month, the ever-reignng Cate and I celebrated our first year of
marriage. My anniversary present to her was a weekend away in Barmouth,
in a lovely 17th century cottage. The other night my parents came over
and Dad got talking about his childhood in Barmouth. We showed him a
picture of the place where we stayed... and it only turned out to be my
great-grandparents' old home.
Welp, the blog's been a tad quiet for a while, I know. I've struggled a bit with workload over the past couple of months, what with the new job and all, which slowed down the rewrites on Wolf's Hill markedly, to say nothing of trying to lay the groundwork for The Next Novel. Which part of this caused my old friend the Black Dog to resurface, I don't know, but it did. The past few weeks have been particularly tough, but (touch wood) I think I've turned a corner now. I hope so.
Good things have been in evidence over recent weeks. We had a snap general election here in the UK, in which it was widely predicted that the ruling Evil Bastard Conservative Party would wipe the floor with the left-wing Labour Party - even by Labour Party supporters. I have to admit I was afraid they were right: in terms of policies and vision I'd always felt Jeremy Corbyn was the best thing Labour had had for ages, but it was looking increasingly as though he was incapable of actually leading the party. When the election cycle started, the Spawn of Satan Conservatives were 22 points ahead of Labour. Not just defeat, but annihilation was prophesied.
And yet... over the six weeks leading up to the election, Corbyn showed what he was made of, supported by thousands of dedicated party activists like Matt Dent (to name but one.) The poll gap closed over the weeks, leading to a final result of a hung parliament. It isn't a Labour victory, but considering where things were, it's extraordinary. With Brexit, Trump and so much else it was easy to give in and decide everything was fucked. The French election, when the far-right Marine Le Pen was soundly defeated, was the first indication things weren't necessarily in an irreversible slide. This was the second. It really feels as though not only the Loathsome Shower of C Tories' Government, but the hateful and divisive politics that's been the dominant discourse in Britain for so long, is crumbling. Well, a boy can dream.
Not that there hasn't been horrific shit as well, such as the terrorist attacks in my home city, Manchester, and in London, plus the horrific fire at Grenfell Tower. But even there, we saw what people can be like at their best - stepping up to the plate to help those caught up in the destruction. We were reminded that there is still good.