Thursday 3 January 2013

An apology to all and any of those of you who, on receipt of my first and unsolicited blog, were enraged by such an invasion, such a presumption. This is an experiment, and not a round-robin letter of infuriating self-importance 'updating' you on the long littleness of my life. Rather, I'd like it to be an irregular vade-mecum and a place to file things I might otherwise neglect to record.

Some things deserve wider circulation, and urgently. Such as this: a friend recently emailed that W. H. Auden once said he wanted to be roasted after death and eaten by friends. This was news to me. She added that she had no idea who the friends might have been, or the source of the story. It certainly sounds like the sort of thing Auden would say during - or after - a convivial lunch, if only to shock his hosts.

Which prompts the question - how should poets be plated as posthumous cannibal feasts? Heaney with spuds and cabbage? Larkin with splashes of vinegar?

Auden also, according to what sounds like a really first-rate work of literary reference, used to pee in the bath. I'd heard this before, as it happens, but suddenly realised I didn't know whether this meant he stood by the side of an empty bathtub and peed in (which somehow seems improbable, given an available sink) or peed while taking a bath. The latter, surely?

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