So, about two months or so ago, I wrote this in which I said I’d set myself a deadline of finishing by March 29.
Today is March 30 and I’m going to miss that deadline by a mile.
It’s not for the want of trying. I’ve written as much since January as I did between July and December. But I’m still a way away from finishing because life keeps getting in the way of me being able to sit down and write uninterrupted for even two hours at a time.
Excuses, excuses. I know, they’re pathetic.
But I’m getting there – slowly but surely. And the book will be finished. That it is being done at all is all down to Andrew, whose support has been immense.
But actually I’m going to blame him for slowing my progress because he keeps emailing me with anecdotes that are such gems and little snippets of memory that are coming back to him about his early years (bear in mind he will be 84 this year).
And those are absolute gold dust which are helping me to tell the story in ways I could only have dreamed of.
Here’s a little example. From 1936 to 1941, Andrew and his adopted family spent every summer at an old farmhouse his parents owned on Brant Lake in the Adirondack Mountains. The journey there took ten hours from Long Island and it was another world. Here’s what Andrew recalls:
Our only source of light in the evening was by kerosene hurricane lamps. Needless to say, we never stayed up too late. When we had company, the grown-ups played cards and drank beer and made a lot of noise.
I never saw so many stars in my life, so dark was it on moonless nights. Maybe the Zeiss Projector of the Hayden Planetarium in New York could match it, but this was real. At nine pm we heard the sound of a whipper will, a bird I’ve never seen, but you could set your watch by it.
So, bear with me. I promise it will be well worth the wait.