Jackie, now recovered, drove me to and from New Milton,so that I could travel by train to Waterloo and back, for lunch with Norman.
Many people seemed to prefer lobbing their rubbish over the railway bridge or the chain link fence onto the embankment, to using the bin provided. Those responsible for the planters on the station platforms, however, clearly take pride in their appearance.
Isla, aged ten months, has been walking for a month. Not all the time. Able to stand on her mother’s lap, with ‘one shoe off, and one shoe on’, she took pleasure in repeatedly chucking one at my feet all they way from New Milton to Winchester. Her delight gave her the opportunity to display her two front teeth every time I picked up the missile. I couldn’t resist telling the child’s mother the story of Becky’s milestones.
On a wall on the taxis’ Approach Road opposite the station, a few mosaic panels have been fixed. I rather like the Escher one. A set of steps brings you down to Lower Marsh. From there, passing La Cubana restaurant with its enticing mural, I continued to the Cut, on the corner of which stands The Old Vic, and proceeded to my rendezvous with my friend.
We began with falafel and garlic sausage starters. Our main course was the Tas special, a tender lamb dish. The house red wine was very quaffable, as was the coffee to follow. The prices were reasonable and the service good.
Jackie had not been idle whilst I was thus engaged. She bought two obelisks for roses and four more plants. At Redcliffe Nurseries she at last identified the lost label rose shown yesterday. It is the hybrid tea, Rose Gaujard.
On the train, and back at home, I finished reading Truman Capote’s ‘In Cold Blood’. I believe the term faction would adequately describe this work, based on the apparently random murder of a family of four in 1959. Capote thoroughly researched the event, the period leading up to it, and the eventual trial and execution of the perpetrators. That I take as fact. Obviously the victims could not be interviewed, but a number of the main characters were, not necessarily by Capote himself. It is therefore difficult to be sure what fiction the author has woven into his narrative.
The writing is clear, flowing, insightful, and descriptive. We can believe that Capote’s imaginative sections are true to the characters he is dissecting. Even on publication of this best-seller, readers knew who had committed the murder, and what was their fate. Capote’s skill has been, by moving backwards and forwards in time and place, to give us a gripping and credible detective story, not marred by the fact that the horrific events actually happened.
Whether or not it was the writer’s intention to point up the effects of childhood and mental ill-health on psychopathic behaviour, he certainly makes a case for them.
After more than half a century we still read of apparently random gun killings. Has anything been learned?
My Folio Society edition is illustrated by contemporary and earlier photographs, one of which adorns the front cover board.