I’m working flat out with the hot breath of the deadline hounds on my neck so I have little of interest for a blog post. Got up, wrote 800 words, deleted 250 of them, went to bed. That kind of thing. But I’ve also been travelling a bit, an indulgence completely compatible with working because I pack A4 pads and write longhand. It gives me a welcome break from the computer screen and my optician approves.
Travel means airports. Airports mean noise, crowds, men in flipflops, delays and the humiliation of having Security investigate your handbag right down to the layer that contains biscuit crumbs and old bus tickets. You also have to run the gauntlet of the perfume squiffers and massive displays of Toblerone. If there is a way to get to the departure gates without completing the Tax Free slalom I have yet to find it. Really the only good news about airports is that because of my neurotic insistence on getting air-side way too early, once I’m there I have time to read.
Which brings me to my recommendation. Last week’s flight delays were made perfectly bearable by 2 a.m. at the Cat’s Pajamas. Marie-Helene Bertino needs no help from me. She’s already picking up bouquets. I’ll just say that she has a completely original voice, sharp, funny, poignant. All this and she looks about seventeen. Give her a whirl.
As a lifelong fan (am currently re-reading Perfect Meringues, as you are writing a sequel) I am writing to say how wonderful your article is in today’s Daily Mail about your husband’s dementia and the decision that the time had come for a nursing home. My mum suffered from vascular dementia and died in 2009. So much of your article rang true. The car park as a crying place (I remember it well), the guilt and the stilted conversation at visiting times. I can remember being ecstatic on one occasion because my mum remembered the words to “Happy Birthday”. It wasn’t anyone’s birthday……….but who cared!! Towards the end, there was no conversation. I used to go at meal times, because feeding her at least gave me something to do. What a shame only Daily Mail readers will get to see the wonderful article. Well done.