Friday January 6, 2006
So, there we were, just pitching into a joint effort to restore the house to a non-Christmas state, and clean up ready for the visit of our hoped-for viewers when the phone rang. I knew what it was before I picked it up.
“Sorry ’bout this, Mr Bailey, but Mr & Mrs B. have had to cancel this afternoon’s appointment. They say they’re still very interested and will re-schedule.”
“Not to worry, L. It happens. I’m thankful they let us know before we’d got to the final stage of getting the joint ready for viewing.”
“You always seem to look on the bright side.”
“I do try. Silly to do otherwise, really.”
I put the phone down, with mixed feelings, and told Graham about the cancellation.
“I think they’re probably genuine,” he said. “Let’s get this job finished and go out to Boston. You want provisions and I want a USB cable for my phone.”
“Good thinking, bat person.”
I was of course mostly disappointed at the cancellation. That feeling was and is however tinged with a tiny bit of relief. Inside of me is a small voice from the quiet, slightly timid man who really doesn’t want to up roots and move house again, so soon after the last time. I over-rule him of course, saying that it’ll be fine, don’t worry, we shall look after everything needed to create a comfortable home once more, in the shortest possible time and with the minimum of disruption. He deserves nurture, and consolation; he lives very close to the heart of me and needs all the care I can give him.
When people make a joke of our need to move house once more, for whatever reason, they don’t realise just how cruel they are being to that inner person of mine. At least, I hope they don’t realise it, for the sake of their own souls’ comfort and serenity.
In the evening I sat down to enjoy, most thoroughly, a docu-drama on the life of C.S. Lewis, closely followed by a repeat of the final episode of Rome. Both were superb in their own way. I’ve loved the Chronicle of Narnia books since they were first published, reading them again and again over the years and, while I’ve studied a good deal of biographical material on their author, C.S. Lewis, this quiet, intensely personal account was a welcome approach to a better knowledge of the man.
Rome, showing the world of the first Caesar, was a delight. A rather horrid delight in parts, but welcome as another insight to a subject that has fascinated me for a long, long time. I look forward to seeing the second series, sometime later this year, so I understand.
Meantime, my finger hovered between Gibbon’s Decline and Fall and the first of the Narnia books in the bookcase, following a need to read something familiar. Neither seemed quite right for my time, however, so I settled on Allan Massie’s Augustus, appropriate as the likely subject of the next Rome series. I sank straight into the strange drama of the Roman story, picking up immediately after the assassination of Julius, and am unlikely to put the book aside before romping happily through it once more.
I’m in two minds as to the desirability of viewing the Narnia films. I have the story firmly in my mind, along with pictures I’ve built up over the years. There’s always the danger that such movies will destroy or distort those inner images and I’d hate for that to happen.