February 24th, 2014


Sacred Country: Rose Tremain

Mary Ward is growing up in rural Suffolk in the grisly 1950s knowing she's really a boy. Her parents are useless- one brutal and the other fey- and there's an abattoir next door. So far, so kitchen sink but for all its horrors- and they not glossed over- this is a lyrical, funny book- a celebration of misfits and misfittery.

If Tremain were our creator we'd be on a roll because she loves us all no matter what.

An Interrupted Journey

After 25 miles- on the first stretch of the M25- the phone rang. It was the carer. She'd left her suitcase by the back door and I'd put it in the boot of our car and we'd driven off with it. We had to go back, of course. That wasted an hour.

After about 100 miles of our second attempt to go home- somewhere in the vicinity of Milton Keynes- the phone rang again. It was the carer. The electricity had failed and the house alarm was beeping. I directed her to the fuse box and told her to fiddle around but it wasn't working- so I suggested she rang Mary...or Jenny... or Jo. I'm not sure quite what happened next but Jenny eventually texted us to say they'd got things sorted.

We stopped for lunch at Northampton and I got to take a look at The Eleanor Cross at Hardingstone- one of only three of the original twelve still in place. .