An Englsih Journey by JB Priestley
I am writing virtually each morning from 6am on the city commission. It’s enlivening. There is no better place for a writer to be than in his writing for a section of each day. Though I find it difficult to make the time it is not impossible and is, in fact, a must. Bike itto the south bank with language swilling round in my head. I meet Thomas Priestley the son of JB Priestley who has asked me to write an introduction to his late fathers book An English Journey about which I presented a couple of documentaries on BBC Radio 4 afew years ago.
I take Mr Priestley on a tour of the building and then to a restaurant on the third floor of thesouth bank and we talk. As it happens we get on well across boundaries of race and age and united by literature adn The South Bank. . He is a very engaging person and has a true love of his fathers work. However the deadline is October which is just very very difficult. I think I will try for December. He told me his father coined a term “Admass”. The mass colonisation of culture by advertsing. Think macdonalds and its plastic toys – admass.
After an engaging hour or so and a tour of the building I must leave Mr Priestley with his Crème Broulle and spin down stairs where Rommi Smith writer in residence at TheHouses of Parlaiment hs just arrived. We are both teaching at the late John Osbornes house in Shropshire next week. The course sold out a long time ago. We run through the week and in an hour the structure is established. She's a bit of a laugh too which is nice. Tomorrow Rommi will be reading her poems for the ex presidential candidate of America and the man who was on the balcony with Dr Martin Luther King when he was assassinated, Jessie Jackson.
I bike it back home to continue with the commission poem and answer a few emails. The Journalist is at a leaving do for her secretary this evening - s'all good. JB Priestely was a yorkshire man who lived in London - a prodigous writer - I have alot to learn from his writing process and discipline.