The connection between calf injuries and a writer's ability to produce a half-decent novel is so well-known that I need not restate it here. Suffice to say that picking up a calf injury in Tuesday night's footy struck me as a sign, or, if you like, an omen - or maybe even a harbinger - of doom.
Yes, I thought, my novel Flack's Last Shift - published today - is surely The Worst Book In The World.
This feeling was accentuated by my performance on the field, itself rendered anonymous not just by a knackered calf, knackered body, old age and general lack of ability but by food poisoning on Monday night.
I put in an undistinguished shift summed up by the following exchange:
"How did you think Alex played tonight?" said a player, after the game.
"Don't be a fool - he wasn't there," said the other.
"Yes he was! But then again, hang on, you're right - he wasn't."
In vain did I stand before them, nursing my calf.
Having achieved such real, genuine and meaningful anonymity, it was with mounting apprehension, not to say invisibility, that I got to today, this very day, the day Flack's Last Shift is in bookshops and on Amazon. And then, out of the blue, Al Mackinnon turned up. Catching up with one of life's good people was long overdue and Al generously revealed a lifetime of photographic tips to my son Harry, as I battled to finish all my work so that I can set off from Cornwall in about an hour and enjoy the launch party for Flack tonight at a do in Soho.
As Edward Fennell puts it in today's Times:
The joy of being a law firm outside the institutionalised City legal elite is that you can relax and kick out a bit. That’s why I like the style of Soho’s Simons Muirhead & Burton, which tonight hosts the launch of legal thriller Flack’s Last Shift (Blue Mark Books) by lawyer and writer Alex Wade. The story focuses on the behind-the-scenes intrigues and chicanery of life as a top newspaper’s “night lawyer”. It’s like The Night Manager — but involves putting the newspaper to bed rather than guests.