr von Humbolt spent four years travelling the world – twice as long as me – but it took him 40 years to write it all down, and he needed five volumes.
So consider yourselves lucky.
Days spent living in a shed: 340