I'm just back from a few days away for much-needed crashout. Before I left on Tuesday, I wrote this post for the Ghost Variations "shed", headed "Why this, why now?". It's about the relevance of the 1933-38 setting of the book to today; and how it brings together three matters poised together on the brink, tipping over from something that was fine if troubled to something tumbling towards illness, insanity and fascism, whether that is our heroine, or Schumann, or the world.
Forty-eight hours later, it was even more relevant than I'd thought. These are grim times in Britain, with the EU referendum having opened a Pandora's Box and unleashed monstrosities that run contrary to everything humanity at its best can and should stand for. Yesterday a Labour MP was shot and killed outside her constituency office by, allegedly, a mentally ill man with far-right associations. And next week's referendum could still be part of the beginning, not the end.