Aaaand – I did it! I took my vorpal sword in hand and did the deed: I stripped down to underclothes and went out in the garden with a bin bag covering my shoulders and upper body and I Did the Deed. The result is somewhat startling but amazingly liberating; instead of an unruly mop with a fringe encroaching over the eyes I have a scalp almost entirely free of hair, covered with just enough to keep my thoughts from prying eyes, and a little bit of fringe because it’s a bit bare without. This will not only keep me cool but means I can do without the hairdresser for as long as it takes. Here’s what it looks like (warning: it’s not glamorous).
Nope. My phone is not talking to my computer so you are spared that image for now. So: onwards and upwards, and what else is happening? I’m progressing with ancient Greek; I now know all the letters both upper and lower case and can read a few actual words. In English I’ve nearly finished Ducks, Newburyport and I still owe you that review of the Hilary Mantel which is gently simmering away on the back burner of my brain (in the ventricles of my heart, in the wardrobe of my soul…) whatever happened to the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah band?
Speaking of vorpal swords, it led me to start compiling what is possibly a very short list: how many items are there in modern Shakespeare productions which have to be contrived in order to fit in with the original words? For example, in the Leonardo di Caprio version of Romeo and Juliet, for the line ‘put up thy sword’ they have to show a close-up of a large handgun with the brand name ‘SWORD’ written along the barrel. And in Ian McKellen’s Richard III where the battle is being fought with tanks and guns they have to have his tank sink repeatedly into the mud before he can plausibly yell out: a horse, a horse! My kingdom for a horse! It’s a valiant attempt but it seems very contrived. I can’t think of any more at the moment but I’m sure there are some.
So influential was Shakespeare’s Richard III that for the next four hundred years people regarded him as fundamentally evil. But of course Shakespeare was just sucking up to the Queen by dissing her rivals and his account was not at all historical, as the recent exhumation and reburial has shown. I don’t know where I’m going with this really; I’m just riffing while I try to think of what else to talk about, but really, cutting my hair off is the most exciting thing that’s happened in a long time. Oh, except that yesterday OH went shopping. Having refused my offer of a lift, off he trundled with a large rucksack and several stout carrier bags. An hour later he returned staggering under the load. Then inexplicably he opened the shed and took out the wheelbarrow. ‘Where are you going with that?’ I said. It transpired that half our shopping was waiting two hundred yards away outside the United Reformed Church. ‘Why don’t you take the shopping trolley?’ I suggested. But no, shopping trolleys were spurned and the wheelbarrow trundled down the road to fetch the rest of the shopping.
Why didn’t you call me?’ I said.
‘Because I’d have had to come home.’
‘From your mobile?’
‘I didn’t take my mobile.’
‘Because I’d have had to sterilise it afterwards.’
‘But you left our shopping in the street! Anyone could have taken it!’
‘But I left it outside the church. I thought that’d be a deterrent.’
As if life wasn’t complicated enough. But we are fortunate in being able to get pretty much everything we need, and in (so far) staying healthy.
Hope the same goes for you.