Sunday, September 28, 2008
Darkness Falls, Part One
Safe home after the rigours of amusing six hundred children in tents, I have allowed myself a few hours to sift through the Sunday papers and came across this delight in the Observer.
On being asked how he will spend the hours of darkness forecast for Britain in the forthcoming winter of powercuts, financial doom and rising unemployment, Donald Macleod, principal of the Free Church School in Edinburgh replied,
'Now that we've run out of coal, gas, oil and old newspapers, we should have a nationwide network of wind turbines and nuclear power. Sadly, we don't, because they either spoiled someone's view or offend someone's principles. So the short answer is that I'll wring necks.'
Visions of our rapidly emptying oil tank being scaled by a commando force of rampant ministers, all hopped up to the gills with righteous god-given indignation. Great, huh? That's all we need. Ranks of dog-collared thugs patrolling our streets, some of them drunk on communion wine, others simply fuelled on belief that their Way is the Only One. Oh, fun times ahead, people.
The line drawing of Daisy and her Inner Demon is one of the 143 black and white illustrations I finished last week for the inside of Witch Baby and me at School ( publishing in January 09). I took approximately half an hour off to celebrate this completion with a cup of coffee, and then began my next project - a picture book called Stormy Weather. Strangely prescient, what? One wonders what, if anything will be left of Western capitalism when it is published in October 2009. It is a lovely book - I'm really looking forward to immersing myself in the doing of it. All the pencil roughs are done, so the months between now and the hand-in date in January will be spent painting watercolour artwork for every double page spread. That is, when I'm not out in tents, or at book festivals or, like next week, on tour with The Trouble With Dragons.
The tour is a week of events up and down the length of Britain, travelling by train, armed with a powerpoint thing on a usb data stick, some pens and missionary zeal ( though not of the same order as Donald Macleod's) I'm hoping to add my voice to the rising clamour regarding the urgent need for us to do something to reduce our carbon output. I'm fighting a rearguard action by attempting to engage as many children as I possibly can in the course of a week, in the hope that they will go back home and pester their loving parents into taking action.
Meanwhile, the rest of the world appears to have taken their eye off the ball entirely - obsessing about money, mortgages and the identity of the next new and sparkly leader to replace the older models who have failed us. Deckchairs? Titanic, anyone?