They are about fourteen, a baker’s dozen of them or so, and ever so slightly miffed, because they had to give up an hour of sports to have me talk to them. The fact is, they are taking extra-curricular drama classes this year, and they’ll be staging a shortened version of my own Nellie Bly play at the end – so the teachers thought it a good idea to have the author discuss the play with the class. Continue reading
Among the many wonders of the Internet, there is the huge abundance of dictionaries, glossaries, thesauruses, lexicons, and such-like beautiful things.
I’ve always loved dictionaries of all sorts, old and new, and own shelves of them, and since a young age I’ve been known to ask Saint Lucia for the occasional dictionary as a gift… Apart from the obvious use, I just love to get lost among those columns of words, to make discoveries, to go on treasure hunts, to chase the elusive nuance of a meaning… Continue reading
My father was a stamp collector. When I was very young, he tried to share the hobby with me – and failed. All I remember are endless sessions sitting at a table covered in green felt, being scolded for breathing too hard on the silly little paper squares… Continue reading
I’d somehow managed to dodge it for more than two years and a half, but at last the plague caught me – or, in other word, I caught Covid at last. I suppose it was just a matter of time – and that I caught it at the theatre was just as inevitable as it was fitting.
Last Friday, more or less from one moment to the next, I found myself with a very sore throat and a temperature above 39° C. Within hours a rather fierce cough and a cold joined the company – and there I was. Continue reading
Last Sunday we had the second – and last – performance of the school play for the Third – and last – Course. It went really well, and I’m truly happy and proud of ‘my’ pupils and the work we’ve done together. The’re a fine group. I’ll miss them.
That said, of the whole hectic, glittering week, there is one moment that I want to remember, the sort of thing that, when it happens, makes you stop and think that “Oh, how book-like!” Continue reading
It mostly comes in two flavours.
Flavour the first: now and then, when I hyperventilate over some (more or less) minute detail gone wrong in a play, a story, a talk, or whatnot, some sympathetic soul will try to convince me that it was a negligible hitch in the form – but the substance was there, and substance is what truly matters…
We write to a deadline, we drive to Town and back, we run around rehearsing the next play, we listen to the news, we bake sweets, we take the cat at the vet’s and discuss geopolitics in the waiting room, we watch from the window the first wood-pigeon drinking in the pond – back from wherever it is they go to winter – we hunt for that one missing prop, we listen to more news, we worry about friends over there – who live with their bags packed up in the hall, ready to run at a moment’s notice – and we wonder how all this will read in history books, a century or two from now. We write on, we muse on crumbling empires, we marvel at the flowers of an early spring, we go through rehearsing schedules on the phone, we shake our heads in disbelief at the TV set, we hire on for big translation jobs, we frankly have no idea what will happen next, we go on writing, and we just can’t help the thought: by the time the deadline comes, what will the world look like?
So here we go – New Year and all… and let me say that I’m slightly surprised at myself. And I’m slightly surprised because, for once and for a wonder, I don’t seem to be suffering from January Blues – or at least not much.
More than slightly, perhaps, especially when you consider the times we are living in… but still. Continue reading