So. If I was to write something substantial, something that people could buy in a shop, what would it be about? Travel is obvious and saturated. I’ve never read the kind of book I’d want to write, but I suspect that’s because I’ve hardly looked. Instructional stuff is also a saturated market, with room for just the best few books on each topic. Plus, there’s a whole lot of work in gathering facts, updates, and pictures that doesn’t make it onto the page and into the word count.

Fiction? Well, I can’t lay claim to any fiction writing skill, but I’ve been reading some great Neal Stephenson and some OK Zadie Smith recently, and that could help. Alternatively, I could be overinfluenced and try to write about oddly miserable London lives in the 1700s. Kids books? There’s an idea I had a while ago which is staying private for now, and I’m not sure I know enough about what kids like. Plus it would need to be illustrated, which is not what I’m best at. Farming that out feels like not writing half the book. I’ll ponder a little longer, maybe hammer something out. Maybe beg in writing to our local papers. Need a part time travel writer?

Sitting here, down in the cellar with a view, I’m pretty comfortable, probably ten or more degrees cooler than the city. It’s a nasty, oppressive heat that’s visiting today, with the promise of a hot summer ahead.

From the deck we’re level with the treetops, but from here down below I see the lower reaches. If we can clear enough of the undergrowth and cut the grass on our uneven terrace, we can sit at the feet of the trees, where they seem gigantic. In a slightly stronger breeze, the loose leaves fall, adding to the building litter on our slope. There’s a calm that nobody can build for you and which shops can’t bottle.

Haze obscures the view, somewhere distant near Kenmore, and soon enough a branch will grow and obscure it further. Do we chop it off, win a battle, inevitably lose the war? I think we’ll have a go, if we can attack it at all. Does the internet have tips for chopping off branches many metres from the ground? Nobody’s commercialised the portable cutting laser yet, and my shimmying skills are poor. Tips?