Earlier this week – before Tuesday, that is – I was planning to write an indignant blog post about the unwarranted censorship of my novels by Kobo/W.H. Smith, the company that got carried away by moral indignation and purged itself of self-published books more or less overnight. I could have had quite a cosy rant about how cosy my mysteries were, how free of bad language and gratuitous violence and so on.
Then Tuesday came.
Within about two hours during Tuesday morning, the youth and community centre which I help to run – and about whose fund-raising activities I have probably complained more than once on this very blog – was devastated by fire, which swept across its 100-year-old roof and completely destroyed the caretaker’s flat and various other parts of the building, before being controlled and then extinguished by firemen and around 16 assorted fire appliances. By the time I got there at lunch-time, the roof timbers were sticking up in a line into the sky like the ribs on a skeleton that has just been excavated. Fortunately there were no casualties. Even as I write this, on Thursday evening the exterior walls are being reduced in height to try and make sure they don’t collapse into the street, the caretaker is being re-housed and various people are trying to find accommodation suitable for the various activities that used to happen in the building.
I have my own good and bad memories associated with the place. The task of resurrecting it is huge, and will probably occupy far too much of my time for the next few years. But I can’t somehow bring myself to resent that. Not at the moment anyway! Ask me again in a year’s time. I will probably have quite a lot to say about the massive fund-raising effort we will no doubt have to make.
It’s a pity it takes something like this to restore my sense of perspective. Will try harder in future not to complain about silly little things!