On Friday evening I went to see Nice Fish. A whimsical, delicate piece developed by Mark Rylance in collaboration with Louis Jenkins and based upon the latter’s prose poems. In addition to the sheer joy of seeing Mark Rylance on stage – no-one else is quite so relaxed, so playful, endearing, gracious – the piece offers a meandering meditation on living (it’s irresistible to compare it with Waiting for Godot). And on Sunday morning I went to Shakespeare’s Globe with a view to being a volunteer steward this summer. Continue reading
I don’t believe in ghosts. But once someone has died, I think they continue with us. They continue in our memories and through their children (if lucky enough to have them): a tilt of the head or a look suddenly represents them to us. We hear music, we visit a place, we hold an object dear to them and they are with us once again: a vivid, piercing, disorientating flash of recollection. For a moment they stand next to us, sharing our senses, placing their hands on ours. We feel both joyful and bereft.
Moving to London meant leaving my job – obviously – and I am searching for work. Writing applications is laborious (oh, the irony that hunting for work is itself hard work) and disquieting. I cannot know how long this process will take; I never know whether the next application might be the lucky one. Conversely, if only it were easy to recognise when I am wasting my time. Each application offers the possibility of a different future. A different role, a different work place, different people, a different life. Continue reading
As I tried to find some way to comprehend the US Election result, Richard III came to mind. I do not suggest that Trump is as evil, or as intelligent, as Shakespeare’s Richard; I wondered rather about the circumstances which allow an individual to become unstoppable in his ascent to power. How does an outrageous campaign, full of bluster and falsehood, confound all reasonable expectation and win?
I wanted to assert that we are homeless. To some small extent this may be true – when we left the house in Hampshire, we had no date for moving into the London flat, and we are currently dependent upon the kindness of my best friend to give us shelter. But we are not really homeless. Continue reading
The house clearance has reached the bookcases. I have known people who say they never get rid of any of their books and feel that disposing of them is somehow diminishing: perhaps we need to keep the physical object in order to retain the information therein. While seeing the attraction of this approach – and with a mix of motives, of which intellectual snobbery is undoubtedly and unattractively one – I assert that keeping all the books one has read is simply impossible. Continue reading
It is remarkable how much stuff we have accumulated. Things we have been given, things we have bought, things we have inherited, things we have made. Old stuff and new stuff. Some of it well-loved and well-used; much of it incidental, trivial, superfluous, redundant. The contents of this house need winnowing.