It's 24 May, 2014. I'm going around Edinburgh School of Art's degree show when my eye gets caught by a painting. There's something about it that greatly appeals to me, so I ask my partner, Kate, to take a photo of me in front of the image. As she takes the picture. I'm thinking of Alastair Graham and Evelyn Waugh messing about in 1923. But are they messing about at Barford House, where the formidable Mrs Graham is to be reckoned with? Or Underhill, where Arthur Waugh is likely to be the parent stopping two youngsters enjoying life to the full? I don't think that matters.
The above painting, which is by Kirsty Roxburgh, is hung in a corridor. There are several more in an adjoining studio, including the one shown below.
As Kate takes this second photo, she asks who Harry Styles is. By way of an answer, I say aloud:
"I'M READY TO DROP OUT OF SCHOOL
AND START A FAMILY WITH EVELYN WAUGH."
What do I mean by this? I'm not sure, but I do know that I'm ready for something.
In the last month, I've posted onto this website about a holiday in Lisbon, a day at the races, the Vile Bodies manuscript and my visit to Renishaw. In the last week, I've begun to draft a new section of the site about Evelyn's life at Piers Court, married to Laura and father of six children. In the last week also, I've heard from my agent that editors at a number of London literary publishers are considering my book, Evelyn! Rhapsody for an Obsessive Love. And, even if none of them take on the work, the director of a smaller publishing house says that he will.
So take a chill pill, parents. Aged 56, I'm ready to drop out of art school (step out of the dappled shade) and start a family with Sebastian Flyte.