14 Nov

Hullo my lovelies. I am back! I know you missed my wit and charm. Don’t all comment at once. I have many, many mosquito bites and it’s just possible that I may even have the merest hint of a tan. A tan, I tell you! I suppose that’s what you get for lying in the sun under 35 degree heat for a week. I wouldn’t know. I used a whole bottle of Factor 50 suncream. My sister looks like a lizard, she’s all scaly and burned (and she has a forked tongue and eyes that swivel independently of each other. Sun does weird things to our family). She is still, however, significantly more tanned than I am. Such is life, or my life at least.

We got back very late last night after an absolute farce at the airport. It was the Italian version of Little Britain; the check-in woman spent about ten minutes per individual (no joke) identifying faces in passports and typing names with one expertly manicured finger, before taking a little break to chat to her co-worker, get up for a walk, air-kiss her friends etc. This in an airport that was a) tiny and b) in danger of turning into a moshpit. Anyway, the short and short of it is that we got home after a significant delay and I’ve spent all day today recovering and readjusting. I chose to do so by spending the morning in pyjamas and finally, FINALLY watching Henry V (which was thoroughly excellent and made me fall in love with Tom Hiddleston all over again. Especially the bit with Catherine).

However, halfway through, agony struck, in the form of a phone call.

Now, our sofas (bear with me, this is relevant) are really quite old and disheveled, because my mum has been planning to redecorate the lounge for a long time (and there’s no point getting new sofa covers til then, she says). The arms have been patched and repatched so many times they are basically just stitches now. The cushions are all worn at the edges and what was once red and yellow material has faded to almost white. The edges are all coming away from the main cushions and create dangerous traps for the unwary. They also catch out the moving-at-speed.

Picture the scene: I am curled up on the sofa, engrossed in Shakespeare’s (and RADA’s) finest. The phone rings. I grab the remote to pause the programme, swing my feet from under me, stand up. My right toe catches on the lasso formed by the trailing sofa-cushion edge and I lurch forward, smashing my left foot, with all the momentum from my fall, smack into the coffee table. Naturally my next reaction is to hop around the room swearing. Meanwhile, my brother has picked up the phone in the other room, where he was sat next to it all along. I have a minute or two to compose myself before I speak to my great aunt, who is ringing to tell my mother she misses their online scrabble games.

My middle toe on my left foot is blue.


I’ve been a bit tetchy for the rest of the day.

Oh, and I watched Parade’s End this evening (I nearly made us late leaving for the airport last Saturday because I had to finish reading it before we left). I thought it was excellent, but my dad thought it was dreadful because he’s fundamentally opposed to all period dramas, my sister was a bit bemused by all the apparent sex scenes in ‘Edwardian’ England and my mum said it was difficult to follow. Whatever. I think it makes more sense to me because I’ve read the book and I’m familiar with the way Ford Madox Ford writes; I get what Stoppard is doing with his time-shifts and I understand who the characters are when they aren’t immediately explained. Sylvia is excellently portrayed. Top marks to Rebecca Hall for that one. And, well, I think Benedict Cumberbatch is a) beautifully well-cast and b) beautiful. And his voice! Listening to him is like having a bath in chocolate liqueur.

I’ll update you on my toe-bruise-colour soon. I reckon it’ll be at its best tomorrow or Tuesday. Til then, in the immortal words of (BBC version) Mr Wickham, ‘let us not say farewell, but as the French have it – Au Revoir!’


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