As a lot of folks nowadays, Mrs Thomson and I have succumbed to the siren song of Netflix, the online streaming service that is slowly edging out network and cable television. Browsing through the massive selection of movies, documentaries and series, I stumbled on a large number of old tv shows I used to watch thirty or more years ago. Curious and a little nostalgic, I began to watch a few of them, just to see if they held up over the years and could still entertain me. I was expecting the sillier ones to feel dated, if not outright dumb, but to my surprise, they actually put a smile on my face. I don’t know if it’s because they evoke memories of a time in my life that seems simpler in hindsight (I wish I could tell my younger self to enjoy those days a bit more), or because they exuded an optimism or naivety that seems harder to find nowadays, but pure escapism after a frustrating day in the bowels of a demented bureaucracy is oddly therapeutic, especially when it comes without advertizing and on my schedule and not some network executive’s. My only complaint is that having all of the episodes of a given show available at the touch of a button is an invitation to binge watching on a scale that would have been unimaginable a few years ago. And before anyone says it, I know: that’s a personal problem, but it’s a fun one to have.

For those who want to keep track of more important things, like sequels, my editor has told me I’m getting the first review comments on The Path of Duty later this week, and I’ve completed Act One of Cold Comfort, all ten chapters of it, over the long weekend, which means I’m a little over a third done on the first draft.