‘These are the currents that chiselled the city,
That washed the clothes and turned the mills,
Where children drank and salmon swam
And wells were holy.
They have gone under
Boxed, like the magician’s assistant.
Buried alive in earth.
Forgotten, like the dead.’
Rising Damp, by U.A. Fanthorpe
Been working on Lily’s Walk the sequel to West Richardson Street and it’s going well. I’ve written about two thirds of the novel now and been snatching time on my daily commute and in the different places my life resides in. It the mean time I have been catching up with the BBC TV series Peaky Blinders and been impressed by it’s writing, characterisation and setting. Capturing Birmingham in the early part of the last century is no mean feat though the depiction of Asian and African characters leaves a lot to be desired. Though this has given me further motivation and inspiration to work on a screen play with the project title ‘Dropping bombs on Downton Abbey’ which I mentioned last year.
As ever High Wycombe serves as inspiration to me. Despite the cast of characters it is the town itself that casts a shadow on proceedings. This is still the case in Lily’s Walk where key local landmarks serve as points of navigation through the storylines in the novel.Walking through it’s streets I’m drawn to small glimpses of the town’s past. A little alley, boundary stones and architecture that points to its medieval origins. The network of roads and their names that reveal what went on hundreds of years ago.
I’m going to working with the artist and activist George Coombs to do the artwork/cover for the new book and again will be looking to get it out on Kindle. As ever it’s a labour of love but I gotta tell these stories. I hope it will be the same rollercoaster of a ride that the first one was and works both as a sequel and accompaniment to West Richardson Street and in it’s own right as a piece of art that is meaningful and truthful.
Saqib, July 2015