yes yes it is, which makes keeping up with the unimportant things of life even more difficult. a man needs to be in a boat, not flogging himself to death with deathless prose. i keep getting letters from people as far apart as texas and germany (whichever is the bigger, i wonder?) urging me to write another william bentley book, and to be sure i’d dearly love to. but my sea books tend to be a bit unpleasant in genre fiction terms, so they don’t exactly make me rich. william is young and handsome, to be sure, but his beloved is a whore, and his eyes are too wide open to british brutality to sit comfortably with hornblower and all the other overprivileged gits(!)who used to sail the seven seas. most pirates were ex-naval men, incidentally. have you ever wondered why? nelson’s beloved was a whore, incidentally, and when he died he left her care to the english nation. she died penniless in a calais gutter. says it all, doesn’t it?
my naval heroism lately has gone no further than failing to get across the channel with the dunkirk veterans. a sad story, but a good night out, and i wrote the outline of a novel on the train back up north from ramsgate. and my mate who did go threw up over the side of his little ship because he’d been drinking pimms for breakfast. wow.