OAH is written over 103 years. Imagine. 103 years. What can happen in such a time. In our world of frantic change, often at a pace so quick that you blink and you really can miss it, such timescales seem unimaginable.
I set out to write a book of consequence, of relevance and of stature. Have I achieved it? Well, you will make your own mind up on this, but for the characters that exist on the pages of OAH I have made my impression. The fact that they live in me, as the writer, is obvious and yet I also hope encouraging. These people I created mean something to me. The truth is that I cannot even think of places in the book without thinking of the footprint of OAH. For example I go to Port Isaac soon and I just keep being drawn to the harbour and think of William there on the beach with Angus and his family. Why could I not just leave it there…… And yet, and yet. Life does not have a stop button other than the obvious one for one to leave this life. Even when someone dies they leave a trail of themselves that others have to deal with every day.
No, I think if one thinks about a painting, a beautiful piece, say Renior’s Luncheon of the Boating Party – such atmosphere of sheer joy and delight – freeze it there on canvas for all time. It is art, beautiful art; but it is not life.
I have tried through an honesty of writing to recognise this, the effects of the passing of time, and in so doing OAH was emotional to write.
I write tonight having watched an old Top of the Pops from the 60’s. Songs of the timeless variety (I am being too generous to some of the songs here) and and of course here in 2012 many of these artists are no longer here. Time has passed.
This is what time does.