Margaret Atwood is often described as a difficult interviewee; an intimidating writer of great intellect who can be openly disdainful of a luckless interviewer. She doesn’t play the game, the game that most play when invited onto chat shows or whatever when they have something to promote. I can only think she likes Alan Yentob. He evidently likes her. The result was a fabulous interview broadcast on Monday night but only watched by me this evening.
I’m not sure how I came across Atwood. I know it was in the 80s, and it wasn’t because of The Handmaid’s Tale, though I read that later. I think it was probably that she was published by Virago. Feminism and feminist literature were (and still are) very important to me for a mixture of reasons, one of which being a relationship that fortunately ended with a man with whom I am now mystified why I spent more than five minutes. Make that seconds. Or nano-seconds. So authors published by Virago, or the Woman’s Press – motto: Steaming ahead! complete with a sketch of a steam iron – had a particular attraction. Continue reading
I am sitting with my feet up having a pre dinner lager. MasterB is having some zzzs. We are at das Boot. How often do I start a post saying where I am I wonder. Quite often I think, and that's quite in the British sense rather than the US sense, so if you are from across the pond, read it as fairly often.
It's a warm evening, I have the windows open. Birds are singing. Someone is speaking quite loudly and his voice carries across the still water. There is virtually no wind. When we arrived md-afternoon after a chat with Janet Eggs a mile or so short of the marina, the place was full of cars, and people were walking up and down. MasterB meowed and I left him in the car with the doors and windows open, but confined to his cat basket while I removed boat covers, turned on electrics and started the engine.
I let him out of his basket then. The people had dispersed. After sitting in the well in front of the car seat while I lifted bags out of the boot, he climbed out onto the grass. Then he had little sniff around, and made towards where I had my stuff piled into the the little trolley. I thought we were about to both move to das Boot, but suddenly someone appeared and MasterB retreated under the car, out of my reach. I kept ferrying stuff to the boat, returning to sit cross legged on the grass near the car and trying to encourage him out. It looked as though he was ready for a long stay.
I can’t help it, every time I see a photo of Margaret Atwood these days I think of a sheep. She would be a true wolf in sheep’s clothing I think. Certainly not someone I should like to cross swords with. She intimidates me even from the dusty ink of today’s Guardian front page. Not that I like to cross swords anyway. I got my bronze in fencing and then gave up. It was so hot behind the mask, in the padded jacket with the melamine cereal bowls to protect my chest.
I liked the elegance of fencing, the footwork, the terms, the feel of the foil in my hand, but I realised early on I did not have the killer instinct.
Nicola Adams has been single handedly responsible for a take up in women’s boxing of more than 70%. It must get hot in that protective headgear too. Her smiling face is such a contrast with the images of Henry Cooper I carry in my head: his eyes slits in a bruised mass, his nose issuing blood. But of course that was the whole masculine trip of it I suppose, and why he got the work advertising Fabergé’s Brut. Continue reading