renowned for my lack of mathematical dexterity, by my reckoning, this won't be happening to my birthdate again for a hundred years. Whilst I do of course have every hope of being there in 2113 to celebrate my birthday, I don't generally plan that far ahead!
So, birthday, mine, today, palindrome, wow! (Well, okay - maybe just a bit wowish)
I can't deny that I occasionally experience the' black dog' referred to by Churchill for periods of depression. However, most of the time I remain pretty optimistic and cheerful, at least this is what those closest to me say. I once worked with someone who if you wished him, "Good morning!" would at once respond with, "Really, what's good about it?" Believe me, it was hard
Despite the potentially auspicious nature of my palindromic birthday, I have no plans to do anything particularly 'special' today, which is actually just how I like it. Sometimes we'll celebrate a birthday, but for me it's really a day for quiet appreciation - the flipside of the coin marked 'expectation' is 'dissatisfaction', and I really have nothing at all to be dissatisfied about. Our whole Western culture seems to be obsessed with the word 'special' - that special occasion, special holiday, special day, special person, special thing! Occasionally, I have stood
stock still in Southborough Woods, listening to the birdsong and feasting my eyes on the splendour and beauty that surrounds me, and tried to imagine how truly awesome this experience would be if I was hearing and seeing it for the first time. I guess what I'm saying is that whether a time or place is 'special' is almost entirely down to me and my perception of
Every day I wake up next to a woman I adore (always the same one I hasten to add!). We have a great many interests in common and we laugh a lot. We are not affiliated to a particular religious doctrine, although we both choose to live our lives along spiritual lines. Every morning before she goes off to her place of work we spend ten minutes together in silent meditation. Then I make a cup of tea and I sit down and write. I find the experience endlessly
Some years back, a senior executive in a major publishing house urged me to trust him that my book Niedermayer & Hart was "Going to happen" - about two years later, when it clearly wasn't, I felt thoroughly crestfallen. It took me a while to get over it and as the song goes, pick myself up, dust myself down, and start all over again! Everyone who writes must occasionally entertain a fantasy that their work will ascend into stratospheric orbit, like Harry Potter. I doubt J K Rowling ever expected her work to be received in quite the way it has been. All I can say is, that today, on my birthday, I am delighted (and a little bit proud) to have written two books. A few weeks back Niedermayer & Hart received this brilliant reader review from someone who won one of two copies in a Goodreads Giveaway and was kind enough to write down what she thought of it - believe me, it is incredibly gratifying when someone truly 'gets' what you've written. My other book Roadrage (published June 2013), a psychological thriller, is acquiring reviews slowly, but what there has been so far is good.
So, as I sit here before my computer screen drafting this blog on my palindromic birthday, wearing a new T-shirt my wife presented me with this morning (along with some other great stuff), and looking forward to seeing my son Tom and his girlfriend Lou who are coming round later, I feel pretty happy with my lot in life. I have a lot to be grateful for!