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What the

  Thu 28th June 2012

A noisy and what felt like a largely sleepless night: the taxi driver who lives opposite snapping me into wakefulness with his car starting at 4.30. Someone locked out, banging a letterbox. Students coming noisily home.

Today we held the auditions for our--mainly Neil's--Dickens night. I was pacing my room at lunchtime, nervous about how it would go.

Me to Trina:

Bit nervous about it to be honest--do you ever get that knot in your stomach when you're about to do something for which you're not competent? We've got to present a professional face and I (I'm not sure about the others) certainly haven't auditioned anyone before. But I suppose the thing is to *appear* as though you know what you're doing.

I went round to Neil and Kev's house to await the arrival of an academic who's taking part. She arrived in black heels, a slender thick-fabricked grey V-necked shift dress, her curving wave of blonde hair swept aside from a far-displaced parting. It was impossible not to flirt with her. She referred to her husband as "the current Mr T". "'Current Mr T'? Why, do you get through them a bit?" I asked.

Neil struck an excessively formal note. "Thank you for coming, Dr T----," he said. "You've introduced a civilised note into the proceedings." I looked at Dr T. "Why, are you particularly debauched?" she asked. "Yes, you'll have to excuse me," I said, "if I start chopping a couple of lines up on the table halfway through. I get a bit tired in the afternoons."

We sat in the gallery of the Dukes Theatre and auditioned a grand total of the one person who turned up. Dr T dealt with it with aplomb. She bought me a coffee, a solecism I had to swallow, lacking any money at all. Neil, understandably pleased to have a Dickens scholar captive, spent tiring time on metatalk about background and context and editors and editions; but, I thought, not nearly enough about the details of the performance. It'll be alright on the night, but I've worked with people like this before: auteurs who are enamoured of their own idea at the expense of the practicalities of its realisation.


The girl who came round the other day to look at the house texts, saying she'd like the double room. I lie in response, saying it's already gone. She was too tense and guarded. She'd be better off living in a household of overweight young men with straggly ponytails and big black T-shirts who are doing Maths or Computer Science, who don't cook much but take their computers down Wetherspoons to talk subjunctively in RP in a style which sounds like a commentary on the conversation they could be having.

The Enviromental Science graduate and future teacher I met the other day, a much more welcome candidate, sends an email asking when he could come round and sort out "the deposit and keys and stuff." Thank fuck for that. I'm seeing him tomorrow evening. I hope it's cash.

Trina is off out this evening with some of her fellow librarians. I like it that it's not all-consuming. But the thought of her is a frequent one, and I want to talk to her, or better, say nothing, in bed. If I had a bed.

11 comments

You’re going to have a bit of a problem with Dickens if you’ve only got one actor.
Maybe try converting it to a puppet show. I can see the posters now, “Punch and Copperfield”

What’s wrong with computer scientists?

We’re the salt of the earth. (Silicon Dioxide actually)

“If I had a bed”?

You haven’t had to sell it have you?

What will you do when Trina comes calling?

Thu 28th June 2012 @ 06:14
Comment from: [Member]

He he, well that’s a contingency! No, it’ll be ok, we’re seeing some more people this evening who couldn’t make an afternoon sesh.

Nothing wrong with computer studies bods. Just you know, when they get together, it’s like the subject that style forgot.

I haven’t got a bed–I sleep (very comfortably) on a long cushion purloined from an old sofa. But there’s no room for a Welsh librarian in there. I’ll see if I can get one off the freecycling group, and ask one of my hard-up but practical mates to assemble it.

Thu 28th June 2012 @ 08:58
Comment from: furtheron [Visitor]

Should I be offended by the computer scientist jibe? Actually no - never went to uni (until I got a job in one!) and I did Computer Studies - we actually learnt how to programme ;-)

I do own more than one or two black t-shirts though, normally with some form or music reference on them… bang to rights as a nerd then!

Thu 28th June 2012 @ 09:20
Comment from: nursemyra [Visitor]

shame you live so far away - I could donate my bed to you as there’s already a better one in the house I’m moving into.

Thu 28th June 2012 @ 11:54
Comment from: [Member]

Think of the envy I could promote in the blogsphere, saying I sleep in Nursemyra’s bed every night!

Thu 28th June 2012 @ 12:22

Actually, the Bastard Scot is wrong! Patrick Stewart occasionally does a one-man Christmas Carol on Broadway during the holiday season. It can be done. (I didn’t say done well.)

You’d better put some ice on it and wait for the whole bed thing. Let it unfold at its own pace.

Oh, my Lord! Was I just giving you dating advice!? Me, who hasn’t been on a date in almost 15 years?! Okay, back to earth.

I’ve met Nursemyra in person and let me tell you something; she is absolutely radiant. You WOULD be the envy of us all.

Thu 28th June 2012 @ 12:37
Comment from: [Member]

I’m sure she is, and if she ever wanders over to these shores she’s going to be dragged out for a drink or six.

I’m not rushing the need for a bed but Trina isn’t slow at coming forward… (hurrah!)

Thu 28th June 2012 @ 12:58
Comment from: Homer [Visitor]

I’ve had 7/8 of a bottle but … Wtf is an auteur?

Thu 28th June 2012 @ 21:04
Comment from: [Member]

It’s a term in film criticism to denote a director or writer who exercises more than the usual degree of control over the realisation of a particular script, a script usually written by him or herself. So, by extension, someone in artistic endeavour who works in this way.

Hope you’ve finished that last 1/8. We’ve all been watching Germany lose to Italy whilst working through 16/8 of one.

Thu 28th June 2012 @ 23:19
Comment from: isabelle [Visitor]

I hadn’t realised or imagined the Dickens night to be quite so formal or organised !

And well, a bed would be lovely , but hey there’s other places for loving, as I’m sure you know !

Fri 29th June 2012 @ 12:45
Comment from: [Member]

Of course [I like it in the kitchen], but after the jiggery pokery we’ll need somewhere to sleep, so will need to rustle something more comfy up than the present accomodation.

Fri 29th June 2012 @ 16:47


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