Inspired by contemporary fiction : the Cummings effect

I’ve taken the decision to vent no more anger on the whole sorry saga of the UK Prime Minister’s Special Adviser and his lockdown busting trip to Durham. His eyesight may have been impaired on the day that he drove his wife and child to a local beauty spot on her birthday; mine is perfect. I can see clearly that he is neither going to resign nor is be going to be sacked. The bar on standards of acceptable conduct in public life has now been lowered to such an extent that you’d need to go into the basement to get under it.

I have decided instead to look constructively at the whole thing and to take the positives where I can. Whatever Mr and Mrs Cummings shortcomings may be in terms of abiding by simple and straightforward instructions during a national emergency, there is no doubting their combined flair for creative writing. The imagination and sheer audacity of the plot line of their dramatic escape from the baying hordes besieging their London residence, the non-stop drive of 260 miles to Durham, and the heart-rending tragedy of their fight against all the odds to overcome unconfirmed covid-19 in a breeze block outhouse in the grounds of Cummings senior’s country estate, is an example to us all.

I cannot hope to emulate the sheer drama and sweep of the narrative without expert help and guidance. I have therefore signed up for a short course in creative writing from the University of Bristol* starting on 24th June for 9 weeks. It’s very possible that some of the outputs from this may turn up here during that time. I can’t promise they’ll be up to Dom and Mary’s standards, but it’s always good to have something to shoot at for!

* Other (less good) universities are available

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