and anyway, the truth isn’t some big multigenerational secret, the truth is bloody obvious

Dear Sony, if as you seem to imply your new Reader device is aimed at people who might otherwise be carrying around a bunch of hardbacks, don’t advertise it with an excerpt from the fucking Da Vinci Code. Constant readers do not agree on much, but one thing we do agree on is that that book blew mighty, gelatinous chunks. Even if the fucking Da Vinci Code (its correct name) didn’t have the worst dialogue, characterization and pacing of anything I have ever had the misfortune to gag at, I’d hate it because it ripped off – without attribution! – the merrily paranoid Holy Blood, Holy Grail. Go read that instead, because it DOESN’T SUCK.

To add irony to insult AND injury, I finally visited Rennes-le-Chateau – site of the putative conspiracy – the day my Auntie Ruth died, six years ago, only hours after my mother arrived at her bedside from Australia. Rennes has its own air of the uncanny, complete with Satanic sculptures, but it was compounded by my aching grief and by the sight of all the late-summer sunflowers (Ruth’s favourite) bowing their thirsty heads under a blazing blue sky. What gives the Grail story its power, I realized, is that every family’s blood is holy and royal, and every death is a crucifixion.

Right, and apparently I can’t write a single blog post this month without lighting seven-hundred-foot funeral pyres. Why would that be, d’you think? Jeremy flew from London today but is safe, safe opposite me as I write this. With all my heart I wish peace to everyone whose beloved isn’t safe and near. Peace to my friends and peace to my enemies. Peace to everyone. Peace on earth. Peace.

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