Part of me feels a little queasy when I think about that, but I wonder why? I suppose I’d rather imagine the author right there, watching Will and taking notes. For some books it might not matter, but for that one – so firmly rooted in its territory of Buckinghamshire and Windsor Great Park, and so snowed in with winteriness – it does. (I’ll be forever grateful that my first winter at college, in 1981, was a snowy one, for I lived at Runnymede of Magna Carta fame, just a short walk from the Thames and its islets, and a slightly longer one from the site of Herne’s Oak.)
I know I’m being unreasonable. It’s one of the glories of writing that it can transport readers far from their own time and place: it’s only fair that it should do the same for writers. Yet still I feel uneasy. Maybe it stems from having watched too many Christmas Specials on television as a child. They were mostly recorded in summer, and were replete with fake snow and mufflers. Thinking of Val Doonican in a Santa beard, glistening with unseasonable jollity under the studio lights, makes me feel anything but festive.
Then there’s me, right now. I know this post is due to be published on December 27th, but on that date I’ll be enjoying a short break with my family – far, far away from an internet connection. Luckily, the wonders of Blogger allow me to set things up so that the post will appear at the right time (fingers crossed). In actual fact, though, I’m writing it in June. Wimbledon’s on the telly, and this time I just KNOW that Andy Murray’s going to go all the way. (Right? Don’t tell me if I was wrong – I don’t want to know.)