A Christmas Day dream.
I am driving colleagues to a conference. I say colleagues because they are not friends, nor mere acquaintances. I bear them no malice and yet I cannot say I am fond of them. We are somewhere in London, or someplace like London. The streets are gritty with the dust of centuries, dark Victorian buildings tower over narrow roads drowned in shadow.
A Dickensian London and I am driving out of it towards the green countryside where the conference is to be held. At one point as I try to steer myself out of an awkward exchange with another car I cannot shift out of reverse. I cannot bear to look in the rear view mirror for fear of what I might see. It is only an instant I know before I will crash into something.
I can see my rear passengers through the mirror and in the process I accidentally switch on the eject button. One of my passengers disappears for an instant until I manage to right the switch and he is back safe and sound. He nearly ended up outside the car.
It is a bumpy journey.
Then I am on a bus travelling to the same conference but this time with my blog buddy, Jim Murdoch. I know it is Jim from the photo he sets up on his profile, the same thick red beard, the same balding head, the same dour look, as if he is sizing me up for my worth, but it is I who is sizing him up, testing out his reactions.
‘I saw you on the television,’ I say. 'They put up an advertisement encouraging people to visit your blog.'
‘It’s because of my book,’ Jim says. ‘To promote the book they promote the blog.’
‘You’ll have hundreds of hits after this,' I say.
Jim is unperturbed. He does not blog for hits. He blogs for conversation.