A windjammer day

Tuesday June 10, 2008

The last, I think, of a run of increasingly hot days.  I don’t bother checking temperatures any more–like checking your watch repeatedly in hospital waiting rooms, the activity does nothing to relieve the situation.  Instead I judge it all by my pace.  If I step out briskly it’s “fresh” or “chilly”.  When I float along slow and easy like a windjammer with all sail set to catch whatever breeze there may be had then it’s “hot” or “perishin’ hot”.  Suits me.

Today was a windjammer day, then.

I sailed gently into the supermarket where they had the air conditioning working flat out, to little effect, picked up my bits and pieces for lunch and dinner along with our usual bottle of sauvignon blanc.  Got back home in good order despite the worst attentions of the bad-tempered, over-hasty people about me, and took a leisurely lunch out in the garden, in the shade of a large parasol.

“You look as though you’re enjoying that,” Graham said, looking up from his sewing machine by the open door of the kitchen.

“I am, thank you.  Mind you, a nice glass of chilled white wine would make it complete.”

“Respectable people do not drink at lunch time.”

“Oh.  All right, then.”

I ask you.  If I were in Greece, or anywhere along the northern Mediterranean coast, practically, it would be the reverse–respectable people always take wine with their lunch.  Our attitude here is far too North European still, if you ask me.  Down in the south of France I’d be expected to spend my summers like all the other old guys, sipping at a succession of wines and nibbling on grapes and roquefort all afternoon long, growing larger and larger in every regard in my senior years until, suddenly, something would go pop and that’d be the last of me.  Here I’m expected to become more and more abstemious and careful of my ‘health’ as my years advance so that I may spend the last three or four of them in the misery of a nursing home.

I think the French have the better way.

As it was, I placed our niggardly single bottle of cheap French plonk in the freezer to chill in time for our evening session, and forgot to set the timer.

Somewhere around eight-thirty, feeling the need for my dinner, I wandered down to the kitchen where Graham was finishing off his new cushions.

“Where’s my wine, chuckles?” I asked

“You froze it solid again.  It’s in the sink, submersed in cold water.  You’ll have to wait.”

“Oh.  All right, then.”

And back I went, meek as meek, to flop on the sofa and resume watching some documentary or other until he came in with a glass of wine in each hand and we could do our routine hour of junk TV–Doctor Who, now that we’ve finished Buffy.

Everything was an hour late from then on.  Not bad for a windjammer day.

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12 responses to “A windjammer day

  1. As a footnote for those who’ve asked for pictures of the cushions, he’s dillying and dallying and delaying the activity, saying that we don’t have the right background for them. We’ll see about that…

  2. It’s cool and grey today, at least where we are. Enjoy 🙂

  3. Clouding up through the day here too. Still too hot indoors though, I’ve got the windows open trying to blast some fresh air through!

    Your idea of old age sounds very appealing except I’m not keen on wine. I’m sure I could compromise with fruit juice or something and just drift my life away. I don’t want to be very old if it means having to be looked after.

  4. It’s sort of a deception, telling us that we’ve got to be abstemious when we want to get old.

  5. 🙂 freezing wine, and here I thought you weren’t supposed to drink it cold. lol It’s a wonder the glass didn’t pop.

  6. I admit it’s the “again” that has me chuckling. Been there, done that.

  7. There’s more twaddle talked about wine than almost anything! In general, white wine (including champagne) is best served iced; red ought to be somewhere between cellar and room temperature. But it does no harm whatsoever to reverse them both, especially when it’s cheap-o plonk-o! 😀

  8. Not bad at all for a windjammer kind of day.

  9. I do love the idea of stately progress conveyed by “a windjammer kind of day”, John. Says it perfectly. And may we all have many of those, pennants flying and flapping in the breezes! As to taking care so’s to finish off in a nursing home — what an utterly obnoxious idea, malodorous and unpleasant to think upon. Sooo — perish the thought! Let’s live it up our way, until the curtain falls, says she lifting her glass in a toast to la vie!

  10. we buy extremely cheap red wine and chill it–tastes good to me

  11. I ought to say: Graham the barman handles booze emergencies like frozen wine bottles. He loosens the cap or cork just enough to enable air exchange, and then submerges the bottle on its side in cold tap water with the water line coming up to but not overlapping the neck of the bottle (where the glass is strongest). Every five or ten minutes we turn the bottle round and round a few times. Never lost one by this method yet.

  12. Ah, Mary Lee, we touched on the days when images of sailing ships meant something, did we not? You’re right. It’d be a darn shame to waste such memories in the shadowed halls of a nursing home! 🙂

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