I don't like Roller Coasters and my Doc would go mad if I ever went near them quite frankly but the last six weeks have felt like the biggest, maddest, scariest ride that Walt Disney could come up with. I feel like I have been dwelling on the bad aspects a lot recently and making folk think that it's all been abuse, but it's not. Obviously there have been two threats of a more serious nature and I'm never going to trivialise that. Also, it's never nice when folk are nasty for the sake of it and you feel a bit like Tony Mowbray when it happens, almost always from your own side as well.
With that being said, the level of real support I have received in the last few weeks has been incredible. Right off the top of my head I can name Stevie Cairney, Arthur Rusk, Graham Wilson, Chris McMonagle, Kevin McAuley, James Wallace, Dr John in Myrtle Beach, Jim Kinlan, Darren Horgan who have all come forward with genuine offers of places to stay in a "as long as you like" type way. All of these people came forward unprompted and that's the key. There are many, many more and I will have missed some people but none of them, or those named above, do it for publicity and all come to me privately and have all been thanked privately.
There have been legions of folk who have showed support to me in the last few weeks and it's a cliche but you really do know who your friends are at a time like this. Primarily because it's easy to spot who doesn't get in touch and who may just reveal themselves a bit in a "He deserves it" tweet to someone else. The point about that is someone is always watching and I've been able to engage with a few people who have held that view.
Some folk hate me, I can deal with that. Primary because I have folk like The Parrot, Chas Duffy and Paul Lee who constantly remind me they have my back and I'll take guys like that over a smartphone sniper any day of the week.
Then I have people like the two Eddies, Conor Fallon, Jane Hamilton, Robbie Maguire, Sam McLeod, The Bhuddist Rebel, Mark O'Brien, Richard Swan, Nas Mohammed, Sniper and Tommy Gold who are constantly in touch offering support or just a bit craic.
Ditto the HomeBhoys banter which can pull me up from a long, dark place.
I've missed plenty but I don't want the credits to fucking Ben Hur here.
It's all a bit of a stooshie over a wee book isn't it? In the last few weeks I've been given expert security advice, I've had my college speak to me over concerns they have and I had to deal with a family member who was so traumatised by it all that I almost adopted my John Rambo character (couldn't find a headband)
The thing is though, it's just a book, I'm just a writer and Wilfred Owen said "All a poet can do is warn" and that's the end aspect of the book. A warning. My ass may be dumb but I ain't no dumb ass and I knew that I would get all this shit plus I knew my constant knockers and begrudgers would go into overdrive.
The point is that folk like me will never be universally popular but will have the best friends anyone can have.
So, thank you.