So, to a party in London, where the first person I talk to is Fay Weldon. It is incredibly noisy and cramped, and when I tell her that my latest work is really a sort of time-travel book about Sweden she gets the idea that I have written a work of science fiction, and talks for some time about how best to sell such a thing.
Later I speak to an academic about early Islam. He introduces himself as a historian of the subject, and says he has enough Arabic to read some of the sources. All this interesting and becomingly modest: this morning, when I looked at his card, I discovered that it actually says “Professor of Arabic” — and this at an extremely prestigious institution.
His partner, a nice archaeologist, is an American. When I give them one of my nice little Moo cards which says “Writes for people” on the back, she says “Writes for People?” Ah, no. Lower case people.