Friday March 4, 2005

“I’m going to have to call the doctor to get some stuff for my eye,” said Graham, peering into the bathroom mirror as he applied antibiotic drops to the offending orb, made less than its usual twinkling self by the start of another stye. “I’ve caught it in time, but I’d like to make sure.”

“Oh, do try and get it sorted,” I said. “You’ve not had one of those for ages and you certainly don’t want to have to go through a whole series of them again.”

So, after a telephone consultation, he was prescribed new drops and a new course of antibiotic tablets.

“That’ll do the job,” I said. “If we drive in to collect it now I’ll be able to catch the post office, mail these horse brasses off to that nice woman in the States, and send your Mother’s Day card off Special Delivery.”

“Is the overnight snowfall gone, then?”

“The lane’s still a bit wet and slushy, but the main road’ll be clear. Mind you, it’ll freeze again this afternoon so I’d rather get the job done before lunch if we can.”

“Right you are, then. What are we waiting for?”

“Well, you, actually.”

“Ah. I’d better get dressed, then.”

It was the shortest possible visit. Oh, it was rather lovely out there, with a bright sun, blue sky and clouds like fluffy white candy floss. But it was still cold, only just above freezing, and I have a theory that skin infections of any kind, even a mild one like a stye, are liable to worsen when exposed to bitterly cold air. Call me old fashioned.

When we got back home, Dolly was sitting on the front windowsill, eyes closed against the level sun, being as ornamental as only she knows how. I went through to say hello.

“It’s cold out there, Dolly,” I said, bright as a button.

She gave me a contemptuous stare, the one that’s very similar to Basil Fawlty when he asks, all innocent-like, if his missus is taking a degree in the bleeding obvious.

“Oh, Dolly, there’s no need to be like that.”

She sat thinking for a while, came to the conclusion that there was enough risk that I was right which would mean she was, shock, horror, wrong, yawned widely, and gave me a nice, friendly head-butt.

“That’s better, you old baggage.”

And off we toddled kitchen-wards, to see what tasty morsels I could rustle up for lunch. It’s on days like this, all cold, wet and slushy underfoot, that I reckon Dolly’s darn lucky to be an indoor cat. I remind her of that, frequently. On days like this, when I have to go out, I’d really quite like to be an indoor cat myself.

Ah well. The weather is forecast to turn warmer next week. I’ll do the best I can to stay home over the weekend, though I’ll need to pop over to Tesco’s for a chicken if we decide a roast dinner is needed on Sunday.

“How’s the eBaying going today?” Graham asked over lunch.

“Oh, not so bad. I have the small French pictures ready to go up, and the Regulator clock. I’ll do that this evening. And there’s been a lot of interest in the things that are coming up for sale over the weekend.”

“Good. Do you think they’ll sell?”

“Oh, there’s no telling with eBay. Most things do, and those that don’t can take a quick trip down to the charity shop on Monday.”

“That’s the way to do it.”

During the evening I posted the pictures and clock, and got photographs and descriptions going for two contemporary art plates we acquired the first time we were living in Wales. Pretty things, and I confess to a degree of reluctance now that the time has come to part with them. There’ll be no place for them while we’re in London, however, not in the first flat, anyway. And very unlikely there will be in the second one, either. They’re more suitable for a Mrs Madrigal kind of interior décor than a Metro scheme and I don’t want them to languish in storage.

“There you go,” Graham announced a short time before dinner. “I’ve finished lining the walls in the dining room.”

“Oh, well done,” I said. “I’d give you another Tufty badge but I’m clean out.”

“Perhaps you can find some more on eBay.”

“I’m tempted. Almost.”



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