I've been writing about the old days recently for my next unpublishable book, My Hometown. Don't do it. Even when you don't get into anything too personal, as I haven't - not about anybody else anyway - too much reflection can be a horrendous experience. And what good is it, really, looking back on a lifetime of bad moves, relationships burned, friendships lost? You can look for justifications and explanations but everything you say will be from the perspective of the person you are today. And it won't change a bloody thing either.
I have been a shiftless, parasitical, pretentious, passive-aggressive, selfish, lying shit for the better part of my life. I have tried to change the world, castigating everything around me, but inside I've been as rotten as the last fruit at the bottom of the drawer, and as deranged as a hermit in a moth-eaten dressing gown crouched at my letter box shouting curses at the children playing football in the street. I don't like to think of myself that way. I would rather have been a hero that the world could admire. I wasn't; and now I've got to do something about it. Untangling that ball of wire should keep me busy for a decade.
But I can say one thing to get me started, and it's probably the most important on the list: Happy Father's Day, Martin Hodder, writer, editor, publisher, and dad. You deserved more credit, more respect, than I ever gave you then, even though I used your achievements to make me feel big and your money to feed and clothe me when anyone with dignity would have been out working. Well, here's a little credit back - too little, yes, too late, of course. I still stand in your long, long shadow, though I pretended otherwise for years; I see now that it's as good a place as I could ask to be.