Posted by: Corri van de Stege | May 28, 2007

Bank Holiday Monday

In good tradition the rain has not stopped this whole weekend and despite the greenness of the landscape it looks bleak and miserable, a grey sky with the lashings of raindrops against the windows, the wind chasing the few daredevil birds in the sky.  Very few people are out, once in a while a lonely figure in a hurry, covered in macks and clutching an umbrella and a dog on a leash, hurries by on the road beyond the front garden.  I can see the road through my work room window, past the bed of purple and white spring flowers and beyond the tall trees, partly obscuring the view.

Slowly the weariness of work has disappeared, after a few good nights’ sleep, a dinner with friends and the accompanying bottles of wine and good conversation and having been able to scour newspapers, read bits of books and try my hand at some more stories.  Rain can be very soothing, providing a good excuse to curl up on sofa’s and simply let the world be.  Work issues have been abandoned until tomorrow.

I thought of my own children, the father and uncle of my granddaughter, and pondered the complications of the different nationalities, when I read an interview with a 41-year old woman whose father was Iranian, but who had lived her whole life with her English mother, divorced from her father, in England.  She does not speak farsi and has never visited the country except for when she was very little, something she can hardly remember.  Her father visited her every year, at least once and they had regular conversations over the phone.  Then, when she rings one afternoon she is told that he died a few days before.  How strange that must be, suddenly, there is no connection, you are completely cut off from the relatives of the person that had this key role in your life and so there is her wish now to engage with all that, to learn more about the country that she has never known, but that is part of her heritage and that of her children.  You only find out about his death through a chance telephone call, picked up by a distant cousin whom you don’t know.

 Meanwhile, as a political framework you may like to know that the Guardian  reports ‘historic talks’ between Iran and America.  Perhaps some people are coming to their senses?

More food for stories, all of this.   Milan Kundera in ‘the Curtain’ provides wonderful insights into the history of the novel, and how the word history here has a different meaning from the way it is used in the phrase ‘history of science’.  In the latter there is a progression, whereas in the ‘the history of art’ (including the novel) there is an implication of a journey, a history of values and the implication that the novel is in constant transformation shaped by all sorts of things. 



  1. The story you mention belies the idea the western world has of marriage relationships in Islam, because I’m taking for granted the father was Muslim, but it is really a truth everywhere. I was separated from my first wife who later on died, when our children were 20 and upwards. It was a traumatic separation.

    Twenty years on and I am only on normal relations with the two “boys” (47 and 41 years old). The two girls do not want to hear of me.

    Five grandchildren. I only know two of them.

    I can assure you I never forget them (the girls) and if they came up on my front door any time I’d treat them just as though I had seen them the day before.

    Children are the best gift a person can have during their life.

  2. Jose: I hope your daughters / grandchildren read this and come knocking on your door!

  3. Thank you, seachanges. That can happen. Who knows?

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