I was meant to go and see Coriolanus last night, beamed live to my local cinema from the Donmar Warehouse courtesy of NT Live. I was properly excited. Not only is Tom Hiddleston is frankly amazing but my talented friend Hadley Fraser is in the play, no doubt looking all handsome and fierce.
Plus I love Coriolanus. It’s a bloody bloodbath made all the more thrilling by some savagely powerful language. Although I guess that goes for most Shakespearian tragedies. And most of his histories too. Anyway.
I got into my car and started driving up the hill. Then: ARGHHHHHH, my car screamed. I turned off Bon Jovi (radio; not my choice) to listen further. ARGHHHHHHHHHH! it screamed. I had a little think. I could struggle on to the cinema and then break down on the way home, by which point my phone would have run out of battery, and the AA man, if I ever got hold of him, would justifiably call me a twathead for driving a car that was screaming. Or I could go home and roll the car down the hill to the garage in the morrow. (A third option would have been to sulk but I don’t do sulking no more, yo.)
So I went home. I got into bed, because The Man was out, and read 100 pages of Polo. (I’m making my way through Jilly Cooper’s back catalogue at the moment because I’m writing a novel that involves horses and I want to avoid crossover. Although thus far I’ve found none. It’s mostly about damp bushes and pert nipples.) Then I closed my eyes and had a lovely two hours doing absolutely NOTHING. Not sleeping: just . . . being.
And it was glorious. The furiously warring factions of Coriolanus would have been glorious too. But actually, I needed two hours to myself. To do absolutely, totally nothing. No phone, definitely no internet. Just me. By the time I went to bed I was so relaxed you could come and punch me in the face and I wouldn’t have minded.
Over to you, readers. Does two hours of absolutely nothing – other than the sound of your own thoughts – appal or appeal?