Suddenly another August is almost over, and there are signs the strange and beautiful paralysis of summer is coming to an end. It's been my first summer in many years without a job, and without the prospect of one for the autumn. Redundancy has led to some novel outcomes. I could never have predicted a year ago that I would have spent much of this season playing bass guitar and singing with an Eastern-European-influenced band (founded by Elaine and myself), in front of local audiences ranging all the way up to the three or four thousand gathered on the Stade (the beach) in Hastings on a sunny Sunday afternoon three weeks or so ago. Children and old ladies danced. Even the winos and dopeheads listened (though one screamed at me to "turn down the fucking bass"). Talk about learning curves.

In between, my writing over the past few months has morphed back into prose (like this). The sentences have rearranged themselves several times, and are beginning to find their illusory, always temporary homes. The garden has been cleared. Vapour trails linger in the sky. I went to Spain. Barbecue smoke drifting from down the street starts to take on the menace of a Greek wildfire. At Port Lympne, Elaine & I witnessed two elephants mightily mating before embarrassed families. Howler monkeys hit their high notes. My credit card expired. The Moors laid down seven tracks. England, incredibly, regained the Ashes. Spurs, even more incredibly, won their first three league games of the new season. Several days (unlike last year) have even looked and felt like summer: twice I consumed one of Pat & Tush's famous fish rolls on the Rock-a-Nore beach, while laughing children ... the waves ... screaming gulls ... etc.

Now four heavy boxes of books have arrived from CPI Antony Rowe: they are the first copies of the new Reality Street book, the Botsotso anthology. One has been re-dispatched to South Africa, and as autumn approaches the contents of the remaining boxes will soon be dispersed to reviewers and subscribers and supporters across the world. I shall have more to say about this in my next post.