Monday, March 28, 2011

Nanny by Chance - Discussion Thread

Marcus drags her off to dinner.  '...she hadn't wanted to come, and it would be entirely his fault if she chose caviar, plover's eggs and truffles, all of which were on the menu...' Back in my dating days I was pretty careful to choose items from the less expensive end of the menu (of course I pretty much only dated guys from the less expensive end of the menu school poor starving students). In fact, it was pretty rare to be taken out for a meal at all.  I had better luck in high school - I dated a very nice guy for a while that actually had a paying job - he could afford the occasional dinner and a movie.

Marcus claims the right to comment on her personal life as he stands 'in loco parentis'. If someone said that to me, it just wouldn't fly. Araminta is 23 years old - I don't think it matters whether her parents are there or not - she's old enough to make her own decisions...does anyone besides me find it a little creepy that he's basically saying he's standing in as a father figure?

Araminta should have known that the nursing thing was a non-starter  when she meets someone who introduces herself thus, 'I am the warden.'

British schoolboys on holiday?
How very Lord of the Flies.
When Peter and Paul's mom invites Araminta down for the weekend she says, 'And, of course, she is fortunate in that it is an exeat at the weekend and that she will be there for the boys who stay at school.'  What is 'exeat'? I admit I was stumped, but wiki has my thanks, for making the world smarter one word at a time.
The Latin word exeat ("he/she may leave") is most commonly used to describe a period of absence from a centre of learning. Exeat is used in Britain to describe weekend leave from a boarding school."

When Araminta has some free time she wanders around Eastbourne.  'The cinema was showing a horror film, which didn't appeal...' Gosh, if there's one film genre I stay away from, it's horror. I looked up what might have been playing...I didn't find one 'horror' movie on the list that I'd actually seen.  Here's a partial list:
  • Bride of Chucky
  • Children of the Corn V: Fields of Terror
  • I Still Know What You Did Last Summer
  • Blade
  • Halloween H2O
Yeah, I'm not putting any of those on my Netflix queue.

Marcus' manservant is mildly impertinent which he ascribes to Briskett's 'addiction to American films'. I'm hoping it wasn't horror films.


  1. I think Marcus just used the wrong phrase -- he's not in loco parentis, he responsible for her as her host. She is, in legal terms, a business invitee, and as such is owed by him greater responsibility than he would have, say, to a trespasser or someone walking past on the pavement. Whether that responsibility extends to keeping her from getting her feelings hurt is another matter.

    I knew about exeats! I have my own personal wikis: Wiki Ross and Wiki Henry. LOL

    Movies run in the UK a good 6 months to a year after they run in the US, so she could have been seeing a movie from a year earlier. (Obviously if the movie was made in the UK that might be different.) But your point is still spot on (I'm just full of these Britishisms today!) -- a horror film is so not the right movie for a Neels heroine on her own in a dark & lonely seaside town.

    I'll try to remember this when I finish Saturday's Child but she's in Amsterdam nursing Professor de Wit and there's a Paul Temple show on TV. I asked Ross, but he had no recollection. Turns out to have been a series from 1969 -- Ross's parents didn't have a TV for many years and anyway he was at a horrid boys' school then -- here's the Wiki page as Wiki Ross didn't come through for me!

  2. Betty Magdalen, I actually use exeat in my current manuscript.

  3. Such a great word, Betty Miranda. Almost as good as escheat, defined as to confiscate, or as a noun, property that falls to the feudal lord or to the state for lack of an heir or by forfeiture; the reversion of property in this way; plunder or gain (obs; Spenser excheat)

    An escheator was someone who watched over escheats.

    And the best part is that exeat has three syllables, just as you would suppose: EX-ee-at, but escheat just has two: ES-cheet.

    You just have to love the English language.

  4. I had a case involving a property that had escheated. I had to look that one up before proceeding!