I have spent the week in London – indeed, I write this from an Anglican vicarage in Clapham, where I have been staying. I don’t do this very often nowadays and, to be honest, I don’t always find it easy (cities are, apart from anything else, hideously noisy and – obviously – crowded; people appear wantonly shut off from each other, their faces blanked out or focused in on their mobile screens). But I have, this time, had a mainly very happy experience.
Spring is coming in the south; it is neither as cold nor as wet as it has been in south-west Scotland for the last month or more; I have done some interesting work (which is basically why I am here) and some enriching things, which have included revisiting the Rothko room at Tate Modern – the artist who more than anyone else I know can “represent” silence on canvas. But best of all, I have been enjoying friendship.