Posts Tagged ‘F Scott Fitzgerald’

The Great Chatsby

A conversation Danda and I had while waiting for a train the other day:

Danda: Laura, have you ever thought about how if that novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald was about a load of overweight people, it would be called The Great Fatsby?!

Laura: O yeh! And if it was about some people playing cricket, it would be called The Great Batsby.

Danda: Oo oo! If it was about taxi drivers, it would be called The Great Cabsby.

Laura: Or about people who wouldn’t stop talking, it would be called The Great Blabsby.

Danda: Or if it was badly written, it would have been called The Great Crapsby.

Laura: Or! Or if it was about that time there was a load of vermin there, The Great Ratsby!

Danda: Or if it was about all the different things they wore on their heads…. The Great Hatsby.

Laura: Or that bit in the book where he gets run over by a steam roller? The Great Flatsby.

Danda: Or when they went to the Tropics and got bitten… The Great Gnatsby.

Laura: Or when he bought a load of stuff at that car boot sale? The Great Tatsby.

Danda: Or that chapter where he put on a load of weight? the Great Gutsby.

Laura: Or when he had to have liposuction? The Great Flabsby.

Danda: Is this… Are we still doing this? Really? It’s been ages now. I feel like we might never stop.

Laura: Shh! Shh, I have another one. Ok. Here’s a good one. What about when he went on a plumbing course? The Great Tapsby!

Danda: Um. Ok. We’re still going.

Laura: Or that episode where Time Team came round to his house? The Great Digsby.

Danda: That was quite weak. We should stop now. They’re getting silly.

Laura: Ok, listen though. Remember when they did it about the working classes? The Great Plebsby.

Danda: This has to stop now….

Laura: What about when the pets took over….?

Danda: Please…..

Laura: The Great…..!

Danda: Enough.

Laura: Catsby!

*Long pause*

Laura: Yeh, ok………. *whispers* What about that time when he got locked out? The Great Latchkey.

Danda: *disdainfully* That was the worst yet. It doesn’t even sound like Gatsby.

Things I love

Narnia

Branston Pickle

Jumpers with animals on them

Swimming in the sea

Mountain trekking in foreign lands

Iced peach tea

Cooking for friends

Anything by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Making a good coffee

Peppermint tea

The nice feeling after you’ve cleaned the house

Vanilla yoghurt

Walking in London

A long journey on a train or a bus

Finishing a book and deciding which one to read next

Listening to an audiobook while walking to the swimming pool

Yoga

Homeland

The first day of snow

A pile of freshly washed clothes

Anything containing truffle, especially truffle butter

Panettone

Family Guy

Getting Excited, Being Sporty and Being Friendlier, all in one day!

Yesterday I went to watch the Olympic men’s 50k walking race. This encompassed the three things I’ve been making concerted efforts to do since my liberation from exams.

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It covered Getting Excited About Stuff. In fact, I think I might have been the most excited person there. Or maybe just the most supportive. Certain people would always get a cheer when they went past – the leading group of about ten walkers, the British guy and, since I found myself in the middle of the Irish contingent, the Irish guys. A group of Japanese supporters opposite cheered the Japanese competitors. Finland had a following who would cheer for their competitor. But there were about 60 people in the race. So that’s a lot of people not being cheered. I took up the cause on this one and clapped and wooped and bashed on the railing thingy to show support for e.g. the lone very tall Polish guy who would often be adjusting his shorts awkwardly as he passed so I was unsure whether to clap or leave him in silence to readjust, the extremely hairy Norwegian competitor whose shoulders looked like they were covered in carpet, the two Ukrainians who shared their water bottles every time they got one and the Latvian in a little crop top who stuck with them the whole time, the Portuguese guy who looked determined, if a little grumpy.

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All these people would pass by unnoticed by the crowd or, if noticed, not cheered. So I clapped extra hard for these people, risking serious hand injury. In my mind, they felt a bit deserted, unloved, appreciated the sound of someone supporting them. In actual fact, they were probably just thinking, omygoodness I’m so hot and thirsty, I really want to win, I wonder if I’ll catch up.

