So I did.
From the book Mess: The Manual of Accidents and Mistakes by Keri Smith
A bit of a pulling-loose-ends-together post today. It is St Patrick’s Day and nothing will prevent me from raising a glass of Guinness later, at the umpteenth Irish dancing performance of the week. The girls have taken to jigging and reeling like I would never have believed: they have the soft shoes, the hard shoes, the poodle socks – in fact everything but the curly wig and the rhinestone encrusted dress…
It’s been a busy and intense few days, but thoroughly enlivened by the visit of the Wray Barton Wrecking Crew, or perhaps their new incarnation of the Wary Barton Wrecking Crew. The fabulous steak pie was devoured in largely reverential silence by my starving family, who are sadly inured to the Mother Hubbard approach to meal-making. Work has been busy and demanding and there is still yet more to do. Where the time will come from I am not certain. When I am in a fix, I ask it to elasticate itself for me… generally it obliges but then it pings back suddenly and subsequently rushes by, which I suppose is necessary otherwise it would snap. Imagine if my request for the occasional elastication of time to my convenience snapped it for the rest of you!
Of course that could not happen. The passage of time is entirely down to our own perception, and we can all do whatever we wish with it. Isn’t it marvellous?
Anyway, here’s the weather. As Dorothy Parker said, ‘They tire of quiet, that have known the storm.’
I suppose it will have to, eventually. Every morning it’s the same: wet.
Anyway, this song has been a friend to me for as long as I can remember, at least a quarter of a century. That explains why I think of James Taylor as this beautiful young dude with long hair but now the reality is this much older face. When he sings this song the music transfigures him, it reminds me, and it moves me.
Like, I said, it’s always raining in the morning round here.
I am so fed up with it and the inevitable lashings of mud on the side.
I don’t actually have an umbrella, never having got my Brolly Licence. I bought this useful one from the Peggy Guggenheim museum in Venice for my mother, but now it is spending its final days with us before going in the bin, having been deemed as malfunctioning by its owner. She has high standards.
It costs a lagoonful of money to keep old umbrellas in bed, board and arthritis medication, so if you would like to sponsor this battered brolly that has fallen on hard times please contact me below.
My only tip this weekend is to take one with you if you venture out.
This was the longest cycle ride attempted to date. In my usual overly-enthusiastic way I assumed we would breeze round and finish for lunch. We started about nine in the morning (the we comprised me, my sister and my cycling buddy). So far so good, excepting the rather painful fact that my sister had a very unpleasant cold.
Lunchtime saw us only halfway round, bedraggled, soaked to the skin and with a double puncture on my bike. This diva learnt a lesson right there and is sworn to carry a shop’s worth of inner tubes henceforth. There being no magic castle’s door to knock on, we (read not me) attempted with frozen stiff fingers to fix the puncture in a pissy bus shelter somewhere on a noisy A road. The only good thing that happened in that most miserable of interludes was that the heavens stopped drowning all the other cyclists who were passsing us by 😦
We limped on to Chelmsford (not my favourite place at the best of times – too many roundabouts), stocked up on inner tubes and startled a salad bar in a Pizza Hut on an unauthorised toilet stop. Then as we changed direction (southerly instead of westerly) the wind started. Not a light wind either. The very Essex God of Wind against cyclists. For another 30 miles, give or take.
Now I feel like I am at war with that route! Never mind cycling to Paris, it’s cycling around Essex I have got a problem with. Just you wait, Chelmsford, Maldon and every town, village and hill in between – I’ll be back. Except it will be when you (and the wind and the rain) will be least expecting it!