Regular readers will know how exciting this is for me: today, for the first time in about eighteen months, I have been able to go into the University Library without an appointment and walk freely around the stacks – and then return to my very favourite desk, on North Front 5, among the German books which I cannot read and so am not tempted to browse, with a view of King’s Chapel (you might just spot its four towers):
I am, of course and inexplicably, hopelessly behind with “Plank 7” – no writing retreat for me this year, but you’d think, with the endless months of lock-down, I’ve have written at least three more novels by now. But there it is, and I am making some progress: today’s task is the assembling of the timeline, as so far all references to time-frame are in square brackets, like this: “Goodness, is it really [[three weeks]] since I last spoke to him?” As “Plank 7” sees the arrival of the Met Police, there are certain dates to which I must adhere – passing of new legislation, swearing-in of new constables, first cadre of men out on patrol, etc. – and it’s a pretty tight schedule (from passing of legislation, via recruitment and training of a thousand men, to first patrol was just over three months!). So my ambition today is to check that it is physically possible, given the Met timetable and the other constraints on life at the time – journey times, court schedules, etc. – that my characters can actually do what I am telling them to do. And you thought only modern life was time-pressured!