Far too perishin’ quiet

Thursday February 10, 2005

When I’m alone in the house I like to keep the dining room TV burbling quietly away, tuned to the BBC 24 hour news channel. Not really to keep up with the news, more to have a bit of noise and lots of moving images to liven the place up. I perk up my ears when the ‘breaking news’ phrase is offered, in most cases immediately to return to my task in hand as soon as I discover they’re talking about the latest bit of scandal or salacious gossip concerning some member or other of the glitterati. This time I was set back on my heels when the flow of meaningless chatter was interrupted this morning with the news that Clarence House had announced that Prince Charles and Camilla Park’n’Ride are to be married. In April.

“Oh, Dolly,” I said, glumly. “That means we’ll have wall to wall Royal marriage chatter for well over a month.”

Dolly gave the impression of an intense and all-pervading lack of interest.

“Yeah. You’re right, Dolly. The only reaction has to be ‘who cares’. But it’s going to get awfully boring before it’s done.”

Oh, and it will. Get boring I mean. I sighed, turned the volume down, and returned to my drawing board where I was working on the umpteenth attempt to get my feelings for snowdrops down on paper. It might work, it might not. I’ll need to consult my pillow a couple of times before I can see past this one. I may give it one more try, adopting a watery, soft-focus watercolour approach rather than my usual line and wash. I dunno. Who’d have thought such innocent little blooms would present such depths of difficulty.

So, anyway, I dried it off, and shall not work on this one any more. And then I went to consult my pillow. Dolly scrunched herself up at my side and the little house by the fens fell to a quiet, peaceful silence once more.

Late in the evening I spoke to Graham. “Still Monday, is it?” I asked, referring to his planned return.

“Oh, yes. Monday it is.”

“Good. It’s far too perishin’ quiet round here without you.”

“Thanks. I suppose.”


Stickford, Feb 10,'05



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