Shakespeare’s Wife

Reading Shakespeare’s Wife. Greer is not afraid to use words like “flitch” (as in, a flitch of bacon), without explanation. It’s up to you to look it up or settle for a sense of what it might be. According to Wikipedia it is a side of unsliced bacon. A flitch is not as numerous as a flock or as wide as a field; just one side of one pig.

Seen in Blackheath over the weekend: Whoopee putty in a little plastic toilet, owned by the daughter of a friend. The little girl spent the day making fart noises with her whoopee putty. Her younger sister hovered around, looking forward to tomorrow. Tomorrow, it would be her turn. In the morning, just after breakfast, the putty and toilet were ceremoniously handed over. The little sister couldn’t get the quality of fart sounds her older sister could make so effortlessly. So she started stretching it out to breaking point. The putty was now in pieces, not farting. At this point the mother gently intervened, saying she should respect her older sister’s belongings. So the whoopee putty was gathered back into itself and respectfully stuffed back into the toilet.

Also seen in Blackheath: gorgeous parrots, red and green. A parrot was on the roof, peering down, so you could only see the head. There were other parrots in the trees in the back yard. A little flock. That’s amazing, said my friend. “It’s because I’m here,” I said.

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