The writer Brian Cathcart recently wrote a short priece for the New Statesman entitled A history lesson. It begins:
Not many authors publish a book at the age of 90, and fewer still do so when they are already halfway through another book. Can there be more than one in that position, and who is also virtually blind?
The author he’s talking about is my mother, Lorna Arnold (about whom Alec and I recently blogged). The first book to which he’s referring is Britain, Australia and the Bomb: The Nuclear Tests and Their Aftermath, which is the new (and substantially expanded) edition of her classic book about the British A-bomb tests in Australia. And “another book” is the volume of memoirs that all of her friends (and I too) have been urging her to write for many years.
Occasionally people will ask me what I plan to do when I retire. I have always replied that I don’t understand the question: what is this “retirement” of which they speak. Perhaps my mother’s example explains my attitude….