39: Sabbatical III – St Paul’s Protesters

Posted in Diary posts on December 15th, 2011 by Peter Baker

15 December 2011

My editor, Sid, took me down to St Paul’s Cathedral, where since mid-October there has been a camp of people protesting against capitalism, among other things. It was a grey and overcast day, with occasional drizzle. The camp is a reduced version of what one finds at performing arts festivals – around 10 white, framed gazebos, scattered amongst a hundred two- to four-man dome tents. A bloke with a cart was making a good fist of keeping the place clean. No one seemed to be doing any harm. Read more »

37: On Sabbatical, Part 1 – Riots

Posted in Diary posts on November 27th, 2011 by Peter Baker

27 November 2011

On the worst night of the London riots, Tony was sanguine, treating the whole thing as sport (‘Wah-hey, it’s kicking off in Ealing now!’). As disorder turned to mayhem, he reminisced about the London jails he’d been locked up in himself over the years (Holborn and South Tottenham, for the record) and the roughings-up he’d received at the hands of the cops Read more »

36: Enlightenment 2.0

Posted in Diary posts on September 22nd, 2011 by Peter Baker

22 September 2011

My publisher has asked me to set out the meaning of the phrase ‘Enlightenment 2.0’, which appears on the jacket of The Jolly Pilgrim, but isn’t formally explained in the text. Read more »

35: Book Launch (and speech transcript)

Posted in Book updates, Diary posts on August 6th, 2011 by Peter Baker

6 August 2011

The weekend following the start of my sabbatical, I began to rearrange my chess pieces and prepare for the book launch. Just as I was getting to grips with things, my colleagues in arms, Martin and Catherine Stone, whisked me out of London for some R&R at The Secret Garden Party festival.

It didn’t disappoint. In attendance were the cream of Britain’s youth. Everyone was beautiful, friendly, polite, well balanced and mad for it. What joy. We retreating to camp every night, only to charge off again at 1 a.m. for yet another four-hour party session. The experience reminded me how much I love living on this planet. Read more »

34: One Chapter Ends, Another Begins

Posted in Diary posts on July 17th, 2011 by Peter Baker

17 July 2011

The day the first books were delivered it was rain, shine, rain, shine. Filled with emotion, I took the afternoon off and caught a train to Manor Park. I was on the edge of tears by the time the Olympic Stadium glided past. A vortex of nervous energy. A once-in-a-lifetime moment. Tingling. Read more »