My Weekend: Jane Rusbridge

Jane Rusbridge
Jane Rusbridge
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Chichester author Jane Rusbridge appears at a Festival of Chichester creative writing workshop tomorrow, Books on the Beach Sunday, and a Waterstones launch for her new book, Rook, Thursday.

When did you last go away and where did you go?   

We went to Crete in May. We love a particular stretch of the south coast between Agia Galini and Agia Fotini, and often stay in Apanemia Taverna, which was built from the ruins of an old carob store tucked in beside the dramatic Triopetra rocks. The taverna is right on the beach, so at night you sleep to the sound of the waves. It’s the kind of place people return to year after year, as we do. Rugged mountain slopes covered with olive trees and aromatic herbs drop steeply to isolated beaches and coves, and here you can often find a beach all to yourself.

What was the last gig/concert you went to? 

The best recent gig was Leonard Cohen in Oslo.

He’s in his 70s and still a lively and charismatic performer. Not only was it wonderful to hear a musician I’ve adored since the 1970s, I also got smuggled back stage to be introduced to him. I actually shook Leonard Cohen’s hand! I was so overwhelmed I forgot all about asking him to sign the album cover I’d carried there in a shoulder bag specifically for that reason.

What about the last theatre show you saw?

I saw We Will Rock You in the West End. I’m a Freddie Mercury fan. I loved some of the solo stuff he did in later years, especially with other singers and musicians, and the musical was a fun night out.

The last book you read? 

Summer of 76, Isabel Ashdown’s latest novel. The extraordinary heat wave of that year provides the backdrop to the story, which I loved.

The last film you saw at the cinema or on DVD?

A Late Quartet, which I really enjoyed, probably because there’s a cellist in it and I fell in love with the cello while writing Rook.

The film is driven by character rather than plot and explores the tensions running between the members of a string quartet who have played together for a quarter of a century.

What do you watch on TV? 

I enjoyed the Scandinavian thrillers Wallander, The Killing and Borgen.

Where do you shop? 

I like Brighton and the lanes, because there’s a good mix of popular chain stores and quirky individual shops.

Where do you eat out? 

We enjoy places like The Royal Oak in East Lavant and The Fox Goes Free at Charlton. For coffee and crepes it has to be the Drift In surf cafe in Shore Road, East Wittering, while for weekend brunch it’s hard to beat Amelie & Friends’ Eggs Royale and pancakes with maple syrup.

Where’s good for a day out locally? 

Old Bosham, which is where Rook is set, is very picturesque and historic. It appears on the Bayeux Tapestry and is said to be where King Canute failed to turn back the tide. You can start at Itchenor and catch the boat ferry across.