I got there bright and early, in my excitement, and found a spot at the front. It was a 1km stretch that they walked up and down to complete one lap of 2km. As the walk was 50km, they did 25 laps of the course. As they started to spread out, there was constantly someone passing by to watch so it kept the excitement levels high. And my hands constantly in action!

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Being at this event also kind of covered Being Sporty because it was the Olympics. So although I was not active myself, I was involved in a sporting event, sort of. Would you say that counts as being sporty? I would.

It also covered Being Friendly, as I was alone in a big crowd and so ended up chatting to loads of people. I had a fascinating discussion with one man about women being tested for testosterone levels to check if they’re too ‘manly’ to be allowed to compete. We wondered whether the men ever have to get tested for oestragen levels to check if they’re too ‘girly’.

Later I came home and finished a book. This is a big deal. I’ll tell you why.

Now that I’ve got Getting Excited, Being Sporty and Being Friendlier sorted, I need a new thing to try and I thought I might try Finishing All The Books I’m In The Middle Of. My main problem is that if I feel like reading, I want to read right now. I don’t want to go and dig around finding the book I was last reading. That might involve going all the way upstairs to my bedside table. I want one now, here, on the couch, downstairs. So I pick up a different book and start it. So I have a few real books I’m reading, two or three on my Kindle app on my phone, one on my actual Kindle and one on Audible.com. I need to streamline. Finish off all the ones I’m in the middle of and just have one or two.

This may be the hardest challenge yet. I have books I’ve been reading for over a year (The Innocent Man by John Grisham), some that I’m reluctant to finish because I love (the complete short stories of F. Scott Fitzgerald), some that I keep losing (one about the history of Highgate in old photos) and some that I’ve forgotten the storyline of so will involve major backtracking (Black Mamba Boy by Nadifa Mohamed).

This one may take a while. Wish me luck!

A book and free time

I was away on holiday recently. It was nice. There was sun (sometimes), a swimming pool, a lovely group of people and some children to liven the mood, lots of water parks, beaches, shops, restaurants. All the stuff that you do for fun on holiday.

Except that I didn’t really need any of those things. I just need a good book and to not have anything to do. I’m quite self conscious about my type of fun, as it’s a bit antisocial and doesn’t involve screaming and laughing and splashing around in cold water, playing water polo or something. It doesn’t make¬†me¬†look like much fun.

While the others ran toward the oncoming waves and squealed and ran back when the freezing water hit them, and laughed together, I sat on a towel with a copy of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short stories and had the time of my life. I don’t hate running in and out of the water, it’s quite good fun sometimes. I also like sitting in a cafe with an espresso (at no other time in my life do I drink espressos, in fact I really dislike the taste of coffee. I think I do it in cafes when I’m in public to feel grown up). I like taking a lovely walk down the twisty roads, seeing the trees and rosemary bushes and wildlife. All these things I like doing. But if I’m totally, truly honest with myself, I don’t actually need any of those things. I just need a good book and a place to sit and to have nothing on my mind (hence, I did zero studying on holiday…).

So they ran in and out of the water, shivered, laughed, played together. I took photos from my vantage point on the towel and read the Pat Hobby stories. It’s not that I don’t like people, but I spend the whole year being force-fed big fat textbooks and cases and statutes and no time for choosing something nice to read. So when I’m away from the textbooks, that’s what I most want to do.

Until recently, I would just wait and read later and spend more time doing group things, things that are fun together. But I read a book about being honest with yourself about the things you find fun and that’s what I find fun.

I’m not about to forgo hot air balloon rides over the desert or mountain trekking in exotic places, in the name of reading books, because that’s ‘my’ type of fun! I’d like to think I still do exciting things, but in a more everyday way, I’d just like a book and free time please.

P.S. 15 days till first exam. Today’s revision topic is Constitution in Equity and Trusts Law.