Wednesday July 2, 2008
Yesterday was not a good day. Nothing went wrong, but a series of minor irritations came our way, including three phone calls right in the middle of my afternoon nap. I have noticed that while the phone will often stay silent all day it often as not rings just as I’m nodding off.
Three interruptions just about did it in for me and I couldn’t sleep any more. We had one of those red cards from the postman asking us to pick up a packet from the sorting office–’too large for your letter box’–so we ventured out into the last of the afternoon heat to fetch it.
“You’ll like this one,” he said, smiling smugly.
I did, too. It was volume one of Ella Fitzgerald singing the Cole Porter Songbook. The very same pressing and cover I had back in the late 1950s, and in pretty good condition, too allowing for its antiquity. It has worn better than I have, anyway. Graham is not content, however, and intends to continue searching for a better quality copy.
He passed it through his home-made LP cleaning machine–a shining example of bloke-in-a-garage technology–and you could see the tired old grooves weeping dark brown tears of gunge and nicotine, and the surface gleamed, all black and appealing. Sounded that way, too.
I sat in the living room window gazing out over the close and dreamed my way through the first side as Ella wove her magic. The close looked almost attractive for once, though I much confess it does look better since we had our SOLD sign in plain view.
Then, we cut the grass under darkening skies and, much to Graham’s satisfaction, were finished and packed away before the first heavy drops fell onto the pavement.
The rain stopped, started, and sighed gently before settling down to a fine, persistent misty rain.
“Just right for my grass,” said Graham.
I smiled contentedly. His grass, indeed! But, the day had recovered, the irritations washed away, and a happy fifty minutes of Doctor Who while sipping a rather tasty sauvignon straight from the Luberon made it all right again.
“This is nice,” I said as another Dalek met its explosive doom.
Outside, the rain continued and, passing through the humidity barrier, began to cool our little world gently. Tomorrow we’ll go out with the hose and give the trees and shrubs a good soaking right at their toes. We’ll be fine then, ready for whatever July and August throws at us. After that, who knows?
Beacon by the dunes