For the record . . . Over the past few months I’ve written a diary column for a website, a full-page piece for Time Out, another piece about how CBe got started (by accident) and four columns for my local newspaper; I’ve read and talked at two bookshops, a writers’ group and a literary festival. Sum total of payments: £20, two bottles of liquor and supper in Bath. I’m not, I think, complaining – it’s been fun, and it’s more important that this yattering about books goes on than that anyone gets paid for it – but with what do they think I pay the broadband and catfood bills? Punctuation marks?
Other thing: this money-market meltdown mess, why are they all so taken by surprise, so rushing-around-trying-to-think-what-to-do-next? Over the last few years you only had to look at the photos of the City boys with their Xmas bonuses, and then take note of what was happening in the rest of the world, to know it was coming. I sound like my granny (‘It’ll all end in tears’). And when I die there’ll be no one more surprised than myself (‘Golly, this is happening to me?’). But still.