I’m sitting in my bedroom. If I were to move to my left I would have a view from the window. Only discipline keeps me looking at the pink wall. (Well – what other colour would it be?) All writers need somewhere to work. This simple fact comes to mind with the news that a public appeal has been launched to save Roald Dahl’s writing shed. Now, I guess his name will be familiar to you……but let me make a confession. Until I was about 25 I had never heard of him. As a child I read books completely at random. My parents did not read books and never read bed-time stories to us load of brats.(Can’t say that I blame them. They worked night and day to pay the rent.) Most of what we read in school was the Bible and I don’t think Roald wrote that in his shed. It was when my own kids were young that I became aware of his work – and that was because of the film “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” which was on TV at Christmas for about 20 years. Anyway – they want half a million pounds to organise the moving of the shed to a proper museum. Not sure how much I’ll be giving to be quite frank.
Thinking of books that I read as a kid reminded me of my own very very special appeal to the people of the world. The first book I read was “Missing from Home” by Geoffrey Trease. It was a very socialist book about posh kids accidentally coming across the poor. It was in a pile of books given to me by a very kind lady called Mrs Lovelock. Now my life story is of a poor kid accidentally coming across the rich. Perhaps I read the book backwards. I was a pretty dumb kid. However, I must say that this book planted those old commie seeds in my brain and now they are in there like those weeds that strangle everything in my herb garden. Well – all that oregano and basil sound a bit bourgeois to me. I would say that this book seriously changed my view of life. If anyone knows where there is a copy PLEASE PLEASE let me know. My treasured copy got kinda divorced and lost in the decree absolute of time.
This weekend marks “Les Journées Européennes Du Patrimoinie”. This means that palaces, monuments and chateaux will be open free of charge to the public. The idea is to give everyone a view of our heritage and also to involve them in the notion of its conservation and continuance. There are queues everywhere! There is no doubt that our leaders want to involve us all in the Eurodeal – that notion of the single state, doing away with the idea of war and the economic beggaring of your neighbour. If they do pull it off – to unite Europe fiscally and politically with an educated population fully employed with an equality of wealth and opportunity, it will be one of the greatest achievements of all time. I urge all the leaders of Europe who are reading this blog (and I know you do!) to be conscious of this. Over recent years a “place in history” has required war. Over these next few weeks my leaders – it will require the end to war or you will never be forgiven. If you can hold the show together and retain an agenda for people and not just for the so called markets, you will be THE GUYS. Can you even dream of failure? All the rest of us can do is press our faces into ugliness against the window you have shown us!
Emma thinx: History: Keep out! Work in progress.