The day after New Year’s Day, London is almost back to normal. On Christmas Day itself, G. and I walked down through Clerkenwell to the Thames, and at times were quite alone on streets where the only movement was litter blowing in the wind and pigeons pecking after it. All the buildings shuttered, asleep with that peculiar suspended stillness that’s so different to the quiet of the countryside, all except for St Paul’s Cathedral, lighted and open, getting ready for the Eucharist service, the sound of its bells floating after us as we crossed the footbridge to the South Bank. In the week between Christmas and New Year, many parts of the city were still so deserted they might have been sets from a movie depicting the aftermath of some depopulating disaster; but now everyone is back, and the city is awake again.
In the post today, the first of the year, a contract from Gardner Dozois, who wants to include my story ‘Dead Men Walking in his Year’s Best annual collection. Which is as good a start to the year as any.