So some stuff has happened in the meantime. In that gap created between times I’ve written here. I’ve been back to Scotland, and sat in the sun on Islay sipping whisky and beer and eating something fresh from the sea. When the breeze died the midges appeared and fed on us, but it was breezy on the beach when we popped the Champagne and drank it even though our legs hurt. The sky so blue it pierced. And Loch Indaal sapphire, but for the odd white horse. The hills and fields an undulating green banner between them with the white buildings of Bowmore dotted against it all, tall black letters spelling the name of the distillery and town all at once.
I went to France and made wine. The Vermentino bubbled in its ferment like a bath with too much Imperial Leather poured in. It tasted of lemon barley and oats. The mist rolled in the from the sea and crept up the hills and mountains. I drank old Armagnac and stumbled in attempts to speak the language. Loose schist and pebbles fell beneath my feet as I stooped to pick bunches of grapes high up in the hills behind Banyuls. Thibault and I drank beer in a bar by the beach and we talked about wine and women. Andy and Julien and I drank strong Belgian beer next to the sailboats in Argeles after work and I don’t remember what we talked about, but it wouldn’t surprise me if the pretty Italian girl on the picking team came up once or twice. Her name was Luna. Everyone fancied her. I fancied the other one. I don’t remember her name. One night we decanted a couple of wines, Andy and I, and stayed up late in the gallery drinking and listening to music. The wines opened and we talked about them and the world around them. We drank all the whisky I brought and more. I returned to London but wasn’t quite sure why.
Summer turned and the leaves fell and now autumn is almost gone as well.
The Red Sox won. I stayed up late to see.
Mezcal, Old Fashioneds and Sazeracs stood lined on the bar, with shooters of sangrita to chase. We drank them, too many of them, and stumbled out into the Soho night. My bus never came, so I grabbed another.
Wine sipped, glugged and sometimes spat. Old friends caught up with over beers and burgers. Plus ça change.
I wrote and edited and amended and did it all again. I checked proofs and drafts and covers. I submitted and re-submitted. I drank pints and chatted with my publisher about costs and dates and rates and boards and dust jackets. I waited and then corrected again. I got it right, I think. It got sent to press, that book of mine, and soon it will be real.
And now it’s now, and there’s a journey soon.