Oh no. I was just sitting by the fire after dinner – watched the last bit of a doc about Margaret Atwood, who writes her first drafts in pen in hard cover books, in case you wondered. Nothing else on, so I started to read my library book, a treasure, Ann Patchett’s new book of essays. And then I had to shut the book, as the warmth of the fire and the two glasses of wine with dinner overcame me. Had to shut my eyes for a little kip.
Startled myself awake and thought, This is an old person thing, dozing by the fire. You’re old!
Well yes, I guess 71 is old, kind of. To my kids, it’s old. To my grandchildren I’m Methuselah, though I do chase them around playgrounds growling like a bear. Actually no, I do not feel old until I fall asleep by the fire, which I hardly ever do. So let’s forget that kind of talk.
Bill Maher is on later. I will watch maybe, or maybe I’ll have to give him up. He was so offensive and stupid last week, ranting on about Covid restrictions and masks, that I was embarrassed to have watched him for so long. I mean, he has always been something of an asshole, but he does interview fascinating people. But last week he and the self-righteous Bari Weiss, whom I also used, briefly, to admire – just unbearable.
Especially because this week, the convoy of idiots is charging through our country chanting about freedom, freedom to do whatever they want with their bodies. These are the offspring of the people who protested seat belts, cigarette laws, even socialized medicine. They’re taking away our freedom! they rage. It’s horrifying that they’re inspired by and partially funded by the American far-right, white supremacists, racists, anti-Semites. I wonder how my anti-vax acquaintances feel, being in such vile company.
How about they realize they live in a society with other people? Maybe there should be a country, or a desert island, where the freedom-lovers who don’t care if they infect others can go and be free, all together. Madagascar? No, they’d endanger the lemurs. Antarctica? No. Penguins.
Speaking of which, it’s so cold here, the most brutal winter in years, very tough. At least today the sun was shining, but it does feel like being held hostage, trapped inside by the weather. Months to go. It seems very cruel to have such a harsh winter this year, when so many are still isolated and trapped by the pandemic. For years we’ve had hardly any snow. This year – record breaking already.
However. Had a great session with my new editor Ellie Barton, who’d read my proposed book of essays. She got me right away, my strengths as a writer and, more importantly, my weaknesses. We made a major decision about the book which means cutting a lot out and perhaps adding some different stuff in. We’ll see. Maybe after reading Ann Patchett, I’ll give up.
Had a piano lesson today. It amazes me, but there I am, banging away. And now, I will do today’s Wordle. So far, I’ve done 3: one in four lines and two in three. What a genius invention.
For your pleasure: two cartoons I really like. Happy last Friday in January to you.