As soon as the words were out of my mouth, I realised that I’d been tactless. The last thing Tom needed, being, as he was, in the grip of dyskinesia (linked to Parkinson’s drugs; makes you move uncontrollably; just awful) and also having a conference-ful of important people to talk with; I’m sure the very last thing he needed was for some fool of a woman asking for his autograph on her copy of his book.
But Tom Isaacs had been a hero of mine, ever since I’d read “Shake Well Before Use” a couple of months earlier, and it was the first time I’d met him, and he couldn’t have been more warm and welcoming. Basically, I was starstruck. Still am, really. He even apologised for the writing being shaky! Him. Apologising to me. Good grief.
“So Frank says to me, ‘say something in Cockney,’ so I say ‘apples and pears’ and he says, ‘what does that mean?’ and I say ‘stairs. It means stairs.’ So he laughs and says ‘tell me another’ and I say ‘nice whistle and flute’ and I tell him that means ‘suit’. ‘How about that, Lillian?’ he says to his missus, only she don’t hear ’cause she’s a bit mutton.
“I was just wondering – do you think it would be completely bonkers for me to take my Grade One?”
When I started having piano lessons, a couple of years ago now, I told Holly that I wasn’t even considering taking any exams. Why would I? Particularly with a tremor which, though generally mild and well-behaved, has been known to have the Mother of all Temper Tantrums in times of stress. Exams are stressful; piano exams need obedient hands; stress leads to disobedient hands; disobedient hands would make exams even more stressful. Even considering this would be illogical, Captain.Continue reading →
“Do you think that if I stopped looking at Twitter and Facebook, I’d get my book finished quicker?”
“No,” says ActorLaddie.
“No. I think that unless you stop looking at Twitter and Facebook, you’ll never get your book started.”
More brutally honest than I was hoping for. Still.
the beer bottle had so much glass in it?
#whoops #StupidWoman #Ma’sKitchenNowSmellsLikeBrewery #CrunchyGlassEverywhere #SuchFun
Heading for Euston Station … TFL app … will my train journey home be any easier than the one up?
Coming into town, the combination of an unexpected chill with totally unforeseen leaf fall (in Autumn – who knew?) led to both local lines grinding to a halt. Fortunately ActorLaddie swung into action and ubered me to a tube station. Lunch with InfantPhenomenon made on time.
“Only ten minutes to go,” says Laura. “You’re doing brilliantly. If you’re finding it difficult, you can slow down a little.”
You know what, Laura – I really can’t. If I slow down any more, I will be running backwards. If you could really truly see me, you be much more likely to suggest, in the words of the good Doctor, that I get a shift on.
As a novelist, says Anna Burns, her job is “to show up and be present and attend. It’s a waiting process.” She “just had to wait for my characters to tell me their stories.”
(Interview by Alison Flood in The Guardian, 16 Oct ’18)
This obviously worked for Anna Burns as she has just bagged the Booker Prize with her novel Milkman.
I, however, have spent a lifetime waiting for characters to turn up and write themselves into a book but they haven’t done so yet and I’m rather starting to fear they never will. I go to bed having put out my finest stationery but masterpieces come there none. Not so much as a shopping list; not so much as a tweet. Perhaps the characters have used up all their best ideas writing other people’s books. They have no more twists.
“In those days, there was usually an intermission between each act during which the audience – and the actors – would get refreshments. One night, the great actor Edmund Kean was giving his Hamlet but by the end of the fourth interval found himself so refreshed that he couldn’t remember Act V. He could, however, remember Act V of Lear – which he’d done the previous week – so they did that instead.”