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Hello. How are you doing in these tricky times? I hope you and yours and safe and well. Thanks for signing up for news of The Light Keeper. The big news is the paperback is coming out on May 21 but you can order yours now. We can’t have a party, but I was thinking of having a drink with whoever wants to turn up on Zoom that night. What do you think? (Don’t say you’re out that night …)

Also, I’m also thinking about reading the story to people, if there’s enough interest. Like a book at bedtime, maybe 15 minutes or a few chapters at a time. Would you be up for either of these? Let me know. If there’s enough interest, I’ll do it. I need to connect. You probably do, too, even if neither of us feel like it at times. This has been a strange time for the hug-loving extroverts, creating human touch; but also for the silence-loving introverts who really don’t want to do another bloody Zoom with their family, thank you but do want meaningful company sometimes. We are both isolated and overcrowded, physically or mentally.

Meanwhile, I see Nigel Farage has been flouting the lockdown rules to make a non-essential journey down to our shoreline and pose like a Poundshop Churchill, railing against Channel migrants again (presumably because they’re an easier target than the ones saving our lives in the NHS every day.) So I really want to share this piece with you that I wrote for the Guardian, about the young men and women who risk their lives to cross the Channel in tiny boats. They’re still coming, even in lockdown.

Thanks to a brilliant human called Bridget Chapman at Kent Refugee Action Network, I managed to meet and listen to a number of teenagers. What struck me most is this: if only we realised that they’re actually us, we would be telling their lives as adventure stories. Anyway, let me know what you think.

You can buy the book here or here If you’ve read it already do please post a comment, an image or a review somewhere, particularly Amazon (even if you think they should pay their taxes, and who doesn’t, it will help to keep interest in the story going among all kinds of independent sellers too). Alternatively, just tell your Mum, Dad or best friend with a million followers on Twitter. Please. Ta.

Love and blessings,

PS Can’t have that headline without reminding you of this piece of post-punk perfection from long ago, by a band we supported once, with a message that rings true today. Keep on keeping on, kids.

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