Consider this an abridged omnibus edition. Or consider me lazy. Whichever you prefer. In summary, however, this means that I have failed in my grand but possibly foolhardy intentions to produce 31 pieces of writing during the month of May, and won’t even be satisfying my OCD nature by going back to try and fill in the numerical gaps. My only consolation is that, surprisingly, I did at least manage to make it as far as twenty entries before feebly throwing in the towel. Woe is me, etc.
In defence of my failure, however, I offer you the following. It is hot. Very hot. And I am British. Very British. Though not British enough to join the throng of blokes wandering the streets and parks in shorts and sandals (but, significantly, no shirts), proudly modelling the charming raw-skinned lobster-red look that seems to always be in vogue on these shores. Well, I’m not getting my flab out for anyone, baby. I am staying indoors, curtains drawn and out of the sunlight, topping up my unhealthily grey English complexion and perspiring a lot.
Also: my words are simply ill-suited to summer. I am an autumnal writer. At times, I verge on being positively wintry. If you don’t believe me, you haven’t been reading long enough. If I ever make it into print, I don’t foresee my books being bought in airports by Hawaiian-shirted holidaymakers looking for something frivolous and escapist to read while soaking up skin cancer on the beach. “Him? Oh no, dear. Far too maudlin. No sex, either. How about this six-inch thick bonkbuster with the shiny reflecting cover?” I don’t see my readership — that means you (singular, probably) — as the type who reclines on a sun lounger in shades, sipping a cocktail. No, in my mind’s eye I see the average Unreliable Witness fan as being someone shivering in a depressing inner-city bedsit in the depths of darkest December, wrapped in a heavy overcoat and hunched over a one-bar electric fire for meagre warmth, with their only company provided by a syringe, a razor blade, and a bottle of wretchedly cheap gin. It makes me so proud.
If the puddle of sweat doesn’t suck me away forever, I will endeavour to get back on schedule. Not that I’ve been completely indolent. Somewhere back there, I managed to write another piece for the new, eagerly keen and lasciviously thrusting ‘Other’ magazine. It’s another thoughtful piece about an aspect of literary style, but delivered via the sort of bad-tempered rant that I’m becoming known for in my advancing years. Somewhat incredulously, it comes adorned with a photograph of Britney Spears, so even if you can’t stand my writing, it’s worth going there to find out how America’s faded teen queen and I are inextricably linked.