1. An email this morning from a reader, saying that learning of Ruth Rendell’s serious illness had made her regret the fact that although she’d always meant to write and tell her how much she had enjoyed reading her work she had never done so and now it was, in all probability, too late. With this in mind, she continued, she wanted to tell me, while it was still possible, how much she had enjoyed my work over the years also.
2. At last night’s poetry reading at Lauderdale House, I was delighted to remind Jeremy Robson of the Poetry & Jazz concert I’d been to at the Royal Festival Hall in 1969, in which he’d taken part, and to ask him to sign the programme I’d preserved inside the box set of recordings from the event. When we looked at the list of poets who had appeared – Dannie Abse, Thomas Blackburn, Douglas Hill, Laurie Lee, Spike Milligan, Vernon Scannell and John Smith – we realised that Jeremy was the only one still alive.