Yes, yes, everything is a little skew-whiff; or a lot skew-whiff. Is ‘skew-whiff’ even a word? Of course it is and it’s definitely my word for now. Sunday morning and everything around me is unfamiliar. As I sit here in my bedroom which extends over much of the upper floor of the cottage, the light is streaming through the French doors overlooking the garden and the two further windows as it has been since about 4 o’clock this morning! Blinds on order. I love it but it is not in any way conducive to sleep. In fact, although exhausted, my sleep has been very broken and, not one to dream, I keep waking up panicking that I have lost something! Last night, I was in a cold sweat believing that I had lost Wilbur – and he died more than eight years ago! It’s amazing how strange surroundings affect one’s anchor, as it were, enabling the mind to play tricks.
It took God seven days to create the heavens and the earth. He’d be very disappointed in our performance! My two enormous plants – stalwarts of our old kitchen – are losing the will to live as, surrounded by boxes, we negotiate the once healthy branches now gasping for room to breathe. So far bending co-operatively, I can imagine I’ll be left with a couple of leafless trunks as a reminder of the utter chaos which has reigned for what now seems forever. I have, actually, been working tirelessly unpacking endless boxes of precious books and the wall of book shelves is looking positively vibrant. However, as I await the praise so definitely deserved, it is not forthcoming while, instead, it is declared that the room looks no clearer! The problem is that, once emptied, there is nowhere to decant the numerous tubs and, thus, the chaos defiantly remains. Or, it did until last night when, buoyed by a little glass of chardonnay, I decided there was nothing for it but to pile all empty or unrequired vessels in the downstairs loo. There is now a floor in the sitting room but as for the bathroom … breathe in!
Day 7, have floor space enabling sighting of television! I cannot believe that that is the first week of Wimbledon over – my favourite event of the year – and I haven’t seen any of it. The radio has been my constant as I disappear under mounds of discarded paper although, much to Becca’s irritation, all in situ are tuned to Radio 2. No fun listening to tennis as opposed to watching anyway. Akin to going to a concert when deaf! I have tried to erase it from my radar, for the moment, rather than dwell on my loss, all the while content in the knowledge that we will be there, in person, next week. The proverbial silver lining. I believe it’s actually summer down there, too …
Hearing snippets on the news and catching Instagram, I am sad to have missed Andy’s doubles matches. However, I dismissed the suggestion that he would be teaming up with Serena ‘Tantrum’ Williams in the mixed double as a ridiculous ruse! When questioned as to the suggested pairing, both had seemed positively unenthused and I couldn’t for the life of me picture Andy – a stickler when it comes to sportsmanship – playing with someone who, regularly, finds the concept impossible to grasp! Well, anything is possible apparently, particularly when it proves beneficial PR. Seemingly not his first choice, Serena must have jumped at the opportunity to partner our golden boy and bask in the wake of his popularity. Meanwhile, the unlikely pairing is attracting the interest of both media and crowd and the mixed doubles is back on the map. Murray fans are enjoying the opportunity to watch a more relaxed Andy, free of the pain which has hampered him for so long, while waiting for the inevitable Serena blowout. Win. Win. Thank goodness they’re through to next week. Mind you, Serena is one player whose verbal tirades may still be deplored over the airwaves!
This is a good place to write. It is so quiet besides the odd passer by heading for the country walk at the end of the road or the conversing of the pigeons. No numbers on bins or neighbours constantly cleaning their precious cars. That said, the problems with my website are an unnecessary hindrance. Once again, human nature proving less than pleasant but … Hey, ho.
One blessing is that I haven’t a clue what is going on in the world. Brexit? Boris who? I believe the show continues with little change merely more lies and feather puffing amounting to absolutely nothing. Dominating our lives for so long now it serves only to confirm that the world has gone mad. Who cares?! I saw a shared post on Facebook this week depicting a photograph of a little boy – probably all of 4 – lying asleep on what looked like a road with a rock for a pillow. It didn’t name the Third World country of origin but the caption read something along the lines of, ‘In a world where footballers are paid millions of dollars … ‘. The greatest sadness lies in the acceptance that it has come to this. In ‘developing’, we have lost sight of the qualities which made us humane. In honing materialism and feeding the ego, we have lost touch with nature and everything good, destroying the planet along the way. From the moment Eve bit into that apple, succumbing to greed … As the inimitable Glen Frey and Don Henley wrote: ‘Call some place Paradise, kiss it goodbye … ‘. (The Last Resort, Eagles)
Help! I have succeeded in depressing myself. Enough. My book shelves are all but complete and, admiring my work late last night, I had one of those light bulb moments – of little consequence, I might add, but I found it rather interesting. Suffice to say, I was bemoaning the vast majority of houses devoid of books and how sad it is. There is so much to be learned about a person from his/her choice of reading material affording great character insight. For example, my shelves hold my Born Free/African section, my English literature, biographies and reference – to name but a few. Devoid of fiction, my books are a window to my soul, as it were, but, that being the case, then something important is missing. Amidst the shelves, it seems there is no evidence of humour whatsoever. Arguably impossible to discern from one’s choice of books? I think so. Oh, hold on, I have two copies of The Wisdom of Prince Philip? Prone to sarcasm and a keen appreciation of one who refuses to conform. In one!
‘Books are mirrors: you only see in them what you already have inside you.’
The Shadow of the Wind, Carlos Ruiz Zafón.
This is Trish, signing off.