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.