25th September 2020


To be a publisher one must have a simple soul. I have sought this and matured. I'm not bored . . . not a bit bored.

I now understand the gentle feeling of breathing easily that comes with working on something good . . . on making items that can and will be good.

In this environment, the simple soul, the artful soul, the creative and fun soul, this alone is enough. Nothing more is necessary.

My hands are not cold when I go out cycling. These are the hands of a true person. I don't get angry anymore. I don't get depressed.

I am consoled. I love talking to the writers I work with, I like being with them. This is the best part.

Today, a Friday, I swung on to my bicycle, as I have done on many Fridays, and I free-wheeled to Leith. A cyclist travelling from Leamington Terrace to Leith, barely has to pedal at all . . . and passes through some of the most beautiful parts of our home city, some of the finest and most famous sites on our home planet. 

Today I:

  • Met with writer Lesley Storm to discuss her book, It's About Time, to be published on 1st January 2021. I met with Jane Goldman yesterday who had done some work on this book for me. Jane's work has been exceptional, and Jane also taught me a huge amount. Lesley and I spent an hour in Marmalade, the Leith cafe where the cover photograph of her book was taken. We talked ebooks, we talked ancient history . . . we talked Todd McEwen and we talked recent history.
  • I edited for half an hour, my audio file of Clapperton by John Heredman. I recorded this on Monday morning last.
  • I leaned too far back on my office chair and it is now two office chairs, after collapsing.
  • I spoke to a young writer I like working with, whose book I am doing a small edit on, before it is submitted to some major (I hope) publishing houses.


There was a beautiful young wood pigeon with a broken wing in our garden. When I returned I found it, floundering.

The bird was trying to fly away when I cycled back in, but it couldn't get off the ground. The cats were moving in.

Arlene and I phoned the bird rescue services. This was because this pigeon would have spent the later afternoon and early evening / the rest of its life, being clawed and bitten to death by our two cats, who are young and live for this sort of thing. 

To avoid this suffering we called the RSPB rescue. We received two instant call backs and I caught the plump wood pigeon and secured it in a box.

Within 35 minutes a brilliant young specialist came to our house, assessed the bird, dealt with its immediate needs, and then wrapped and secured it and took it away for healing and hospitalisation. 

To be honest . . . and Arlene noted this, the bird was treated faster and better than a person might have been.

The thing to get, everybody, is a broken wing.

Cloud, the cat, I mention her because she is often on the webcam for this website . . . well she was most disappointed, more disappointed than her sister, but most disappointed not to get the bird.

Cloud and Whisper had managed to discover the bird's presence as it hid, just out of their reach, in a bush.

Whisper was a bit silly and ate one of the wounded bird's feathers. I had to get the feather out of her mouth. Feathers are not that chewy and she was champing at it for ages . . .

Good night. I am reading Walter Benjamin, I am reading Bob Shaw, I am reading a biograhy of Jean Calvin, and I am reading Michael Moorcock . .  . it's a busy bedside . . . listening to these 'great authors', with their 'great books' . . .


 Peter Burnett