Thursday, 29 October 2009

Woman's Hour

I was just part of an interesting Woman's Hour discussion on Radio 4 about Coco Chanel and, more generally, about women and their emotional attachment to clothes -- the threads between what we wear and how we feel. There were some very revealing interviews -- it's a subject that people can talk about for hours, although obviously confined here to less than an hour. I never re-read my old books, but it almost made me want to dip into My Mother's Wedding Dress again. I haven't, aside from looking up the quotes on the opening page of the book, which I love (always easier to return to someone else's writing than one's own). Here they are...

“A consultation last year took me to an intelligent and unembarrassed-looking girl. Her style of dressing is disconcerting; where women’s clothes are normally attended to down to the last pleat, one of her stockings is hanging down and two buttons of her blouse are open.” (Sigmund Freud, “The Interpretation of Dreams”)

“She immediately stepped into the wardrobe and got in among the coats and rubbed her face against them, leaving the door open, of course, because she knew that it is very foolish to shut oneself into any wardrobe.” (C.S. Lewis, “The Lion and the Witch and the Wardrobe”)

“Have you ever been so lonely that you felt eternally guilty – as if you’d left off part of your clothes – I love you so, and being without you is like having gone off and left the gas-heater burning, or locked the baby in the clothes-bin.”
(Letter from Zelda Fitzgerald to her husband, Scott Fitzgerald)

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

While I was gone...

Apologies for absence; have been lost in computer with Coco Chanel. Day and night, night and day; it's all blurring into one. Have been thinking mostly of little black dresses and white satin evening gowns and reflections in the looking glass. Really, have gone quite mad, through the computer screen and out onto the other side of the mirrored walls of Mademoiselle's private apartment, but will return later.

Sunday, 11 October 2009

A brief return to Manderley

Ann Willmore's comment on my previous post has prompted me to leave Coco, just for a few minutes, and return to Daphne du Maurier, if only for a little while. Regular readers of the blog will know that Ann and her husband David run two wonderful bookshops in Fowey, as well as knowing more about Daphne du Maurier than practically anyone else in the world. Anyway, here is the link to the Du Maurier website, which contains all sorts of interesting and intriguing treasures (rather like Ann's bookshelves...), including this comment from Kits Browning, Daphne's son.

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Coco goes to Cheltenham

I am still plodding around at home like a sick donkey, propped up at my computer in ancient pyjamas and tattered tartan dressing gown. It is not a good look, but needs must. Nevertheless, will be sprightly again soon -- am praying on a regular basis at the shrine of Coco Chanel -- and off to talk about The Great One at the Cheltenham festival next week (Thursday 15th October). The website says it's sold out, but I have a feeling that there will be space for anyone who really, really wants to go, as I think there might be extra tickets available on the day. Let me know here, and I'll see what I can do...

Sunday, 4 October 2009

On being unwell

Have lost the ability to write with any coherence, and feel like someone has stamped all over me. I ache and ache and ache, and can't even bring myself to drink tea and eat biscuits. Am home alone today (apart from whatever bug it is that is making me feel so sick), which isn't as bad as it might be. I can crawl into bed, and stay there with eiderdown over me, apart from occasional outings downstairs for water and nurofen.
This is a very dull post, I know. But didn't want the weekend to pass in complete silence. If anyone out there is suffering, I feel for you...