Better next time

Wednesday August 24, 2005

It rained today, starting in the very early morning and continuing right through the day. A nice rain, cooling, not too heavy. In other places around the Kingdom it was much heavier, and accompanied by strong winds. Not here. Just a lovely, earth-kissing rain, drifting past, over the fens and on out, presumably, to the North Sea.

There was a lull around mid-day, which I used to advantage to trip over to Tesco’s. Monday is a Bank Holiday so, rather than confine myself to three days of salad-based meals, I added three packs of pre-cooked chilled meals which I stuffed into the freezer when I got home so I’m not obliged to go out in the holiday weekend traffic. There’s no great pleasure in driving over the local roads when holiday traffic is at its peak, and Tesco’s isn’t a lot of fun, either, stuffed to the gunwales with passing grockles.

No viewers.

When I woke from my afternoon nap the rain had stopped so I went out to sample the air and to sit on my chair outside the kitchen window. My little rabbit friend of yesterday seems to have tired of the long flower bed and has made his way back to the field behind the house where there is a small but thriving colony of rabbits, lolloping out at quiet times at the far end where they have a safe place to play. Too far for my camera’s optical zoom, even at its most extreme, but I have a pair of powerful Zeis naval binoculars that bring them very close so I can enjoy their antics at a distance.

I printed off my route to and from Somerset and shoved it in the map book. It’s going to be a long drive, some 248 miles across the breadth of England, passing through five ‘TRAFFIC BLACKSPOTS’ on the way and, by the Automobile Association’s (AA) estimate, taking almost six hours to accomplish. I shall break it into three two-hour sections, and have a half-hour to stretch and nibble in between. Mind you, the AA timing is based on August traffic; it’s likely to be easier in mid-September. I’ll check it again the day before I depart in case there are any major changes.

One day I shall invest in one of those GPS navigation systems, with audio driving instructions. Or not. Most often Graham is with me on these long runs, doing the navigator’s job. It’s a very cool toy, though. Perhaps I’ll ask for one at Christmas.

I’m reading Amy Tan’s Joy Luck Club with much enjoyment. I had to stop about a quarter of the way through, having lost myself in the maze of characters. Went back through what I’d read, picking up the names and relationships and drawing a rough chart of the way they fit together. It’s much easier now. Unusually for me, I’m finding what is strickly speaking an all-female book, written from a woman’s point of view and, I suspect, for a female readership, completely entrancing. Most often I get lost in such novels, feeling a bit like an intruder. With this book, I’m fascinated by the insights it gives to the Chinese experience. Graham had a thing about Amy Tan last winter, and I find we have all her novels on the shelf, waiting to be read. I shall certainly finish this one, and reserve the remainder for future enjoyment, one at a time.

So that was my day. Watching the rain, driving over quiet country roads, and reading.

As I do most every day I had several shortish sessions at the piano, trying to persuade my fingers to get through the twiddly bits without too much hesitation, and working to lose the habit of pausing at the end of a run of quavers before returning to crochets. I’m not overly bothered by either fault, though it would be good to lose them. I hear good old JSB at my shoulder, saying: “Go on. Don’t stop. It doesn’t matter, and you’ll do better next time.”




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