Back from Spain, where there was gloriously nothing to do – except to swim in the Med, read, let Sangria warmly rise to the head in a lovely tapas bar and play cards on the terrace. All this while the waves rushed and retreated. I think I am coming to understand the true purpose of holidays more and more as time passes.
So, safely returned, if somewhat depressed.
And then, at about 4am on Sunday morning: sirens. Around the corner from us, the local boyz were tearing up the neighbourhood. Some even apparently brought along shopping trolleys, clearly wedded to Baden-Powell’s dictum: Be Prepared! Chief in their sights: JD Sports and our local, remarkably enlightened HMV, which does a good line in more specialist fayre (I once even discovered not one but two copies of the Director’s Cut of Reds) and has a wonderful staff straight out of Kevin Smith central casting (and I mean that in the best sense). The boyz apparently went for the trainers first and the XBoxes second. That makes sense. They also managed to cover most of the high road in coat hangers and mannequins from H&M and further attenuate the fortunes of local independent shopkeepers on their way home. Your intrepid reporter, it must be said, did not get out of bed as witness, but, instead, refreshed on Twitter from safely under the duvet. The future of all news reporting. The next morning, I awoke with the strangest dream fresh in the mind: it was 1980-something and I was in love with Mickey Rourke and the country was in tur–… Well, there’s no place like home. And sometimes, home is, indeed, so sad.
In other news, I am delighted to be joining Parthian Books as an Associate Editor. I’ve long admired Parthian’s style and substance; as discoverer of some of the finest fresh talent around, Parthian has published authors who have gone on to major wins and shortlistings for some of the biggest prizes, including Wales Book of the Year, the Betty Trask, the Dylan Thomas Prize, and The Orange Futures Prize. Great to be a part of a visionary indie that fuses the contemporary line with tradition (in the shape of the Library of Wales series) and the homegrown with the international (as a notable source of quality fiction in translation). I’ll be working on a number of projects for the publisher, including a new poetry series. More details on the Parthian website and this blog at the end of the month.