Saturday, 30 August 2008

run mad or faint, those are the only two choices

(paperboard engraving by Joan Hassall, from 1950s Folio Society edition of Austen's juvenilia. It's 'Love and Friendship.')

I slept two hours last night, finished writing my paper about J.A. time-travel romances in my pyjamas this morning at 10.05am, rushed through clothing and breakfasting etc and sat down to listen to Andrew Davies talking with Jan Sardi at the Melbourne Writers Festival at 11.45. The workshop is tomorrow, this was a separate thing. It wasn't anything like as harbl as I thought it might be, once the screening of the obligatory interpolated sex scene was gotten out of the way. I better save the rest of my comments for the write up I promised to do, will post a link here when it's available.

Drank an expensive cup of coffee at the table next to a presumably striking Fairfax editor & his posse of pashminaed Maenads, then got a sandwich and a tram to Toorak to give the aforementioned talk to the Jane Austen Society.

I ate my sandwich standing in the street opposite the intriguingly large and valuable-looking English-Speaking Union, watching members trickle in, and thinking, oh what have I done. How can I edit out all the references to poo, bad teeth, tantric sex, beta-blockers, orgasmic Darcys and other material unsuitable for advanced respectable Janeite hearing? Can't. Too bad. Best just get it over with. Finished the sandwich and went inside, nodding to the portrait of Winston Churchill hanging in the vestibule.

Inside I was warmly welcomed and introduced to a small white dog called Nigel. Nigel was wearing a diamante collar and looked vastly over it - the rows of chairs, the tea table, the raffle, the whole thing.

I needn't have worried about the rude parts, the talk was a big hit and it was actually really nice to speak to a group of people who are there purely to be entertained, for a change. Afterwards they gave me a cup of tea, a digestive biscuit, and a book token, what better gifts to bestow in the apartments of the English-Speaking Union?

Then I got the train home - from whence I am speaking to you now.


Ampersand Duck said...

That image makes me want to swoon -- so perfect! Any chance of that talk being published anywhere? (Yours, I mean).

genevieve said...

'Posse of pashminaed Maenads.' -HEH.

Mel said...

Hey, the very next blog in my RSS reader after yours contained this - do you know of it?

lucy tartan said...

Thanks Mel, I've heard of it, but not seen it to check it out properly. It seems to have a mirror on the cover. Good idea.

Duck, I'm planning to turn it into an essay for a special issue early next year. I didn't actually think it was funny while I was writing it. Depressing if anything.

lucy tartan said...

Genevieve - thanks.

Kate H said...

I am intrigued by this English Speaking Union- do they go on strike when people say "nukular" or confuse their tenses?

Also BAZLOTTO! This is my first ever, yay me.