12 December 2008
T and J, I can't believe we are now in our forties
It's a good thing isn't it, catching up with old friends. Like, really old friends.
Friends from those golden olden days before kids (mine), divorces (others') and wrinkles (all of ours). T (of the sugarbowl), J and I met at work about 17 years ago when we were the three young bloods of our department, and then again on Wednesday night, only slightly more crumpled and thickened around the middle.
We gossiped about old work colleagues and swapped stories of who had turned up where (we all still work at universities, just different ones) and who still has a job (ha! not funny considering ...) and who beats whom on Wordtwist and who knows about elven bloodlust and generally had a marvellous old time. We probably bored the crap out of J's partner - I noticed her eyes glaze over as we embarked on yet another story about work.
We watched the light on the steeples fade and the sky turn a brilliant deep blue. We lounged on the old leather sofas and spoke of how we should be drinking cognac, not tea.
T told more of her famous anecdotes. I reminded her of my favourite one thus far, about how Helen Garner, with whom T had a passing friendship, told her that when she was naming the protagonist of Monkey Grip chose Nora specifically because it can be shortened to an unflattering Gnaw. Just as Helen is abbreviated to Hell. So T told me another literary anecdote which is now my new favourite. T doesn't have a blog (but by golly she should, it'd be bloody fantastic and you would all go and read it, wouldn't you, yes you would. You tell her that in the comments, ok?) so I will tell it here. When we all worked at our previous university in the city, we would all go to the Vic Market in our lunch hour and get our weekly fruit and veg. One day T had done her shopping when a friend in publishing rang her and suggested drinks after work, casually mentioning that a couple of "author folk" would be there. T agreed, and, burdened with several bulging plastic bags full of veggies, looking hot and dishevelled and much like a bag lady (I'm embellishing here, cos T doesn't have a blog so can't defend herself and she probably doesn't read my blog anyway any more anyway), turned up to the venue.
It turned out to be the Hyatt.
And the author folk? Whom T met, while juggling her plastic bags of fresh produce? A.S. Byatt and Vikram Seth.
And by now T will be back in Perth and online again, so please excuse me while I go thrash her at Wordtwist.