An impossible act to follow

Wednesday November 17, 2004

I got only a few steps along the lane for my walk today before realizing it was a bit on the cold side for me. So I came back indoors, put on an extra layer, donned my woolie hat and my warm gloves, and set out once more. Brrr! ‘Bracing’, they call it. I didn’t go far, and didn’t sit for long on my bench, but even so, when I got home I felt that wonderful glow. And the flask of coffee I’d made before going out tasted better than the very best Starbucks can offer.

And they say it’s going to get colder. No matter, I have my thermals, and I have lots more layers. I can keep warm in just about anything the wind can throw at me. Might look like a little old ball of wool with short, stubby legs, but there’s a nice snug space in the middle of it, and that’s me.

The rest of the day I spent alternating between eBay, my book, my favourite dozing place, and the big radiator in the dining room. My big poetry project has hit a full stop, leaving fifteen mal-formed sonnets unfinished, ready to be bound up and put away in my perhaps, one day folder. I knew it was ambitious, so I’m not disappointed. Well, not much, anyway.

I’m getting faster on the eBay thing, working up a nice little production line. It’s a slow and laborious process, though, on a creaky old dial-up phone connection. It’d be a lot easier if I could download the turbo listing program but the links on the eBay page are missing once more. However, I managed to get all but one of the Carlton ware pieces up and running, and the last of the set is all ready to post tomorrow evening.

Next in the queue should be our surplus McCoy pieces but I’m thinking I’d rather wait for Graham to come home before that one. Some of the nicer items are still up on shelves and although we’ve agreed they are surplus, I want to double check.

What I did find in the box of goodies was a small set of watercolour miniatures I painted back in the mid-nineties. I’d completely forgotten them. I’m sort of wondering if I have the nerve to put a couple of them up for sale. I’ll think about it, and decide tomorrow. In the meantime, I have to go through the book shelves and see what can go. There will be room in the flat for books, of course, but I feel I ought to show willing at least.

So, the first full day of Graham’s absence has passed, quietly, and reasonably smoothly. We’re both of us anxious to get back to normal again so we can start on the winter’s work of preparing this house for the market.

I had a fair amount of feedback and comments arising from yesterday’s announcement. Almost all of it was along the lines of ‘go for it’, with only a tiny concerned few urging us to think hard before uprooting and going for a new way of life in London. Don’t worry—we have a full winter ahead of us to identify and deal with the negatives, and we’re realistic enough to accept that not every road in London is paved with gold.

The question arose, naturally, of how Harry and Dolly will take to living in a London flat. Well, Harry no longer wants to go out at all. The important things in his life are comfortable, snug snoozing places, a constant and dependable stream of small snacks, and lots of love. He’s enjoying the evening of his life peaceably and with dignity. An example to us all. Dolly is far less interested in the outdoors now than she was as a young ‘un. When I open the door so she can take a breather she very seldom steps over the sill. The pair of them, in short, have become indoor cats of their own choice. Like me, they do enjoy a breath of fresh air. We’ll find a way of ensuring they get it.

Harry is, of course, a very old cat at sixteen, and Dolly, like many pure-blood Maine Coon cats, is already past her middle-age at seven. Maine Coons don’t have a long life but they do burn fiercesome bright in their youth!

It’s a sad fact that when you share your life with small furry creatures, you have to face the inevitable. That makes the joy we have together all the more precious. We had already decided that when Harry and Dolly come to the end of their journeys we shall not seek to replace them. Let’s face it, they’d be an impossible act to follow.

 

Stickford, Nov,'04
 
A couple of watercolour miniatures

 

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