A Bit of Fun


The onset of autumn seems to have brought the playfulness out in book bloggers. There’s lots of fun stuff doing the rounds at the moment and I couldn’t resist that old bandwagon as it trundled by.


Five Things You Don’t Know About Me


This comes courtesy of Charlotte; it sounded like a lot of fun but was surprisingly hard to do. I realised that the map of my life is made up of a few motorways, with hardly any interesting by-roads and detours. Still, here goes:


1. I am double-jointed and can still sit on the floor with my knees at an angle that makes people wince. Decades have intervened, however, between me and my capacity to do the splits.


2. Since the age of 15 I have written 5 full-length novels, and I’ve begun and abandoned as many again. This is how come I know my destiny does not lie in writing fiction.


3. I don’t eat sugar or yeast, and I don’t drink alcohol. Purely for health reasons; I have so much more energy without them, and it’s a crying shame.


4. I can’t be hypnotised. Some people can, some people can’t, but I have far too tight a grip on my mental faculties. However, if you waved a book catalogue in my peripheral vision, you would find I am easily distracted.


5. I cannot abide conflict, with the paradoxical result that I often end up a mediator in other’s disputes. It explains why, for several years, I toyed with the idea of joining the diplomatic service. The thought that I might potentially have to learn Arabic and/or live in a mud hut put me off.


Emily’s Fictional Character Meme


Emily’s site is always packed with memes and fun quizzes. I was intrigued by this one, as I had to think quite hard about the answers.


Which fictional character frightens you the most? A good question but a really tricky one, because most fictional villains are disempowered or revealed as sad and damaged by the end of a good novel. And the really scary things that people do in life would be considered too improbable or incredible in a fictional world. I guess I would have to say that, recently, the story that frightened me the most was A.N. Wilson’s A Jealous Ghost, his remake of The Turn of the Screw. Sali, the young nanny in this novel, gradually loses the capacity to distinguish between fiction and reality and her paranoia is terrifyingly vivid. I really must post on this novel – it’s extraordinarily powerful, but not for the faint-hearted.


Which fictional parents do you most wish you had? Couldn’t think of any, and then I realised it was just as Bloglily described: it’s a prerequisite for adventure in a children’s novel to be an orphan.


Which fictional character has the most balls? Indiana from George Sand’s novel of the same name is pretty feisty. Considering she’s a French-Creole woman living in the provinces in 1848 (or thereabouts), her readiness to stand up to her bullying husband and cross half the world for love is pretty impressive. The Slaves of Golconda will have to decide whether her ultimate fate confirms her strength or undermines it…


To which fictional character’s house would you most like to be invited for dinner? Marcel Proust’s, when Swann has come round.


If you could invite 3 fictional couples to your home for dinner, who would they be? I’d invite Hercule Poirot and Captain Hastings, Lord Peter Whimsy and Harriet Vane, and Morse with Sergeant Lewis. Can you imagine the tales they’d have to tell?


Which fictional character could probably entice you into his/her bed? If I could have James Bond in his Pierce Brosnan incarnation, I would have to consider my life complete. I am a sucker for tall men with classic features who are good in a crisis. However, as of yesterday’s post and its comments, I’m sworn off overly aggressive men. I’ve always thought the gamekeeper in Lady Chatterley’s Lover to have a certain je ne sais quoi.


Which fictional character would most likely have broken your heart? Mr. Darcy. For all the towering passion it may conceal, that cold and indifferent exterior would have ground me down eventually. I need a little encouragement.


In which fictional character’s home would you most like to live? Miss Marple’s. I adore that quaint, old-fashioned kind of village life, with tea and scandal at 4 o’clock. It strikes me there’s never a dull moment in St. Mary’s Mead, and maybe Jane would allow me to help her out in an investigation. At the very least, I could hold her ball of wool.


[Wordpress was NOT in playful mood this morning, and for this reason I haven’t been able to put my links in. I’ll edit later in the day.]

15 thoughts on “A Bit of Fun

  1. Your final comment explains why I have had trouble getting in – sorry- I haven’t been neglecting you deliberately. I shall have to think about these, but I’m with you on the conflict, Harriet and Peter, Mr Darcy and Miss Marple’s home, althought I think I’d want one or other of her succession of ‘girls’ to keep the dust down and make the teas.

  2. Ann – my mum was saying that wordpress had been hiding my posts in the week, so there may well be network problems. Frankly I would love a ‘girl’ to dust and make tea – particularly Cherry, who always seemed such a sweet soul.

  3. Okay, how unfair that you, who don’t think you were meant to write fiction have completed five novels since age 15, and I, who think I was, have completed none since the same age. But, I’ll forgive you. And I’d go for and reject James Bond for the same reasons.
    Blogger was on the blitz yesterday, too.

  4. Sorry Colin Firth bye by
    It is now Toby Stephens as Mr Rochester. The underlying vulnerability in this performance did for me and after reading the last chapter again over the weekend Reader I Married Him my allegiance, which had been dangerously swayed towards Mr F is now back
    (Mark you I taped a film last night starring Colin Firth and I daresay I shall probably change my mind again. It is that deep voice of his that does it…)

  5. I must be the only person in the world who isn’t keen on Mr Darcy… Mind you, I loved him in the latest Pride and Prejudice film (the Keira Knightley one), especially the part at the beginning, at the ball, where he is standing there with his face down round his ankles. The actor who played him in that film is my favourite Mr Darcy so far.

    I can’t drink either. I’m really sensitive to sugar. It’s a bit of a pain. And I’ve written four full-length novels! The first three make me shudder…

  6. Ms Make Tea – I thought at first you might have a fight on your hands, but it looks as if the tide is turning – although it’s clear that Colin Firth has himself a fine fan club here! Dorothy and Emily – I can assure you that 5 poor novels is more than enough for anyone’s lifetime! Being prolific is not the same as having talent… Elaine – did you see Toby Stephens in the BBC dramatisation of The Tenant of Wildfell Hall several years ago? I thought he was lovely in that, but I haven’t seen the new Jane Eyre. I managed to miss the first episode and so have never got into it. Hopefully it will come out on video eventually. Helen – I saw that film and did like the representation of Mr Darcy in it (and love your description of him!). It’s nice to find a fellow sufferer in the sugar wars…

  7. Oddly enough the Tenant of Wildfell Hall arrived from Amazon yesterday. I had seen it before but decided to refresh my memory on this one as I think it is a very underated book. Three members of this cast were also in the latest Jane Eyre. I watched the final episode of this JE again on Sunday and was once more reduced to tears, it was a wonderful adaptation though I know some of the dialogue was a bit too ‘modern’ and the final scene was a bit too chocolate box for my liking. Overall, however, it was simply wonderful.

  8. What great answers! I wish I could stay away from sugar and yeast–life would probably be so much easier! Are the novels you have written mysteries? Now I am going to have to look up the Wilson novel–it sounds good! Am in the middle of Indiana–I can say that Raymon is one of the slimiest characters I have come across since Madame Bovary’s seducer!

  9. Pingback: Five Things My Husband Is Pretty Sure You Don’t Know About Me « BlogLily

  10. Holy space, 5 novels! Now we know where all these wonderful posts and contemplative writing come from. Your 5 things were very enjoyable to read.

    I look at the Fictional Character Meme, and the first thing that strikes me is that my reading has been *so* limited, that I would have to rack my brains for an eternity to answer them. I think I’ll try, nevertheless.

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