Now, if I was John Wyndham, a morning like this would spark the idea for something like The Day of the Triffids (1951). Lights in the sky, and then something more than the average hangover.
Wyndham also wrote Chocky (1968), which developed the idea that a child’s imaginary friend wasn’t imaginary at all. Not in a scary way, if I remember rightly (long time ago), but to raise the question: what if aliens aren’t physical creatures like we are, driving physical spaceships like we would drive if we had the know-how?
I remember Erich von Daniken’s Chariots of the Gods (1968), and somewhere off a different chart, the Outsider author Colin Wilson’s The Mind Parasites (1967) - we’d have emotions, and not recognise them as aliens. No wonder I, ah, didn’t pass all of my exams that year.
But I educated myself. Facebook’s full of cute little memes about reading a lot, and if that’s what matters, then my teenage self was the most educated person on the planet at the time.
I still have an aversion to King Lear (due to an administrative error, we “did” King Lear twice, rather than switching to the alternative text in the second year; none of us questioned the repetition), but I can still remember a lot about Michael Moorcock’s Jerry Cornelius. And his various alternative egos - ugh! The scenes in that cave.
The sky’s taken on a very, very slightly pink-ish tint; it was pretty much duck-egg blue a moment ago - but we don’t need a new-year reminiscence about my painting of Airfix models.
If the colour charts for those models were accurate, then a lot of effort must have been expended by the air forces of World War II, in sourcing duck-egg blue paint for the undersides of their aircraft.
Duck-egg blue was as rare in model shops as getting Peter Shilton in the football coins. And weren’t there coins about flight, as well? Finishing up with the moon landing? I wonder how many of the mechanics working on those historic aircraft thought to bother with duck-egg blue.
Who had the idea of painting aircraft-undersides blue anyway?
Who first had the idea for anything we do?
Who first said: “Before you eat your meat, let’s cook it on the fire and see if that improves the taste?”
Who said: “Let’s collect together all this wheat, crush it up, add water and yeast, knead it for a while, then bake it in the - quick, somebody invent ovens - oven, because it might be worth eating while we’re waiting for somebody to pull the meat off the fire?”
“And look what’s happened to this old milk. Perhaps you’d like to spread it on your baked wheat?”
So silent, earlier. No triffids, but no people, either. The students have all migrated to sunnier climes, so the parking spaces are easier to find. This is the interval between years: the clocks tick more slowly; there’s no politics.
Must find a fresh battery for that clock. Before Monday, when the world begins again.