When everyone (including Ralph Richardson, John Gielgud, Harold Pinter, and my dad) were very much alive (1975), Doctor Brother Gibbs Senior and I managed to see "Nomansland" in its entire novelty at Wymondham's Theatre in London's best end, with Ralph and John on top form, the former oily with motorcycle grandeur, the latter with grubby raincoat seediness.
25 October 2010
R I P Paddy Fermor, master of the English Language, whose lifetime correspondence with Deborah Mitford, the Duchess of Devonshire, Mistress of Chatsworth House, is only outshone by the correspondence I had with him when I lived by Lake Bracciano in Italy and wrote to him about his description of the reflection of Bracciano Castle in the lake which I could see from my balcony. Charmingly and not at all in tearing haste, he replied (from Kardamyli, on July 7th 1988). "Alas, I mustn't agree to the idea of a visit! Things are going so badly and slowly with my present book - largely because of being led astray with reviews, introductions, and visits, I've taken a vow that they must all stop until a safe, secret part of the book is reached and I am sure you will understand."
16 October 2010
The interior of the Barley Mow Inn, in Kirk Ireton, Derbyshire. A pub that dates back to the days of King James Ist and which has altered less than many old hostelries. Although geographically quite out of keeping with Thomas Hardy, I could not help but recall this poem in this very English interior.