Z judges by appearances

Just starting with an update about Andy and Gill – the insurance company finally agreed to pay up for the air ambulance.  Gill had to contact her solicitor, the Consulate and her MP to get results, however.  She had to sign a disclaimer, too – not because there is a pre-existing condition that they hadn’t declared, but in case there’s something that the GP knew about but hadn’t flagged up to them.  The next problem was finding a hospital bed.  Neither of the two nearest hospitals here have a vacant bed in Intensive Care.  I don’t know what’s been sorted out there, whether he’ll go to a different hospital or whether they’ll sort it out when he arrives or what, but the return flight is now booked for Thursday.  Maybe there will be a bed locally by then – I’d have thought that the problem with a high dependency bed is that you can’t always tell when it’s likely to be needed or for how long.  Anyway, a couple more days and at least they will be back in this country.  We can only hope that the cause of the illness is soon found and can be treated successfully.

I arrived back home after lunch today and sat down in the drawing room to read the papers.  After an hour, I realised I was extremely cold.  The room wasn’t that cold, must have been me.  In the end, I went and had a hot bath, and it took me about twenty minutes in it to warm up.  Very odd.  I’m okay now and don’t feel as if I’m coming down with anything.  Actually, it was really cold this morning, I think it was the coldest night yet.  It took me four attempts to defrost the windscreen, as it kept freezing over again, and this was at 10 am.  The chickens are quite all right, and we are getting the odd egg again – that is, one on Saturday and one today, which isn’t that much between 30 of them, but shows willing.  The cock pheasant is often to be seen keeping watch across the field, standing on a pile of logs.  He’s a very good guardian.  We’re going to have to get another cockerel next year, or at least some eggs to set under a broody hen, as many of them are getting a bit elderly, we keep them for their natural lifespan.  It will put the pheasant’s beak rather out of joint, I’m afraid.

I’m sorry, this is no end dull tonight.  I feel dull, boring and slightly irritable.  This last isn’t like me, but I’ve had to make an effort to be polite and patient with the Sage all evening and he\s done nothing wrong – well, not a great deal…  I will be in a meeting with someone who may well be pretty irritating tomorrow morning, it’ll be quite in order for me to be sharp if necessary, but not bad-tempered, obviously.

Anyway.  Hm.  I’ve been reading the Forsyte Saga (I typed Sage, couldn’t help it!) on my phone the last few nights.  When awake in the early hours, I tend to read something I’ve read before, that’s quite easy to keep track of and not overly demanding.  Of late, this has included Sherlock Holmes, Mark Twain and Jane Austen (I note that I wrote the character rather than the author in the first of these, but then he was the common character in all the books of Conan Doyle that I read).  Rereading a book always gives a different reaction in some way, I find, or else I notice something new – I was struck, as I hadn’t been when I read it before, years ago, by the statement that “Soames was a great novel reader”.  He’s not been mentioned picking up a book to read for pleasure, only his reaction to those he has read – which seem mostly romantic ones, and that seemed a bit unlikely.  Just coming up to the Bosinney/Irene crisis.  I was unable to watch the tv dramatisation of a few years ago, because the girl who played Irene looked so wrong.  It wasn’t only that she was dark-haired rather than blonde, but that she was too thin – I dunno, I don’t quite know why it jarred so with me, but now I do reread it, I see that thinness is often referred to disparagingly, and it’s quite clear that Irene’s figure was both full and slender, not at all angular.  Of course, the girl may have been splendid in the part.  I’ll never know.

11 comments on “Z judges by appearances

  1. allotmentqueen

    Yes, having seen the Forsyte Saga the first time round, I found the recent one rather disconcerting. Actually I found Soames rather creepy in a completely different way, which I put down to my being rather older and more worldy wise than I was first time round.

  2. Roses

    I’m glad Andy will be home soon. It’s far better to be ill on home territory. Fingers crossed for the flight.

    I’m sorry you felt out of sorts last night, it was definitely chilly. I daren’t think about my heating bill, I think we’ll have a summer of sardines on toast to pay for it.

    Good luck with today’s meeting. Go give ’em what for!

  3. Christopher

    It’s always disconcerting, when the actor etc. doesn’t match up to one’s mental image. I’ve found performances of La Traviata and La Bohème, both featuring consumptives with pipe-cleaner figures, ruined to ridicule by having corpulent sopranos to sing them – the original fat ladies without whom the opera isn’t over till they sing. That’s my thought for the day.

  4. Z

    News on Andy is that he’s due at Norwich airport tomorrow afternoon and will be taken to the hospital at Gorleston, which is half an hour from here, and not much more than that from the airport. One daughter is will Gill and they will return to Stansted and the other daughter will meet them and take them to the hospital.

    I’m okay now, thank you, but I was cold again in the night and had to turn the blanket back on – I’d made a warm bed cold!

  5. Z

    I know you didn’t have tv when young, Dave, you might not have seen the FS in the late 60s. The remarkable thing was that they found excellent actors who also looked just like their descriptions in the books.

    The interesting thing in the book is that Irene’s own viewpoint is never portrayed – one infers what she feels by other people’s observations. And Soames is not written as a villainous character at all.

    They do nowadays get people of the right age to play the characters (unlike some of the long-standing cast members), but that’s one of the downsides to radio – one has a mental picture. It’s some of the accents that get me – like, why has Pip an accent like none of her family, nor a Borsetshire one? And what’s with Ruaridh (can’t remember how his name is spelled) who had an Irish mother, spent his early years in Germany, lives in Borsetshire, lives with people who speak RP and has the most peculiar accent I’ve ever heard, obviously spoken by an adult just talking funny, which doesn’t reflect any of his linguistic influences.

    Thank you, Chris. I agree.

  6. Z

    Aunt Anne hardly appears in fact, she never speaks and dies very near the start. She is portrayed sympathetically, but one has little to go on! Old Jolyon, yes – although the ‘Indian Summer’ chapter gets close to mawkishness, to be frank.

    Interestingly, the person whose life one feels most involved in is Soames. His feelings are the ones most described, and whose passionate nature, squashed under a money-orientated exterior, gives rise to pity.

    Michael Mont is adorable, as I remember. And his father.


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