I met up with Brigid at The Flying Pan in Wan Chai for brunch before we wandered around IFC for a bit before going to see the lunchtime session of The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. The story is about Jean-Dominique Bauby who suffers a stroke that leaves him almost completely paralysed apart from his left eye and his imagination. With the help of a speech therapist, he manages to dictate a book about his experience, which is published ten days before he succumbs to pneumonia at the age of 43.
The film appears to have been based on a true story which rings a few bells. It’s funny in places, but mostly depressing because it would be terrible to be in the same situation with your brain working, but the rest of you not following suit, and your means of communication being slow and ponderous.
After the film, Brigid and I went for a drink at one of the bars in Central, and had something to eat; although after a late brunch, I wasn’t feeling inclined to have anything substantial. We then went in search of somewhere to have dessert and ended up, on the recommendation of some (rich) elderly local American expat, at Di Vino. The dessert, which was three different kinds of chocolate was seriously yummy.
I finished reading The Book with No Name by Anonymous last night. It’s a noir, supernatural thriller about the town of Santa Mondega and the search for the Eye of the Moon which confers invulnerability on the wearer and the power to control the moon. Most of the inhabitants of the town, except for people in the service industries, are hardcore nut jobs who end up getting whacked, usually by the Bourbon Kid, who drinks a shot of bourbon and then goes mental. It’s all very tongue-through-cheek. Oops! I meant “tongue-in-cheek”. Probably.
Back to Chengdu tomorrow. I managed to buy everything that I wanted to buy and one or two things that I hadn’t considered. I suppose this visit was a little more touristy than previous occasions. Brigid has tended to be elsewhere during the week of the Spring Festival in previous years so that if she hadn’t been here, I would’ve been left to my own devices. I perhaps didn’t buy quite as many books as I thought I might. A lot of the books I was looking at tended to have blurbs that began
The year is 1547. Miguel Huevos y Bacon, a Franciscan friar, is asked to investigate the mysterious disappearance of Eva del Salsa de Tabasco, and finds himself caught up in a web of intrigue that involves the highest reaches of the Spanish government etc.
I must admit I saw comparatively few books which interested me sufficiently to want to buy them on this occasion. Besides, I still have Jasper Fforde’s latest still to read and Stephen Fry’s The Stars’ Tennis Balls (not to mention, I think, one other). My Name is Red took me far too long to get through, but it could hardly be described as a ripping yarn.
I might be back on the air some time tomorrow afternoon if I’m feeling so inclined. Don’t wait up.