Up With the Lark

  Actually, up about four hours ahead of any larks in Dublin 6. I was drinking my first cup of tea at 5am this morning. Well, my alarm clock, set for 5.30, was sitting like sweating gelignite on my night table and I thought what the hell, catch it unawares, turn the damned thing off before it makes its first move.

I was up early because I was supposed to be promoting my novel LIFE ACCORDING TO LUBKA on Bulgarian breakfast television. Publicity? Eat your heart out Jonathan Franzen.

We did a skype check at 6.30 and everything was ticketyboo. Mr F wandered through in his boxers, possibly angling for a new career as an underwear model for Bulgarian mail order catalogues, but he was out of shot. I then passed the next hour browsing through the news of the past few days while my headphones threatened to ruin my hair. Main stories of interest: the Tucson shooting and its attendant fall-out. Also the ejection of BNP by-election candidate Derek Adams from hustings in Oldham earlier this week.

I haven’t been able to find any reliable explanation why Adams was forced to leave the platform. Some say he wasn’t invited, in which case it was rude of him to occupy a seat. But why wasn’t he invited? Why weren’t all candidates invited? Isn’t that the point of hustings? Others say it was because he peskily insists on talking about the phenomenon of Young Muslim Men Pimping White Teenage Girls. How is this problem ever going to go away if people like Derek Adams keep lifting up the rug? Some reports said he was dragged from the hall. I watched the video recording and it looked to me like he walked out, albeit reluctantly. In any event the elephant otherwise known as YMMPWTG remained at the table.

In Arizona, Sheriff Clarence Dupnik reminded us of that wise old saw: better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt. I watched Sarah Palin’s broadcast too. She was decorous, as usual, reasonable, sensible. I just found myself wondering why she felt impelled to make that tape. She had nothing to explain, nothing to apologise for. That those who blame her for the actions of a deranged gunman also wish her a lingering death from an inoperable tumour says it all.

Meanwhile, at the coal-face of author celebrity, the sound link with Bulgaria failed, the studio manager turned down my offer of a Marcel Marceau-style impersonation of a disappointed author and we called the whole thing off.

All that adrenalin sloshing around with nowhere to go. I mopped it up with two eggs, over easy, and a large pot of coffee.

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