John Gibson: Kerr and the Poles really gel

Peter Kerr
Peter Kerr
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What did Peter Kerr do next? He’s got his readers curious. Farm beef and barley in East Lothian? Done that. Grow oranges in Majorca? Tried that, too.

Right now he’s at home in Haddington, assessing the reaction to his latest book, Song of the Eight Winds, set in medieval Spain. Possibly he’ll check Poland’s pulse first.

“I have this affection, bordering on fascination, for the Poles,” he said, relieved to have kept our rendezvous in a snowy city centre restaurant, the train making it to Waverley on time.

“On my first trip to Poland, three publicity days in Warsaw in October, I was impressed. Gobsmacked in fact. Six press interviews, four on radio and two on live TV. All the interviewers spoke English. What made it easier for me is that I speak fluent Polish, as you know.”

Kerr can afford to be humorous. Three different publishers are sniffing at Eight Winds.

“My next book, logically, should be a sequel to Eight Winds, depending on how this one sells. Maybe it should go out in Poland first. The Scottish dry humour evidently appeals to them.”

You get the impression that Kerr, 72, always has a wheeze simmering and he has. Another book inevitably. Details later.

Afterwords . . .

. . . We’re told one in three children thinks Jesus spoke English. I’m sceptical but historians claim the Lord would have spoken Greek and Hebrew. And Gaelic?