Sunday light

I’m working on a review of Breath by Tim Winton but today I’m in the mood for something light. So here a few pics and an extract from an excellent piece by Hilary Mantel writing in the LRB about her experience at a British hospital (reminds me of Litlove’s excellent blog the other day):

I have to hurry to keep pace with the nurse. Can I befriend her? Will she tell me what comes next? Can I even make her look at me? She is young, dumpy and pallid, and recalcitrance runs from her pores. I have already learned this: if you are assertive the staff bristle, if you are gentle and friendly they blank you. I used to work in a hospital myself, so I know about the necessary cushioning of professionalism. But this is not professionalism; it is hostility, and resentement at having to walk the Green Mile late at night, with a woman breathless beside you twisting the wedding ring on her finger. I don’t want much, I don’t want to put her on oath; I want to protect my husband, to know where he’s going so I can find him again and I want to be acknowledged with a human word. Finally, crushingly, she says: “This is what we call diverticulitis.” It is almost irresistible to say, this is what we call a punch in the head.

Very evocative writing (and moving too). I want to read more by her.

Here are the photos – I love the one of my dog looking expectantly (and quite happy with herself for having found a shaft of sunlight to sit in, with a lovely mat underneath as well):

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3 Responses to Sunday light

  1. Oooh, love the penguins. Is that Boulders?

    As for Hilary Mantel, I have read a couple of her novels which were excellent, and have just ordered her autobiography which I believe is also very good. I used to live in the same block of flats as her in Surrey – she may still be there; it was only six years ago – and always hoped to meet her but she was very, very shy and reclusive. Her husband was jolly and friendly and did all the shopping at our local Sainsburys. He seemed to be the house husband while she brought in the bucks writing great books.

  2. Litlove says:

    So many people have recommended Hilary Mantel lately that I really must read her. Only I’m scared she’s a bit dark for me. Joan Acocella wrote that no other novelist had so much vomiting in her works. That put me off a bit! But still, I would very much like to read her autobiography.

  3. Pete says:

    Charlotte – Betty’s Bay. I hate to use the word “cute” but I thought the two penguins on the left were holding fins. And I’m impressed with your literary connections (even if you never actually met Mantel).

    Litlove, yes I can see how that would be a bit off-putting! Since I only heard about Hilary Mantel last week I think it’s a bit early for me to read her autobiography but I am intrigued now to find out more.

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