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Tuesday 11th August 2003


I’ve been biking down the Thames on one of the hottest days of the year with my mum, Vic, and best friend Jan. This is the first time I have been on a bicycle since being ill, and it felt like returning to my old self. We met outside the Tate Modern and whizzed off past the Globe and down towards Greenwich. There is something about being on a bike that makes one feel like a kid again…all that wheeling in between things, bumping over kerbs, leaving walkers behind. We stopped to watch a Nigerian wedding, waited hours for the bride to arrive, because it’s supposed to be lucky to see brides. From Greenwich we went through the foot tunnel, which was icy cool and dripping, and came out in the Isle of Dogs. From there we went through Canary Wharf with it’s big glassy towers and found the canal which tok us back to Islington. This was like the under belly of London…a long scummy waterway, with fishermen (I’ve never seen a woman fishing) boys throwing stones at rats, dark low bridges, and bits of industry. Every so often we would pass the back of someone’s house where someone was playing loud reggae music. It was a memorable ride. I love exploring the secret parts of London.

Now I’m back at my desk, though about to go on the annual pilgrimage to the Isle of Wight (crabbing, Compton Bay, fish and chips, Yarmouth Carnival sports day) I can’t quite jump back into the new novel until I have a big enough space. Cold Calling has been on the telly. Because of the heat the picture kept on fragmenting which was maddening. Still, it was succesful in lots of ways….I learnt alot about television writing…like, it’s what’s going on INSIDE the actors head which matters most….I have never cut a script so close to its bones. I was yet again overwhelmed by the talents of actors Charlie Hardwick and Trevor Fox.

Also Taxi driver’s Daughter arrived in shops on Thursday. I’ve had some really lovely reviews…one in the TLS that talked about all kinds of details in the novel…the kind of stuff that no one seems to notice usually. For anyone who saw Independent piece…my partner is called BEV not Pat, and I have a very important sister, Josie, as well as three brothers. Also it’s the Northern Rock Writers Foundation which is different from the bank. And the poetry is published by ARC not Anvil! For all that I really enjoyed that interview, and liked the journalist very much.

May all your Summers be breezy…!