A couple of days ago somebody told me that I had the best job in the world. Normally when people say this they are implying that it must be great to just lounge around listening to Miles Davis whilst reading Shelley and discussing post-scarcity anarchism with whoever might pass by. And of course it's exactly like that.
In our dreams.
In our dreams the carpet hoovers itself, the books sell and re-order themselves and then magically re-appear on the shelves, and all invoices are self paying on 120 days. Oh, and there's an extra day at the end of every week when the kids are looked after by Mary Poppins and the day is entirely devoted to reading.
And so it was very refreshing, last weekend, to visit my sister at her health farm and to be waited on hand and foot whilst lounging around reading (with the occasional break for a football match and an excellent Chinese meal) as Fred had a sleepover in the country and the star Nottingham Forest striker Nathan Tyson became his new best friend - boy can that lad sign an autograph!
Even better, then, that the book that I read, What Was Lost by Catherine O'Flynn, was, as has been noted elsewhere, so good. It is both funny and mysterious and absolutely compelling and it's set in Birmingham and partly in a record shop.(What more could you wish for?). There is even shop-floor dialogue like what you sometimes get here (only better). It reminded me a little of the contemporary films of Stephen Poliakoff and also of an urban version of the Graham Swift novel, Waterland.
Whatever, it deserves to be a massive word-of-mouth hit, every bit as famous as The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, and would, dare I say it, make a fantastic selection for the next round of Richard and Judy.
So that's its chances completely buggered then.
Shoe the kids here.