Pride and Prejudice

I’m writing this on an app on my phone, on the bus. What would Jane Austen have thought, carefully hiding her manuscripts, shuffling papers whenever she heard a creak at the door? She could just have pretended to be texting Cassandra, while really she was writing about Elizabeth Bennett. Elizabeth on Facebook, stalking the Pemberly page. Mr. Darcy coming on chat, the box opening with an unexpected “Hello.” Virtual frisson.

In the past on the beach

The colours must have been different, not like we know them. Our humming flickering – all that contained hysteria of the screen’s dancing electric pulses, the primary colours of advertising, the tiny ink dots of print, the black and white of pages, unread words just so many lines of empty cargo ships. My purple plastic pen snaking purple ink in the margins of a novel.

No. Before all of this. More muted maybe. Ocean blue and grey, and violent white, reflecting light. Mixed with the low rush of waves, wind, salt and seaweed.

A buffeting colour. Continue reading