Tuesday, July 28, 2020

A bad night, and I felt rotten this morning with rib pain. I postponed my personal training – she always makes me feel better, but today I don’t think I could have done enough to qualify. I resumed paracetamol, which I had abandoned completely at least a week ago. That helped.


Mary Lou, I was so glad that you recognised my quotation – You can’t chop your mother up in Massachusetts. I Google’d it, and found someone called the Chad Mitchell trio, who apparently had something of a hit with it. I don’t care for their version. It comes from a revue – that’s a theatrical form which has completely perished – called “New Faces of ‘52” which later became a movie. Google reminds me that it was Eartha Kitt’s debut. “Sherman Billingsley cooks for me.” There are worse ways of dealing with racism than skewering it with satire.


(Sherman Billingsley was the Stork Club, and I was told at the time that he had turned somebody black away in a notorious incident. All New York fell for Eartha and must have been laughing at him.)


I must have seen both revue and movie, because I remember that the movie cut out one or two of the higher-brow sketches – in particular, a send up of (I think) Truman Capote’s “Other Voices, Other Rooms”: “four hundred pages and noooooothin’ happens”.


I got the shawl-knitting re-started today while watching Episode One of “A Suitable Boy”. It demanded a good deal of watching, so not much knitting. I’m not sure what I think of it. Too much, too fast? I re-read the first few pages later. Seth does a brilliant job of introducing a great many characters in the first few pages – but he’s got a great big book to work with. The adapter is the same man who did the brilliant BBC “Pride and Prejudice” – but that’s a much shorter book, and perhaps he was even allowed more than six episodes that time.


I’ve attempted “A Gentleman in Moscow” but am so far not gripped. No love. I feel it’s time for me to read a big one – go on with “A Suitable Boy”? Tackle the Tudors with Hilary Mantel? Or have another go at “Decline and Fall” – Gibbon, not Waugh?


  1. =Tamar4:57 PM

    Oh, of course, you're right. It was the Chad Mitchell Trio whose record album I have. Thank you for the search engine results. I had no idea where it originated.

    I'm sorry to hear you had rib pain again.
    Bodies are so odd sometimes.

  2. Well... we always learn something here! I had no idea about Massachusetts.
    I was not very struck by "A Suitable Boy". I seem to remember making shoes was a big deal in the book and we did have a lingering image of a man's shoe in a shop window. But the inter-faith violence was curiously low-key, given that the ground was strewn with bodies. The accents are a bit odd as well. It may improve. As I hope that you do, pain-wise. "Decline and Fall" a definite no, title- wise.

  3. Anonymous7:49 PM

    I'm sorry you're not feeling so good, ribs can take a while but it will happen (did mine falling over the dog and landing on the patio with a bang).
    I'd plump for Hilary Mantel. I rather enjoyed her Tudors and it was interesting to see Cromwell as a little bit more than just the villain of the piece.


  4. Anonymous8:15 PM

    Hilary Mantel yes! Wasn't so keen on the 2nd in the trilogy but really she is so good. So sorry your ribs gave you a bad time - this kind of healing can take so long.

  5. I’m trying to remember if I’ve ever heard the Chad Mitchell version — I have the original cast recording on 45s, and I always hear Mel Brooks, Paul Lynde and the rest of the cast. I’ve always been clear that Massachusetts is a far cry from New York, oh Lizzie Borden!

  6. Anonymous8:53 PM

    Sorry that your ribs are taking so long to get better. As far as reading goes, the Hilary Mantel trilogy is very good and I really enjoyed reading them. They are long but the story is so fascinating that it more than makes up for that fact. Take care - Joe-inWyoming

  7. Oh, ouch! But Hilary Mantel! Yes, another vote. I loved the first two, saving the third for a special occasion. Much of it is internal dialogue. I couldn't imagine how it could be produced on television. However, Mark Rylance was everything one could hope for. If you can watch it, do! Claire Foy, who played young Queen Elizabeth in The Crown was Anne Boylen and he death scene is really well done (Sorry, spoiler alert!) I finished Love in A Cold Climate last night and thoroughly enjoyed it So next, a Suitable Boy or Legacy?

  8. Mary Lou’s mention of much of it being internal dialogue made me think of life in the US with this virus. My life has been mostly internal dialogue since March. Good conversations are few and far between.