Jeffrey Archer: Let’s hope that we are all able to pick up our lives again soon
"Let’s hope that we are all able to pick up our lives again soon, and perhaps in a kinder, more compassionate world than in the past..." Sunday Times bestselling author, Jeffrey Archer has been self-isolating at his home in Grantchester for almost two months, he shares about life during a global pandemic.
Mary and I have been self-isolating at our home in Grantchester for almost two months, and daily life now has its own unique rhythm. We are fortunate to have a beautiful garden to enjoy – I particularly love this time of year when everything is so verdant – but I have also been exercising by taking a daily hour’s walk along the river Cam and through Grantchester Meadows, exchanging greetings - from a safe distance – with the occasional dog walker.
I spent the first few weeks of lockdown working on the final edits of the second book in my new William Warwick series, Hidden in Plain Sight (published worldwide in October), but once I’d handed those in to my editor, it was straight on to book three. I may have turned 80 last month, but I thank the heavens every morning when I wake up still full of ideas for where I’m going to take William Warwick next.
So, my days are filled with writing at my desk in an old folly which serves as my study, and I’m following my usual routine of four two-hour writing sessions a day, looking out at the lovely view from the window out over the bottom of the garden which borders the river. Mary’s office is downstairs, where, as Chair of the Science Museum Group, she’s having to deal with all five museums which are currently closed – thank goodness she’s a zoomer, something which is way beyond me.
In my writing breaks, I’ve been reading, mainly for research, and occasionally for pleasure. I’m currently enjoying The Honjin Murders by Seishi Yokomizo, a murder mystery by the Agatha Christie of Japan which was recommended in the Sunday Times Culture section a few weeks ago, but I’ve also picked up some old Agatha Christie favourites, and The Shape of Water by Andrea Camilleri. There seems to be a common theme running through my current choices...
I have also recently joined the ranks of those who Zoom. Don’t ask me to explain it, as Mary sets it all up for me, I just do the talking. But I’ve enjoyed taking part in a couple of virtual events for independent bookstores which always need our support – now more than ever. My PA reminded me the other day that there’s also a Facebook live coming up...
Our one regret is that we have yet to meet our new granddaughter, Sofia, who was born five weeks ago. She’s our fourth grandchild, and second granddaughter. We’ve facetimed and have seen lots of photos on our family WhatsApp group, but we can’t wait to meet her in real life. Let’s hope that we are all able to pick up our lives again soon, and perhaps in a kinder, more compassionate world than in the past.