Peter and Jeanette cycled over yesterday to enquire at my blog inactivity. Actually, to be honest, I think they ridden to Wantage to do some ecologically friendly shopping. As far as I know it wasn't to have a go on the dodgems or waltzer in the market square. Needless to say, I was delighted to see them, as was Jane who made them a cuppa. My excuse was that I've begun to write my next book, but it did prompt me not to neglect you, dear reader.
A week ago, on Saturday, we went to Stratford on Avon with Ruth and Anthony to see 'The Winter's Tale'. I don't want to sound patronising, but Shakespeare is such a GREAT dramatist. None of us had seen 'The Winter's Tale' before, but I was bowled over both by the play and the production. It's about the ravages of sin and the amazing power of grace. I can't tell you the twists of the plot. But Leontes, the king of Sicily, is seized with sudden irrational jealousy and everything falls apart. The production is quite straightforward (i.e. avoids gimmicks) but has great subtleties.
Afterwards we had a celebratory meal at the Brasserie Blanc in Oxford. I especially recommend the Celery and Walnut soup, and the chocolate mousse - mmm. Our very obliging waiter offered to take a photo.
So all in all an ace day!
I don't know if you've noticed how consistently BBC news reports any item to do with assisted suicide: there was the item about the start of the case in the Montana supreme court to decide whether it's a constitutional right; and then the Telegraph article by the head honcho judge here, Lord Justice Phillips, in which he said he had 'great sympathy' for the terminally ill who wanted physician-assisted suicide. The implication of the news item was that he supported the law being changed. In fact his article said precisely the reverse, though he did say he felt sympathy (as, I guess, 99% of people do) and that the legal situation is highly complicated (as, I guess, many people don't understand). As far as I know, the BBC didn't report the free performance by an independent community artist, as part of Antony's Gormley's 4th Plinth Project in Trafalgar Square in London, which I heard about: “Nikki… decides to spend her last hour charting the history of assisted suicide, from choice, through social encouragement, to mandatory solution for anyone who is no longer cost effective.” It was to entertain people with a play, through the eyes of a diary and to highlight the dangers of assisted suicide, with specific reference to the slippery slope of any relax in current legislation. Sadly I didn't see it... I was watching Grand Prix qualifying and forgot. Oh dear.
Meanwhile my successor, Tim Rose, is now in post as from Tuesday. Thanks, and God bless you.
By the way the working title of the new book is 'I choose everything'.