Saturday, August 21, 2010

Vicky is next for her annual holiday. She is followed by Ray Bluett who comes over from Tasmania and finally in November Ron Southcott from Melbourne so it really has been quite a year. Joan and Phil, neighbours from The Hollings visited for one day (they were on a package holiday) so we caught up with all the gossip from our old village, and of course Beryl and Penny Mayes, Maggie and Ian were here staying in Kalami as usual and, at the moment the Baxters are here in their house for a month. Congratulations to Nina for excellent exam results.
Last time Douglas was in England he came back with a novel, “Young Turk” which I have just finished reading. It is by Moris Farhi, a terrific read and I loved it; beautifully written and so full of humanitarian and liberal sentiments. Moris and I go back a long way, even longer than with David and, like David, we haven’t seen each other in goodness knows how many years. We first met during a production of “A View From The Bridge” for Charlie Vance in Chelmsford; he playing the lawyer Alfieri and I, much much too young playing Eddie Carbone. I got a second chance to play it the right age at JMU in Virginia. After Chelmsford I was then in a play by Moris, ‘The Ashes Of Thebes’ that went on at the little Mercury Theatre in Notting Hill. Quite an historic building, the Ballet Rambert’s studio at that time. I wonder if it still is. Anyway, I still have a photograph of me in the play, young and bearded but I don’t remember what character I played. It was directed by a Rio Fanning, not very well I’m afraid to say, and was not a success. Since those early days Moris has gone from deserved success to success. Some time ago he sent me his novel ’The End Of Days’ which I also enjoyed but not quite as much as ‘Young Turk.’
He was awarded the MBE for his contribution to literature. Terrific. I am always delighted when talent deserves success. Unfortunately, as it is written in ‘Young Turk’, life is unjust and too often talent is past over and the undeserving reap the rewards even if it just means laughing all the way to the bank. There is a positive glut of chic-lit, romantic fiction, misery memoirs and autobiographies from the world of celebrity and publishers seem to descend into the lower depths to make a profit. Let’s face it though, if they didn’t make a profit they’d go out of business, but some of the pay-outs do seem rather extraordinary. Whatever happened to Mr Rooney’s three book deal?
I read now that Tony Blair is giving all the money earned from his memoirs to a military charity. Nice work, although there are those who will accuse him of playing the guilt factor because of the war in Afghanistan and those who will accuse him of playing the publicity factor. Whatever, it is a noble gesture. Oh, yes, having evidently already pocketed twelve million since giving up as prime minister he can afford it but still, good on you, Tone.

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