Posted by: Corri van de Stege | October 13, 2007

Weekend musings

Friday morning I get up very early, close my suitcase, bulging with little clothes and little books and little….not mine, needless to say, and drive to Standsted where Ryanair announces an hour’s delay in their flight to Altenburg (near Leipzig).   I resign myself to this unexpected void in my schedule (not used to that much spare time) and read my book, read more on the plane and on the bus from Altenburg to Leipzig Bahnhof and finish Maggie O’Farrell’s The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox.  What an incredible well written story, the way it slowly unfolds and what an incredible way to spend a life: sixty  years in a mental institution because you are not behaving in the way girls are expected to behave and moreover the son of one of the rich and well to do friends of your parents, once back from warm India in cold and hostile Scotland rapes you and you become pregnant.  Esme has not even realised she is pregnant.  So she is punished vilely for just being Esme.  A warm and very well written book.

My granddaughter in Leipzig is hugely excited when she sees me and tells me all sorts, we have the most wonderful conversations, she in German and my responses in English and when I tell her I’ll put her Kleenex in my pocket she looks at me thoughtfully and says Ich habe auch eine kleine pocket and puts her little hand in her very little jeans pocket, pulls it out.

I am desperately in love, with my little granddaughter!


  1. I’m glad you’re visiting your granddaughter…the bilingual conversation sounds very interesting. I have no talent for any European language except for English! 🙂

    As I’m typing, I’m writing down the title of the book so I can check it out at the bookstore. I’m gathering my reading materials for the big big trip over the Pacific for Dec…to visit my family.

    The book reminds me of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

  2. Grandchildren are really a bliss because we grandparents have no responsibility whatsoever towards them but just love them. Isn’t that wonderful!

  3. Matt: but you’re an expert in many more exotic languages! So I’m sure you have come across the linguistic tower of babel as well. As far as the book is concerned: it only hits you by the end of it what really happened, it’s so very well written.

    Jose: I totally agree, it is wonderful to be able to love with abandon -AND total irresponsibility!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: