Mary's musings

Mary Hoffman, author of over 90 children's books, including the Stravaganza series and Amazing Grace, has begun a web journal which will be updated roughly once a week. You can read more on

Saturday, January 24, 2009

A man for this season

Well, it was one man's week, really. I dashed back from Italian on Tuesday to watch the inauguration and the three of us sat rapt, once Aretha Franklin was over. How the mighty are fallen! I mean, great hat, but terrible performance. And who would have thought Joe Biden would have had a better swearing-in than Obama? But it seems the great orator was thrown by the Chief Justice's Bushisms.

Dubya himself sat there up close and personal throughout a speech that should have stung but he is probably too unimaginative to realise just how bad it made him seem. Anyway, we loved it all - except for the poem - and cracked open the champagne a bit later.

I send some American friends the You Tube link to "There's no-one as Irish as Barack Obama" and in return they sent photos of the scene in Washington; they had travelled there with their three teenage daughters from Massachusetts. What a day for them to remember!

Oratory isn't everything but it was a joy to hear someone deliver a cogent and coherent speech without notes, after what we have been through the last 8 years. Just my luck to be invited to meet the last president and not this one! Still, Laura is and was a gracious and intelligent woman, as is Michelle Obama.

I've now read through the bound proof of Troubadour and found it pretty clean with just a few continuity points and repetitions to tidy up. And I THINK I'm still pleased with it.I've started picking up appointments in Bologna with European pubishers - I hope that will help it on its way.

Only one and a bit chapters of Ships this week because of the proof-reading but it's OK. And I had two more swims.On Wednesday I went to the Babylon exhibition at the British Museum. Some people have expressed disappointment but i loved it. And it got me thinking about so many things. The lions from the processional way were my favourite thing - just imagine them replicated over and over! But I also loved the portable ivory calendar calculator from the 16th century; I'm going to give Doctor Dethridge one of those.

I saw Andy Murray beat Jurgen Melzer in straight sets at the very civilised time of breakfast this morning. Usually such things happen overnight at the Autralian Open and I miss them.

And the episode of ER in which Abby left, which I found much more moving than the death of Greg Pratt.

I heard Niccolò Ammaniti talking about his latest book to be translated into English, on Open Book.I don't think I'm going to like it much (but will read it in Italian). Still, he did give me food for thought on my next adult book.

Also heard some of radio 4's adaptation of A Prayer for Owen Meany, but was put off by Toby Jones' vocal interpretation of Owen as Marge Simpson. And today, Stephen Kovacevich playing the Diabelli variations - but husband says we already have three recordings.

I've read a bit more of Dreams from my father and LOTS of newspapers.

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Blogger adele said...

I agree completely about Laura Bush. Have you read Curtis Sittenfeld's novel about her? It's called AMERICAN WIFE and is one of the best books I read last year. Do try it!

25 January 2009 at 17:36  

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