Empress Of The Senses

Winds had subsided overnight and sunshine has returned. Another very strong storm is predicted for tomorrow. In the meantime

the pink rose stays erect

and the Japanese maple leaves cling to their moorings.

This morning I finished reading:

The front jacket shows the French icon of the demi-monde as a young woman.

On the back she appears in her later years, by which time she had become a celebrity recognised by the literary establishment. The ISBN number of this 1991 publication can be seen beneath the photographs.

Herbert Lottman has written an engaging account. Unlike John Carey whose review was published in The Times Books of 17th March, 1991, I will not précis the life in case my readers will wish to read it for themselves. All I will mention is that Colette’s painful last years is one more reminder of how fortunate I am to live in an era where hip and knee replacements under anaesthetic are commonplace, at least in my culture.

Richard Willson’s excellent newspaper illustration probably reveals enough.

A brief obituary of this prolific caricaturist and political cartoonist appears in https://www.independent.co.uk/news/obituaries/richard-willson-political-cartoonist-and-environmentalist-6281503.html on 26th December 2011

One of my methods of selecting books to read is the review. This one I had slipped inside the book where I will leave it as a marker.
My mother’s frailty has steadily worsened since she was discharged from hospital a fortnight ago. It is clear that she needs 24 hour care, either at home or in a residential establishment. This afternoon we are travelling to her home in the village of West End where we will join in Elizabeth’s discussions on the options with Mum. A Waking Carer will be on hand when we take my sister out for a meal. I doubt whether I will have time to follow this up until tomorrow.


  1. Understood, Derrick. I’ve been through this twice, and your priorities must come first. All my best to you and your whole family.

  2. My father looked after Mum until he died and then she went into a nursing hospital which was excellent. They used to wheel her from ward to ward so she could compete in all the separate Scrabble competitions. And she conducted a weekly Bible study group. It was Govt run place in Ballarat. The good ones are great, the bad ones terrible.

  3. The lone standing rose and the backlighted maple leaves are fraught with the thought of the looming winter. Those are great references that remind me begin reading again.

  4. I’m so sorry to hear about your Mum. I will continue to pray for her and for all of you who love her and are caring for her. When you see her next, give her a gentle (HUG) for me.
    Your photo of the rose and the leaves are so beautiful and bring warmth on this cold night.

  5. Only the best of wishes to you from the other side of the world! (and everywhere in between from the looks of all the above?) 🙂

  6. Hope all works out with your mum. Getting appropriate care for the elderly is difficult, even when you have a good health care system.

  7. I nearly choked on my tea when I saw your header photo 😀 … you have hidden depths, Mr Knight! 😀 … sorry to hear about your mum. I will light a candle on the altar for her, and all who love her.

  8. So sorry to hear about your mum Derrick. Hope you get everything sorted for her soon. I have never had to make a decision like this about my parents, it must be very difficult for you x

  9. Chris and I recently saw the movie “Colette” with Kiera Knightly. A so, so film, but I’d never heard of the writer/performer before and now I’ve learned even more from your post.
    Such difficult times for your mum and your family. Hoping you find the right balance of care in the right environment.

  10. Sorry to hear your mum has become more frail. I’m catching up with my reading and hope to find out she’s managing a little better by now with help from her carer. I’ve enjoyed reading some of Colette’s books and stories and about her eventful life. She was very in touch with all aspects of nature, humans included. I’ll be interested to see what Kiera Knightly makes of her. I would not have connected the two, but I suppose that’s why we call it acting!

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