17 May 2021 marks a further easing of lockdown restrictions. It hasn’t made that much difference to my life which looks as though it is going to continue pretty home-bound for the foreseeable. January 2020 I was hosting a very smart and select book-launch party at Keats House in Hampstead for The Author’s Effects: On the Writer’s House Museum. March 2020 I began trying out to the full the unalienated life of the writer as sentimentally celebrated in writer’s house museums — and that book. Eighteen months back I was unwise enough to give up my garden office to my husband, and now he’s barricaded himself in so securely that I can’t get at any of my books. Six months ago I abandoned the discomforts of the kitchen table and retired up here to the attic. So here I sit in my version of the writer’s ivory tower, that looks over a drowning water meadow and thrums with the rain galloping on the skylights. And here it looks as though I shall remain.
Fortunately, there are two elements to being a literary tourist, travel and books — and books remain excellent magic carpets for virtual travel. So in the next series of posts, I am going to be reflecting on journeying to ‘relative ecstatic locations in space’ in imagination only.