Cancellation of the London Book Fair 2020

On Wednesday, I thought I would check the website again. So I looked, and only ten minutes earlier, the cancellation of the London Book Fair 2020 had been announced.

In what would have been its fiftieth anniversary, the news was all over Twitter and Facebook, yet I found myself compulsively checking and re-checking, making sure there wasn’t a mistaken double-negative tucked somewhere in the public statements.

So I’m not going to London next week. Not such a big deal, you might think, apart from a meeting I have been very much looking forward to, the non-refundable train fares and costs of accommodation near the venue. No problem.

Except… The Fair is the one place I may hope to meet like minded folk, since, for the rest of the year, I spend too many hours with my nose up against my computer screen and communicating in the virtual world of avatars and emojis. This annual meeting of minds also throws in my direction the hope that I may meet interesting folk with a lot to say, and who have the same obsession with writing that I have, albeit with a different flavour and emphasis.

I feel at home in the London event even if, as usually happens, I come home with lots of postcards, fliers and ideas, few of which get further than my jotter or notes. But the hope inherent in such a gathering is motivation enough for me. Because the hope is what keeps me going.

Without that jolt of hope and enthusiasm to the system, the rest of my writing year now looks very different. And now, where will I find that jolt? Well, from me, obviously. I can hardly expect anyone else to supply it. So that’s where I’m at: despite the gloomy global forecasts, I have to start applying to myself and my own life, all the lessons that I wrote about in my three books to date: I know the theories, and now is the time to bring them out of retirement – that is, the satisfied glow of publication – dust them down and use them every day to take me forward, peacefully, happily, and in the certain knowledge that the biggest miracles I may bring into being, start with me.

Thanks for listening.

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