I’m still deeply engrossed in Austen’s Mansfield Park.
Fanny is now with her real family in Portsmouth and she decries the want of order, rationality and peace that she’d been used to in Northamptonshire. I remember Jeanette Winterson wrote in a similar vein in one of her autobiographical pieces – saying that home should be a place of order. I need it in my home, certainly. And in my life, seemingly more than ever. It gives me a sense of calm. For that reason, and that reason alone, I shall be happy when this impasse over my job is settled. Let it be over, properly over so that I can focus on the work I really want to do at my pace without the unsettling-ness of phone calls and booking. I need time. I like to have time so that I can take time over things. Rushing has never been my way. I like to do all that I do properly. At least as well as I can. I cannot do this in a hurried way, too many things are left undone like that. The adaptation we are currently watching of MP is from 1983. It is slow, measured, more like a theatre production than a TV one. There are only a couple of cameras, so there are no close-ups of faces and there is little background music. The drama is in the language and the gestures. It takes a while to adjust but I like it. I like its understatedness, its gentleness. And the character of Fanny opens up before me. What shall I do with her?