Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Thursday, 12 May 2011

... and start all over again

THE BLOGGER’S RETREAT “I really like this pub,” said Plutarch and it was that kind of day. Elegiac, talk of families at the end. The pub has a name which Plutarch uses; for me it’s The Pub in Roupell Street. These days we repair there after the BR curry but decades ago we used to drop in on our way back to Waterloo station and thus it became a source of minor marital strife. It’s real-ale, plain, clean, has no music and the all-male clientele resembles us in the seventies: noisy, released from work.

We also talked of writing. Plutarch flattered me by recording an utterance so it was salutary to return home and find a letter from my agent turning down Gorgon Times (“original theme… has something to say… current climate for fiction is so dire… sorry for such a cheerless response.”) Mrs BB was sympathetic but, to tell the truth, my mind was and is on The Love Problem (77,232 words).

EVERYDAY MAGIC It’s obligatory to slag people using mobile phones. But consider this. To attend Diane’s funeral in Folkestone we picked up Younger Daughter who lives en route. Elder Daughter took a bus from Luton to Heathrow and walked to Terminal One. I mis-steered at Heathrow and ended in the cab rank. To which Elder Daughter was guided via mobiles. Impossible any other way.

THANKS Reading about Diane’s death HHB recommended Diana Athill’s Somewhere Towards the End, a brisk look at life (ie, gardening, sex, family relationships, appreciating painting) from old age. Excellent. On her late talent for writing: “I never knew (and this is literally true) what the next paragraph I was going to write would be.” Me too. It’s the act of faith that something will occur that keeps you alive.

7 comments:

herhimnbryn said...

Your 'bloggers retreat' always sounds so convivial. How wonderful to find that 'your' pub remains the same, a rare place of retreat indeed.

I am pleased you enjoyed Athill's book (I believe she has recently written another). Sorry to hear about your (polite) publisher's rejection. Try another publisher?

I draw your attention to a recent article by Athill in the 'Torygragh'.......


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/relationships/self-help/8470207/Diana-Athill-the-truth-about-growing-old.html

Onwards Bonden, onwards!

Plutarch said...

The drink had already begun to take effect. All I can read of my hand-written note is the phrase "a vast meritocracy". Something defining precedes it. It is illegible but I treasure it nevertheless.

Rouchswalwe said...

BB, you've got me yearning to visit a real pub. What does it mean, "to slag people?"

Barrett Bonden said...

NOT from Barrett Bonden but from HHB; reinstated from the email

herhimnbryn has left a new comment on your post "... and start all over again":

Your 'bloggers retreat' always sounds so convivial. How wonderful to find that 'your' pub remains the same, a rare place of retreat indeed.

I am pleased you enjoyed Athill's book (I believe she has recently written another). Sorry to hear about your (polite) publisher's rejection. Try another publisher?

I draw your attention to a recent article by Athill in the 'Torygragh'.......

Barrett Bonden said...

NOT from Barrett Bondene but from Plutarch: reinstated from email.

Plutarch has left a new comment on your post "... and start all over again":

The drink had already begun to take effect. All I can read of my hand-written note is the phrase "a vast meritocracy". Something defining precedes it. It is illegible but I treasure it nevertheless.

Barrett Bonden said...

RW (zS): Although the Pub In Roupell Street would qualify as a real pub had such an entity been defined, you have mis-read the phrase which is split over two lines - it is in fact real-ale which I rather imagine you are familiar with (ie, cask-bred and delivered into the glass by a manual pump on the bar as opposed to being driven there by carbon dioxide contained in the keg).

To slag off: in effect to bad-mouth. For me the phrase carries an admixture of ignorance, thus the criticism may well be unjustified.

HHB: "Convivial" - that's an amusing judgment since on most occasions it's just the two of us and for me the word suggests more than that. The Blogger's Retreat wouldn't be to everyone's taste since the floor lino is worn into holes, the table tops are ancient Formica, the back window (which appears to fascinate Plutarch) looks out on to a fire escape and the cuisine is far from subtle. But the prices are low and one has the impression of eating in an an "in" place.

I shall be ordering DA's book Stet which is about editing.

The rejection was not froma publisher but an agent. He recommended I try some of the newer agents.

Plutarch: Imaginary dialogue dating back to the mid-eighteenth century:

Speaker A: Now look here, Jim lad, I made all sorts of brilliant apercus last night and you don't appear to have caught any of them.

Speaker B: I know, I know. My only excuse is that I was p----d as a f--t.

herhimnbryn said...

Dear Manthatlivesacrossthe wateryplace, thankyou for your comment, it made She laugh.

For your info. I am a He, but I had my 'pockets picked' years ago. Despite this I am brave. Must sleep now as Shewhogivesmefood, just gave me some dead lamb and I have to digest it.

Salutations Bryn.