I feel like I miss the Thanksgiving buffer that stops the Christmas bandwagon from building up speed too early. But then, Britain isn’t exactly short of pre-Christmas high days and holy days around this time of year.
As well as Guy Fawkes Night, there’s Black Friday (without all the tedious mindfulness suggested by Thanksgiving), Saint Andrew’s Day, and PEN International’s Day of The Imprisoned Writer.
After last week’s Tangents, let’s get back on topic this week, shall we? Facebook has been reminding me this week of the vacation Mrs Stroke Bloke and I took in Thailand this time five years ago.
That was kind of the last hurrah for Ricky 1.0, before returning once again to the stresses – and fun – of my NYC life, and shortly thereafter, a massive haemorrhage stroke. I still picture the Maikhao Dream Resort when a guided meditation leads me to my happy place.
On Tuesday, I was invited to an event run by The Open University’s Reading Communities team in association with The Scottish Book Trust’s Book Week Scotland and the Being Human festival of the Humanities. It was called Edinburgh: A City of Readers. As well as my story Valhalla, I was asked to read an extract from an 1830 letter written by the actress, writer, and abolitionist campaigner Fanny Kemble in which she talks of breakfasting with Walter Scott and a small party of other Scottish luminaries of the time.
Apparently, she found it
strange that so varied and noble an intellect should be expressed in the features of a shrewd, kindly, but not otherwise striking countenance.