So I’m in cold, rainy Cape Town, and Pete Crowther phones me from sultry Yorkshire. "Nicky and I are away to the wilds of the Wirral this weekend to join Ramsey and Jenny Campbell in celebrating Ramsey's receiving the Liverpool John Moores Honorary Fellowship for his outstanding contribution to literature," he says, "so you’re writing this week’s Newsletter." Who, me? I stammer. "Yes, you," says Pete, with the ominous insistence of Lord Kitchener in that old recruiting poster. But I’m not a writer, I say. I’m but a poor editor, gifted with no fluent abundance of words. I’m not even from Yorkshire! "No matter," insists Pete; "you’re it; you’ve been volunteered, my lad."
And thus I find myself writing this . . .
Well, no, it wasn’t really like that. Not quite. But it is an intimidating task. How can I emulate Pete’s genial, dulcet way with words, familiar to many from countless newsletters? I can but try. Here goes.