Ruth, Ruth Susie, Boyd discussed on Woman's Hour

Woman's Hour
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Automatic TRANSCRIPT

Boyd joins me now Ruth Susie just explained how Ruth comes to be setting up her dinner on a park bench on Christmas Day. Well, I suppose she wants to make a lovely Christmas in his aware that a lovely Christmas isn't really wanted, and she gets her daughter to agree to go for a walk and Ruth wants to go somewhere with a swans and a band stand, but her daughter suggests just a little bit of almost a sort of glorified traffic island by a side of a main road. And they go there Ruth led a Christmas dinner out on a bench and she's made turkey sandwiches that are still warm and cranberry sauce and she brings a little stocking for her daughter and at this point it's set in the 1970s. So there's also Turkish Delight, which I thought was a lovely touch. Yes, and so she sort of performs the idea of this lovely Christmas that means something to her, but isn't really wanted. And so it's delivered and received with pain, and yet it still stands for something that's a bit unclear exactly what, but that feeling of wanting to give something to someone who doesn't really want it and how sort of painful that can be at times. Let's just hear a reading from the end of the picnic. Of course memories always change a little each time you retrieve them. Small and big adjustments to the proportions were necessary, as they served your purpose or you serve theirs. But it was such a hard day. We said our goodbyes. They were glazed with boredom now. Ellen is head swiveled round when I made to kiss her, so all I got was a mouthful of hair. If people asked with not enough or too much tact, did you get a chance to cross over without honor during the break at all? At least I would be able to answer truthfully that mom yes tell you something, please go to have a child, she said, a little girl. I saw a sudden brightness in her eyes, and then I flung my arms around her. What do you need? What do you need to see that's very poignant? Because Ruth does spring into action then doesn't she? Tell me a little bit about the christening scene because that was really the starting point of this book, wasn't it? Yes. The year my mother died, the idea of having Christmas without her was completely intolerable, so I decided to go to America to swerve the whole thing, and on Christmas Eve we went to see La La Land, and when we came out we passed this big white building that had huge presents outside it, and two banners, one of which said, one of which said, extreme empathy in the other, said radical compassion. And I thought, gosh, and we walked in and it turned out it was a church, and it was a church that specialized in welcoming people with mental health problems and particularly addiction and a lot of the congregation were suffering from the effects of drugs and alcohol, and a woman standing next to me was nodding in and out of consciousness and there were three tiny girls in for a menco dresses with a lot of red frills right next to a big bank of candles, and so my inner fireman Sam was really activated..

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