Tuesday, 31 July 2012

gosh, hi, i'm glad you're still coming here


Cleverly I saved up a small raft of gruelling but important but mind-light tasks which might be completed during the Olympics. I over-weighted the raft. And the things do really need to be done.

Anyway, just in case you haven't kept up to speed with the Bo Xilai story, do, do, do get up to speed. It's super.

When I was little, it seemed like every house I went into contained a copy of White Mischief. Partly this was because it was a very successful book. Partly it was because I am from a Southern African family. I couldn't see the appeal of a true story about the lives of people in the 1940s, which was forever ago so presumably they were boring. Of course, as we all know, Old Dead Earls are now the main thing I am interested in. As it happens, White Mischief is quite a strong indirect source for my new novel. Here are some moments:

"We talked continually," Allen went on. " My two sisters in Australia, by coincidence, had been to school with two of the wives of the Rajah of Kooch Bahar."

and

June's drink in fact was brandy and soda, and she drank it all day, as she chain-smoked. Carberry drank too, but never after dinner. The couple used terrible language to each other and they had violent rows, but Carberry adored his wife, and admired her tenacity. She had many affairs and Carberry usually didn't mind. Once when June went off with Derek Fisher on a trip to Meru while Carberry was away, he came back unexpectedly. When he discovered his wife gone, he took off again and caught up with the couple driving avross Cole's plains. He had loaded the plane with medium sized rocks, with which he bombarded their car from the air.

I didn't hunt for plums, really. It's all like this.

(By the way, since day one of the Olympics, commentators have been using the words "amazing" and "unbelievable" to describe the Chinese swimmers. I just mention it. It's nerve-wracking, though.)

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