Thursday, 14 July 2011

Ways with Words: from the Dartington Hall gardens







It feels like the sky is falling down this week in London. I've still got a bronchial bug -- a chest infection as the lingering after-effects of vile flu virus -- and have finally admitted defeat, and retreated to bed (doctor's orders, with strict admonition about incipient pneumonia). But hacking cough is as nothing compared to phone hacking scandal, which seems to have reached a tipping point. The Murdochs summoned to Parliament, the Guardian at war with the Prime Minister on who is telling the truth about the warnings issued over Andy Coulson, and the whys and wherefores of Cameron's friendship with Rebekah Brooks ... I veer between rage and disbelief and consuming obsession about the details of this vastly significant narrative.
Aside from all of that -- if it can be put aside, which I doubt -- I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who came to see me at Ways with Words in Dartington (and apologies to those who queued for books, only to discover that Waterstones had sold out). The gardens at Dartington were as beautiful as ever; a serene, green oasis in what sometimes looks like an ugly world. Actually, the world still seems beautiful to me... more so, even, when it surrounds such hue and cry...

10 comments:

Lyn said...

Oh dear, hope you feel better soon.
xxx

HB said...

On a purely selfish note, I hope you are better by next week as I am looking forward to hearing you speak at Daunt Books. I am breaking my current rule of not going out at night because of the pit-of-the-feeling stomach of coming back to an empty house, in order to 'trek' from north London to Marylebone. No pressure or anything!

Seriously, hope you feel more chipper soon. xx

Lilacs In May said...

I am listening to all of this drama unfolding day by day and cannot quite believe it all. Browns 'outrage', Camerons 'condemnation' and all of the chattering and chorusing in between. Vince Cable was interviewed on R4 this evening and managed not to sound smug, or to say I told you so. I am loving Hugh Grant injecting a bit of middle aged glamour into the proceedings via Question Time and Newsnight.

Dartington Hall look lovely. Keep up the bed rest.

Justine Picardie said...

HB: I'll definitely be at Daunts on Tuesday; hopefully the assembled gathering with dispel your pit-of-the-stomach feeling that evening -- I promise, a good time will be had by all!
Lyn, thanks for the message, and LiM: it is unbelievable, isn't it? Topped by the interview with the Saudi prince on Newsnight this evening who is major shareholder in News Corp. The story keeps lurching from King Lear to Much Ado About Nothing...

enid said...

I do hope that you get better soon- look after yourself. Those scuptures are wonderful. Fill your mind with them. I am glued to the NOTW drama as more amd more get caught in the web!! How will it end. Back home I still have such wonderful memories of our Chanel garden tea and no one hacking phones !!!!!!!

Justine Picardie said...

It will end badly, I fear, with fewer newspapers. Murdoch will sell News International, and I'm not sure who will buy a loss-making paper like the Times (Abramovich, perhaps, according to rumour...).

jaywalker said...

Get well soon, Justine...you do NOT want pneumonia!
We are following the scandal from where we are currently, in Dubrovnik where it is 32 degrees night and day. We had a cruise down the spectacular Croatian coast for a week and now in the hotel for a week to recover!
My OH is a retired journalist and he worked for a small paper at home in Tasmania which was apparently accidentally bought up by Murdoch in a major purchase of local papers and I won't repeat here Colin's thoughts about him. He had no choice but to work there but the paper changed overnight with a completely different breed of editor being quickly appointed and a different ethos generally
We head back to England next week. I brought an old Penelope Lively novel with me and it feels quite strange to be reading about village England in the 80s whille sitting in 32degree Dubrovnik.

Love Bakery said...

Hope you feel better soon. x

normalityandme said...

Get better soon x
I too feel similarly about The News Corp scandals... best thing to do is view it like a Steig Larsson novel, then its all terribly exciting! ;)

Parable Designs said...

Thoroughly enjoyed your talk and thought you did tremendously well considering how unwell you felt and I was lucky enough to get a book...