As I write

As I write, it is nearly the start of another normal week with normal stuff, and for me that means – getting new specs; hearing from my son Michael about his family and my grandson Marcus in Sweden; and catching up with my daughter Rachel about her work caring for people or doing crafty stuff (as in crafts, not being sneaky). And, in my own little universe, I will be responding to the many demands of Nergal, the cat. I am starting to get used to what she wants when she whines: food, snacks, water, wanting to go out, or going to sleep on my chest (usually, when we are watching TV after 9, but I think she would do it all day if she got the chance). And, last but never least, me and Isobel will be planning our latest adventures. Recent ones have included: a trip to Edinburgh to see my dad and visit Oxfam books (I have no idea whose idea the bookshop was or how I ended up with so many books).

A lot of ordinary things, I find, are also extraordinary too. Like going through Dundee streets in the rain at night, and you snap a photo through the windscreen (it’s okay, Isobel was driving); and later, you look at the image and think – it looks like an old Hollywood movie, and maybe I was a private detective following a suspect.  Or, maybe not.

I’m involved in a few situations where, in some ways it’s ordinary stuff, and in other ways – unusual. I’m still waiting to find out what happens to my ‘normal’ job – the frontline Welfare stuff that nearly wiped me out through stress, but redeployment may happen, or something else. I’ve got plenty of support around me so I’m optimistic.

Then, there’s something I’d laid aside for a while but it looks like it’s come back into my life: my investigations into real-life spies. After a decade of digging, I got some of that story out, thanks to Kit Klarenberg of Sputnik. Now, more stories may be in the pipeline. I’ll say more when it’s the right time.

The main normal/ extraordinary situation is – I have made such good progress in writing a book about poverty, that I need to put this weekly column on hold – just for two or three weeks. In that time, I intend to go into one-finger typing overdrive, getting a 45,000 word manuscript into shape. Then, I send it off to a literary agent. Whatever happens next, I’ll let you know.

Harvey Duke

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