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Tony Grist

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The Best Part Of A Week In Note Form [Mar. 12th, 2013|09:39 am]
Tony Grist
We've been down in Kent keeping an eye on my mother while my sister and her husband were away.

Thursday: My mother has a great spotted woodpecker come to her bird table. Also nuthatches which are common enough down there but don't make it this far north. Ailz and I drove over to Westerham which is where my granny used to live. Also General Wolfe and Sir Winston Churchill. We have a picture of the old water mill (my mother just gave it us because she's run out of space on her walls)- and we went looking for the original and found its footings. In the evening I started reading Rumer Godden's The River; a wise little book.

Friday: We visited Rochester Cathedral. It's modest as cathedrals go but I love it for being Romanesque. I spotted a 17th century wall monument to a chap who was resident at Something-or-other House "Also known as Satis". I imagined Dickens reading it and thinking, "I'll have some of that." We had lunch in the cathedral tea rooms. When we came out it was raining heavily.

Saturday. Hall's bookshop in Tunbridge Wells: I used to go there most weekends in my teens. It hasn't changed at all. even the stock looks the same. I came away with a nice modern edition of Villette and early editions of three plays by Christopher Fry. There was hardly anyone in the Pantiles.  I read The Lady's Not for Burning twice- once for the poetry which is considerable and once for the story which isn't.

Sunday. It snowed in the evening. I read A Sleep of Prisoners.

Monday: Jenny and Ian home. We dropped in on them and they gave us brunch.  We drove home through flurries of snow.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: idahoswede
2013-03-12 10:32 am (UTC)
"Oh tedium, tedium, tedium. The frenzied ceremonial drumming of the humdrum." I hadn't thought about that in decades. I once played Lady Margaret in an amateur theatre production of The Lady.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2013-03-12 11:10 am (UTC)
I'd like to see it acted. I imagine it could be quite funny in the right hands.
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[User Picture]From: idahoswede
2013-03-12 11:13 am (UTC)
I do remember playing Lady Margaret (although I was quite young at the time) and enjoying it enormously. It was much more interesting that playing Jennet.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2013-03-12 03:10 pm (UTC)
It's a good part. She wanders on, says something witty, then wanders off again.
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From: cmcmck
2013-03-12 12:19 pm (UTC)
You should have shouted! Rochester's my home town and the cathedral is still my favourite even after all my travels. Satis House is also known as Restoration House. The name, according to legend, comes from the fact that Liz I stayed there and asked how she'd found the stay, replied with the Latin tag: 'Satis' (satisfactory) which sounds like damning a rather fine house with faint praise to me. Charles II stayed there on the night of his journey to London for the Restoration, hence its present name.

Edited at 2013-03-12 12:34 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2013-03-12 03:10 pm (UTC)
It was a flying visit and we had my mother with us.
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[User Picture]From: aellia
2013-03-12 12:55 pm (UTC)
Glad you got back and didn't have to sleep in your car like all those people in Kent last night!
I must go to that bookshop one day!
x
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2013-03-12 03:11 pm (UTC)
We travelled on the right day, I think.
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[User Picture]From: lblanchard
2013-03-12 02:20 pm (UTC)
Sounds like a great trip, all in all. I have a great modern edition of Villette myself -- it's called a Kindle. Actually, I think it's a public-domain 19c edition, but what the heck...
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2013-03-12 03:13 pm (UTC)
Mostly I don't bother with hard copies these days, but I made an exception for Villette.
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