I used to be ashamed of reading escapist literature or watching films that weren't 'relevant to our present crisis' (whichever the latest was). I used to criticise my mother for refusing to wallow in the misery of current affairs just before bedtime. She said it was better in the War when newspapers kept morale high. Now I'm turning into her and that's a good thing. I think we need heroes. I'm queasy about current affairs becoming a whitewash for obvious reasons but in the world of fiction, let's for goodness sake leave dystopias to the real world and enjoy being close to someone with grit, moral purpose and courage.
I wanted to be James Bond's girlfriend when I was growing up. Now I see that that was like aspiring to be a coat stand. Possibly I chose to write about a Viking because women had equal standing and I can vicariously enjoy charging about in a vicious landscape as I sit in a centrally-heated office. I hope you do, too.
Anyway, happy new year to you all. Let's be hopeful and courageous and kind to each other if the hope fails. Here's my picture of the creatures who give unconditional love and teach me to live in the moment. And when I can't, to curl up on the sofa next to them with a good (escapist) book! The one on my lap here is The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper. Aptly.
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