Sunday, 4 November 2018

Bleak House II

The day continued with the weird sayings of Lee of Bleak House. He continues to rush round without a pause, taking orders for breakfast as quickly as possible, but he has no working memory, and without a written memo he kept forgetting and mixing up everyone's orders, coming back half a dozen times to remind himself of what we wanted, then bringing the wrong food in. One lady said we should just order everything, and leave what we don't want. Another guest said she didn't like to see food wasted, but the first said, with so many wrong orders, it was all being wasted anyway. Another man said he was going to buy Lee a notebook, but thought he'd forget to use it or lose it.

Yesterday, I'd said to Ann how fantastic Dickens' must have been to imagine such a vast range of iconic characters. The rest of us just write our own dull stories to greater or lesser acclaim, but he generated his stories from the wild world of his fantasy, and that made him unique. But today, I realised why he loved Kent. This county is filled with weird characters that make Lee seem tame.

The Tartar Frigate has a landlady who shouts loudly at her visitors: "Sit down! What do you want! We don't have it!" But when she brings the plates, she talks softly to them as she sets them down, "There, my beauty, you sit here," and strokes them lovingly. The hotel owner is as crooked as Bill Sykes.  He runs a jewellers in which he passed off imitation costume jewellery as solid gold, but was discovered when it turned a customer's fingers green. He sold a fake Rolex watch to someone who'd won the lottery, and that was discovered when they went swimming and the watch leaked. He seems to have got away with these crimes, but has also been charged with more violent crimes, and was found not-guilty on a murder charge. So possibly, Dickens' had no more imagination than the rest of us. All he did was describe everyday life as he walked the streets of Kent.

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