Tuesday 5 April 2016

The Digital World is Complicated

Perhaps it's not so much complicated as hard to tidy. I switch on my iPhone every morning and the entire internet falls on my head, as if I've inadvertently opened a messy cupboard. 

It's not simply that I'm lured into trying to read the whole of the Internet before breakfast (heartwarming stories of pet rescue found on facebook, a link on Twitter to a - very long -  Paris Review interview with Norman Mailer, essential hunt for interesting British stone circles inspired by someone mentioning Julan Cope on Instagram, not to mention reading all my email and the Guardian) it's the writing too. I have developed an unhelpful sense that if I don't keep posting stuff on the plethora of social platforms I will somehow cease to be.

Looking at the last date I posted anything on Mrs Trefusis, you could be forgiven for imagining I have ceased to be. I realised earlier this year that The Books That Built Me needed its own internet home, rather than boring on here about all the novels I like. There is an awful lot of Internet to be done. I have discovered there are no half measures: it is impossible to be a little bit Internet.  Either one goes completely dark (imagine, what would one do with all the spare time?) or pushes one's sleeves up, grabs a metaphorical digital spade and gets stuck in.

Anyway, enough prologue, if you like the books stuff it can be found at TheBooksThatBuiltMe.co.uk. Mrs Trefusis had better revert to what it once was, a kind of diary of a not very provincial lady. What is the opposite of provincial? Would it be metropolitan? The Diary of a Metropolitan Lady sounds infinitely more ritzy than it ought. It sounds as if I should be sleuthing round with a cigarette holder in one hand and a cocktail in the other, solving crimes. I'm not. On one hand I have a disgusting white nail varnish like tippex (it looks pale pink in the bottle but it's unspeakably naff on the nail). On the other hand I have painted a single nail bubblegum pink from a range I discover, on closer acquaintance with the bottle, is by Rita Ora, which should have told me everything I needed to know about the unsuitability of the colour. 

I panic-bought both bottles of nail varnish in Boots on my way to Waterloo, having realised my nails were repulsive in their natural state. Poor lighting must have thwarted my quest for something unobtrusively neutral. 

I particular wanted to look better groomed than usual because I'm on my way to the Goodwood Estate, to the Hound Lodge. It sounds like the last word in luxury: one has one's own butler (what will I do with my own butler? The problem with modern metropolitan life is that it leaves one entirely unprepared for having staff, even if one only has staff very temporarily). How does one make a good impression? I don't want my butler raising his eyebrow about me below stairs, like in Downton Abbey. I have been racking my brains for literary examples - one never sees the servants in Nancy Mitford or Waugh so they're no help as a behaviour guide. I can only come up Jeeves and Wooster and am now worried that my butler might remark that my evening jacket is 'rather exuberant' and I will have nothing to offer but some excuse about the style being favoured by the chaps at Drones.

Hound Lodge has ten bedrooms and sounds heaven on earth: when I arrive I have the promise of tea (I'm assuming proper teapots and good cake and so on), followed by a potter around the Van Dykes and Rubens at Goodwood House itself, or feeding lambs at the farm. I will have to keep my unbecomingly painted hands in my pockets. 


Mac n' Janet said...

I was just telling my husband that we need a Carson to sort us out, no Jeeves, it's Carson I want.

Cleo from Jersey said...

Well, I wouldn't mind the experience of "staff" just once in my life. Although, most Americans don't know what to do with "staff", so, in the unlikely event that we happen upon one or two, we make them friends...get to know their personal stories, trials and tribulations, cook them dinner, celebrate birthdays, and introduce them as friends of the family.