The Book of Wag

By Paul Sidey

A remarkable posthumous South London novel from a legendary editor

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Another snippet from Paul's email diary from Mallorca

From Marianne: On his last trip abroad in June last year, with our good friends in Mallorca, Paul wrote a sort-of diary  in the form of an extended email to a friend back home. In this extract, he reveals how, in those last months of his life, he faced his end with a strong sense of being able to predict things before they happened, and even, of being able to direct what was to come. It also shows his increasingly spiritual and loving  appreciation of the wondrous world around him.


"It has been a strange day today. I knew I would be out of it. Lost behind my eyes and terribly weary. Knew I would photograph a tiny sparrow early in the morning, which I did, with a single pink flower below it.

Now I am lying flat in my bed and looking out over the beautiful bay and gradually recovering my strength for evening meal at the port. Hope that comes true.

Been reading magnificent biography by Michael Korda about Lawrence of Arabia. What a hero, which is the title of the book. But how tragic. After he is buggered in Deraa, the story is almost too unbearable to continue.

It is good to know that I am not right about everything. Yesterday I saw a darkness over one of our party, but my fear may have been a superstitious fear about a photograph I took. Today the light returned.

Otherwise, after a day of feebleness, where I experienced what it may be like to begin the process of dying, my strength returned, and I saw, more or less, where we would be at the restaurant at the water's edge. Wonderful evening radiance. From the company too. Another miraculous experience."

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