Some lapse of time
A couple of weeks ago, I read reviews in various places of a new book about the African ancestor of the Russian poet Pushkin; Hannibal, or Gannibal as he is of course known in Russia, because of the speech impediment that is so more rarely used than the Chinese one, was sold as a slave, and ended up as a general and confidant to Peter the Great. One of the reviews also reviewed an 'in the steps of Gannibal' travel book by a woman who, it appeared, had written kid's books about him.
And I recognized her name - Frances Somers Cocks. In 1971 or so, she was the kid sister of the house mate of a couple of friends of mine, one of them now a household name, and the other not. I have bumped into Libby on occasion, had seen Anna Somers Cocks a few times in the seventies and had not thought of Frances in probably thirty years.
Then this evening, I went to a party - academic anthology launch with various friends in attendance. And a small middle-aged woman said 'Are you Roz Kaveney?' and I said 'Hallo Frances'. Because she had come to mind a few days earlier and somehow my mind did the trick of adding thirty years or so.
We had a perfectly pleasant chat and discussed people one or other of us had not seen in almost as long as each other. But it was very very strange - the sort of thing that happens in English novels.
I guess that means that, for all my pop-counter-cultural pretensions, the novel I am in is something like Anthony Powell.
One of my other friends has got to discuss Pete Doherty tomorrow. I disappointed her hugely by not knowing any more about him than she did and having not even heard the new album, which she loathed. 'Oh,' I said,' I'll ask in LJ'. 'What's LJ?' she said. 'Don't ask', I said.
So, any thoughts about Pete Doherty anyone?