Stephen Fry Appreciation Monday – Moab is my Washpot

Dear faithful readers, happy Stephen Fry Appreciation Monday!

As a copy of Moab is my Washpot arrived much earlier then anticipated and since I have managed to read it in some 48 hours work permitting (with a result of backpain and blurry vision) today we will be looking at Mr. Fry’s autobiography rather then any of his TV or movie work. Not the theme of our blog, but there you have it.

This post again comes with 2 disclaimers

a) I am not a book critic nor do I wish to be and

b) the following presumptions, assumptions and conjectures are my and mine alone and from my limited perspective.

I would love to go on and on about Kuhn and his ideas about perspective, which is jolly good fun, but it has been a while so I don’t want to misinform you plus my old professor would have my ovaries for breakfast. But I digress…

On surface Mr. Fry and I have absolutely nothing in common. Nothing.

There is the age difference of some ahem 20 years. Then there is the completely different reproduction apparatus. Different nationality, different sexual preferences (come to think of it, we have the same preferences as we both like men) and different religious backgrounds (I’m not sure nor it is my business if Mr. Fry practices any religion, but I am lapsed Catholic and there is no mention of him being an altar boy). And then there is the all boy public school (just normal primary and secondary school in my case) and poshy posh Cambridge. I did finish University but it was nowhere near as posh, although I did fart about wonderful Cambridge colleges and their gardens one delightful summer. Tall (him) short (me), blond (me) dark (him). As I said nothing in common.

Why do I stress that so much? Because while I expected to love the book from the get-go, I did not expect for so many of his demons to be my demons, for so many of his traits to be my traits and for so many of his heartaches to be my heartaches. Funny old world isn’t it?

But then there is the crappy at sports bit, cant sing for the life of me (people would pay me to stop) but I can nail down an accent no problem. I just cant sing. In my country we have a delightful saying “you sing like an elephant farted in your ear” yup that’s me. These are just some of the similarities that pulled at my heartstrings as a) I was a bit hormonal that day and b) I have realized once again, it doesn’t matter where we come from, underneath it all we are all unique and same (the great dichotomy yet again). A bit airy fairy for my liking, but what can you do.

It’s not pretty My Washpot, it is not. It is a great read, but it is not pretty. It is messy, angsty, painful and sometimes too close to home for comfort but it’s Mr. Fry as a teenager. In the end it left me with this overwhelming urge to tell him its ok, we were all a bit stupid as teenagers, in fact I can be down right daft at times regardless of my age.

But messy stuff aside, it did leave me with admiration for his honesty, his courage to spill his guts like that for the world to see and with hope that Mr. Fry at 50 is perhaps not a man content, but hope that Mr. Fry at 50 is a man who has same kindness for himself as he has for others.
Hormones perhaps, but there you have it.