Finished …. not quite


“I set off to walk the country of Suffolk, in the hope of dispelling the emptiness that takes hold of me whenever I have completed a long stint of work.” Sebald, The Rings of Saturn.

Just before we left to go away I finished writing a book – yes this book. A book that has been living with me for about 20 years on and off, but mainly off. I sent it to the publisher. I am happy with it. It is a good piece of scholarship and I think it also subtly undermines the entire discipline of History too which is an added advantage.


As soon as I sent it off, I got sick. I was exhausted. Finishing it, letting it go, left me hollow.

Spending a week walking and swimming along the coast of Suffolk and reading poetry has miraculously put me back together again.


We are now home and I am ready to work on finishing the next book which is due to go to the publisher at the end of the year.


Just for the record though and please remind me of this, if I ever forget – I am never, ever, ever again agreeing to finish three books (on vastly different subjects) in one year. I feel that doing this might break me completely.


More on our walks, swims and food over the next few days – we had pretty much no internet or phone when we were away.


N.B. Shall we just not mention the fact that Mark and I also agreed to do a substantial rewrite for the second edition of Doing History for next December – and that (quite excitingly) we are working on a special edition of a journal writing and editing pieces by various video artists, photographers etc. Hands over ears … la la la la la… I can’t hear you.

N.B. And I am certainly not mentioning the other little article that I thought might have been forgotten by the editors but that they now want asap …. eek.

N.B. I would tell the bees about my work worries, but they just look at me with incomprehension.

4 responses to “Finished …. not quite

  1. Three books in a year???? Hats off to you, one is more than enough for me.
    I’ve had various side projects on the go so if I got rid of those I could almost squeeze a second book in but it’s not realistic.
    I think you have earned your break.

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