When we write, when we keep notes, perhaps we should accept we are not really ‘keeping’ anything. There are so many variables in life, so many chances for those words to vanish. We are merely caretakers, until time, or tide, sweeps all away. The key point, for me, is that it is important to build on the ideas and thoughts I record, to keep moving, to keep distilling and refining, a chemical process bubbling away in the head, the raw ingredients notes, imagination, lateral thinking, creativity and an acceptance that sometimes the experiment takes longer than planned. It is common for journalists to suggest writers seek immortality through their work and, I suspect, this is partially true, but story — true, deep story — has a habit of twisting away and becoming a thing of its own, it cannot be tamed or pinned to a page. Eventually, the words detach from the writer and go free, like Beowulf, or the Epic of Gilgamesh, author-less into the world and time. I actually like this idea. Story is more: it is a way for our species to connect the dots, to rationalise and theorise, and to be a part of something other, something vast.