I sit thinking. Pen and paper on the table in front of the window overlooking Beverley Minster. The sky is blue. The red cross of St. George on the left tower hardly flutters. The sun is setting and I watch a shadow climbing horizontally up the west front as I nit-pick my way through the first 48 pages of A Flawed Eden. New Year Resolution: to submit these pages from my completed novel to find a reliable and effective agent. My past experience isn’t encouraging. I mustn’t let myself become too depressed by this herculanean task. This is my most ambitious novel. Literary critics have been saying for some time now that novelists don’t look depict the state of the world as it is likely to be in the very near future, the consequences of Trump’s election and of Brexit. Well, it does, but not in a way one might imagine.

The shadow is now above the main entrance and just under the huge stained glass west window. Above it the sunlight bathes the façade up to the pitched roof and the towers above it. On one of them the flag with the red cross of St. George flutters in a gentle breeze under a serene blue sky.

What next?

For the moment I am busying myself with research on Assisi and St. Francis for a lecture I shall be giving. Assisi was just one of so many ancient hilltop settlements above the Tiber valley from the time of the Umbrians around 1000 BC. Then came its most famous son, born in 1181 or 1182. Not only did he found the Franciscans, but also the great European literary tradition of writing, not in Latin, but in the words of everyday conversation. I have a lot to thank him for.