Tuesday, 28 April 2009
Cup 1: Sink 0
Yesterday the seminar and then the reading. All fine. At the end of the reading a chance to talk to some of the students, an impressive bunch, talented, leading professional lives, moving about the world.
It takes a while to fall asleep, but eventually sleep arrives. When I wake I have a shower and put the kettle on. It duly boils. I want to wash the cup from last night's tea so go to the sink and rinse it, then give it a shake to get rid of the water. It slips from my hand into the sink. There is a crack. I must have broken the cup, or the handle has come off: that's what I think. But what I see is the cup unbroken. It is the sink that has a hole in it. It looks faintly surreal, David Lynch out of Marcel Duchamp. At least it's not a urinal. The sink is quite thin, not solid porcelain. In the battle between cup and sink, the cup - possibly because of its more compact form - has come out a clear winner. Nothing to be done. I make the tea, drink it, get dressed and report the rock-star style wrecking of my hotel room with due shame (60 year old poet in sink smashing frenzy!) General forgiveness. At least I haven't thrown the TV through the window.
After breakfast with Clare and Jane and Rebecca and some of the students, I get my bags and wait for my taxi. It soon arrives. On the way home it is Haydn String Quartets in G, and in D Minor, then Brahms Double Concerto in A Minor, Brahms Piano Quartet No. 3, then, on the last leg, the Dudley Moore Trio lyrical, funny, melancholy and surprising and just right. This is while marking some papers for UEA. In the last leg it is just music and landscape. Pigs sleeping like slabs of rock, several fallen together in big stony plops. Sheep dozing in clots with a few lambs tottering between them. Tracks of water, pools, marsh, forest, the chicken-packing works at Attleborough.
C waits for me at the station and we walk home. She shows me the dress she has bought for H and R's wedding. It's lovely. And secret. It will be the dress that shook the world. One of the papers I picked up in the train - The Times? - has an article about how men have ruined the financial world and now women are dashing to the rescue. How? By shopping. C, my saviour!
The Guardian is making even bigger headlines about offering Caryl Churchill's disgusting 'Seven Jewish Children' to the public (yes, I have read it, and consider it deeply anti-Semitic, the essential not-quite-overt message: Jews are a psychologically ruined people who have effectively poisoned their children, in other words you may as well finish them off, they're lost, inhuman, vicious, they deserve everything that's coming to them, maybe they really should have been finished off last time.)
My resolution is to give up buying The Guardian. Such well-meaning liberal people! I'll look at it on the web from now on. As and when. Well, maybe the Saturday Review. Maybe.
Tomorrow down to read at the Athenaeum. The day following at Hampstead. So it goes on - for the moment.