Monday, January 21, 2008


Nor did it seem, there lay among the shells. No reason why

elaborate cross

I would have wanted to think connectedly about what I would most have liked to do, and then - so to speak - do it. But it's never been like that. There was a sort of glitch. There's a knot running through the grain of my life. The image is Chesterton's.

How still the sea is today! The supercharged drizzle of last night; you could hardly breathe it in; and it made a fair stab at flooding the very sands, which is altogether an impossibility. Well! now it has vanished away leaving only clean air, and here we are, attended by the lumens of Exmoor and Tiger Bay.

No reason why!

Show Peter the play you wrote, Molly intervened.

I took in a great hot draught of tea, tears springing to my eyes, while he pushed objects around in his desk. The objects emitted dry, blocky sounds. I supposed they were made of ebony, leather, and silver; paperweights, chess-pieces... Such sounds are very precious to me, they are sounds you will only hear in the home of someone old.

Eventually he found the playscript. It was type-written, perhaps photo-reproduced in some indefinable way, and it had production notes in the margin. It was a radio play from the sixties. With a sinking feeling I saw that the content had something to do with religion; it was exactly what a radio play of that era was sure to be about, I supposed; but whether its tenor was godly or ungodly, I never read enough to find out. I was interested, not just out of politeness either, but I also wanted to carry on talking.

There was a lot going on. Lorna was afraid of dogs, but their friendly, clumsy terrier was trying to climb onto her lap. Someone was going from bad to worse, probably a son-in-law; sisters were at loggerheads; a grandchild was having to re-sit.

Blonde sisters heavy with children; silver-haired sister in a different country, phone-call at Christmas.



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