Sunday, 28 September 2014

A Golden Autumn, Spiders, and 'STREAMING' by Enid Richemont


It's been an especially beautiful September - my favourite month - and I've been watching the year slowly dying in a haze of gold. My London back garden is full of colour. Today I picked my last runner beans, and was starting to remove the stems which were infested with blackfly when the structure up which they'd been growing collapsed, reminding me cruelly that it's been a year and a half now since I lost my beloved David who set up the beanpoles in the first place.

Recently, I've been meditating on my own death, and, indeed, death itself. In my work, I've always found endings difficult - they have to be perfect, rounded, right (would that life were like that) and I've often fantasised about having a convenient 'END NOW' button I could click at an appropriate time. To be honest, it's not just a fantasy. I have recently become a member of Exit International. The 'appropriate time' is certainly not now, but I would like to think that, if that time came, I could have that choice.

September spiders have been weaving their extraordinary magic too - I've seen a posy of dead leaves spinning on a single silver thread, forming a perfect mobile. Spiders are so entrepreneurial - trying out contact between the most unlikely of objects (today a connection between my garden wall and a plastic chair, one which I felt would be too vandalistic to remove). Two years ago, the sight of so many of these delicate structures destined to be broken became the inspiration for 'ARABELLA'S WEB', published by Franklin Watts and coming out early next year. Our personal 'Arabella' decided to weave her web between the wing mirror and our car, thus hitching a lift between London and Cornwall, and she didn't even know she was travelling!

From time to time, I enjoy a good crime novel, and my author of choice for these is Ruth Rendell. I love the way she plots, like a symphony, allowing us to experience the sounds/colours/smells of her characters, and then weaving them together so cleverly. Dickens used the same technique, which, when I was forced to read him as an adolescent, I found irritating, because as soon as I was involved with one set of people, he would switched to another - well, I've grown up since then. Recently, though, I've been reading Donna Leon, with her detective, Brunetti, living and working in Venice. A very different kind of storytelling, much more linear, and with the city itself as the backdrop, and the relationship between Brunetti and his wife, and his closest colleagues, far more important than the psychologies of his criminals. An interesting contrast. On the whole, I want to know WHY they dunnit, rather than WHO dunnit - all the minute building blocks leading up to disaster.

For those of you living in London, and hooked on gritty contemporary drama, you might like to book for 'STREAMING' at The Pleasance, which is just off York Way, in the rejuvenated Kings Cross area, in November. I'm mentioning this now, and will again at the end of October, because my totally amazing grand-daughter, Anna Munden, is a very significant member of the caste of three. Family friends have expressed concern about the possible psychological side-effects of a young girl playing such a role, but actors, like writers, have to be able to don different bodies, often dislikeable or tormented ones, and still survive. I imagine that Stephen King must be the sanest of people, since, with his work, he's allowed himself to explore the nastiest and most terrifying parts of his own psyche without hurting anyone.


5 comments:

Dennis Hamley said...

Anne, that's a wonderful post, for many reasons. I'm much concerned with the nature of endings and closure (mainly literary ones) at the moment and you've given me a lot to think about. And Donna Leon, of whom I'd never heard, will be on my Kindle to take to Oz. Venice and murder - Brunetti sounds my kind of sleuth.

Lydia Bennet said...

an intriguing and rather elegiac stream of consciousness (partly about consciousness or lack of it), Enid. Lots to mull over there. I'm sure your granddaughter will be fab and also fine, it's acting after all! Spiders are wonderful at this time of year, the 'Charlotte' kind whose webs achieve perfection just before they give birth to eggs and die before winter sets in - Charlotte's Web is a wonderful book and deals with death as well as many other topics so beautifully. I'm not so keen on the house spiders that barge into the house however! Good luck with your continuing projects and I hope your membership of Exit will remain academic for a long time to come.

Lydia Bennet said...

For anyone who'd like more info about the play Enid refers to: https://www.londontheatre1.com/index.php/95566/streaming-adventures-web-cam-girl-pleasance-london/

Enid Richemont said...

Dennis - I'm an Enid, not an Anne, although always considering changing it because of uncomfortable connections.
And Lydia - thanks for that link - very helpful

Dennis Hamley said...

Sorry Enid, I can't imagine what made me write 'Anne'. I looked again and felt a real twerp. Not for the first time in my life by any means. 'Enid' is a lovely name with a nice retro feel to it, not that 'retro' applies to you. I gave the name to one of my favourite characters in Ellen's People and Divided Loyalties.