I’ve always been a Stephen Sondheim fan. Knowing this, the Domestic Goddess booked for us to take her daughter and partner to see his Sunday in the Park with George on her birthday – that’s the daughter’s birthday not the DG’s – and tonight is the night. BUT tonight is also the night that the final of the European Champions League, which decides the best soccer club in Europe, is played in Paris. And the competing finalists – said he through gritted teeth - are Barcelona (Spain) and Arsenal (England). It had better be good show, Stephen and George.
Halleluyah! We’re back – and on broadband! More about that later.
I don’t know much about Jane Austen but I liked her alliterative titles: Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, etc. and wonder if, like Dickens, she got the idea from Tobias Smollett. Funny thing, pride: hanging on my office wall – which must mean I’m proud of it – is a framed clip of a front page from The Guardian. It has two articles on it – one by me, the other by my son. It was my first appearance in a national newspaper – he was a veteran of about 23.
So is being proud a posh word for showing off? People who boast about their past glories are usually trying to reassure themselves rather than impress others. In my first job there was an old man who told everyone he was in the British water polo team for the 1916 Olympic Games. Maybe he was, but he failed to mention that they didn’t run the Olympics in 1916 because of WWI. And surely the most ostentatious of all is to say you’re proud of your kids. After all, what right have we to be proud? What was our contribution? A bunch of genes (over which we had no control) and food, shelter and schooling for a few years. But we all do it.
When John Osborne – English writer of Look Back in Anger – died, the obituaries said what a fantastic contribution his mother had made to his success. She died aged 87, having ridiculed him all his life and belittled him at every opportunity – thus, said the writers, motivating him to prove her wrong. Lack of parental pride may have helped his career – but what did it do for him? Fellow playwright John Mortimer described him as an ‘affable, champagne-drinking, absolute shit’.
So who’s right, Nellie Beatrice Osborne or Jane Austen? Guess I’ll stay proud of them till proved wrong - it's more fun.
The best strikers of three continents are playing: Ronaldinho (South America), Henry (Europe)and Eto'o (Africa). But I don't care.