Sunday, March 09, 2014

Close up, frailty and tomatoes


Cheerfulness is my chief object in life even when it seems to be a fleeting virtue. I find myself hoping that people will make allowances for its present frailty.

My grand daughter Giselle tells me that when she was in Thailand she was at first offended that people she met repeated the words "tomato, tomato" when they met her. It was only  when they explained that it was in fact a compliment based on her pink complexion, one doubtless encouraged by her initial reaction to their remarks, that prompted the comment.

Friday, March 07, 2014

Story, sunshine and fiction

Every window has a story.

After a bad day Toby and Pippa cheer me up with helpful proposals. This morning I feel better, more cheerful and look forward to day's visitors. The fact that the first thing which I am doing today is bring this up to date is surely a good sign. There are indications of sunshine outside the window.

Neighbour Pam brings me a meal and sits  me down in front of the television with cushions and blankets. I am set up in unaccustomed comfort to watch the new series called 37 Days about the build up to World War 1. It strikes me as ordering and explaining the facts better than the pages of history I have just  been reading. Two more episodes to go. Well acted and well written, it might only be criticised  for its degree of simplification. It  could equally be praised as an example of fiction approaching the truth more precisely that than history itself.

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Stories, tests and pies

Another Sitges door with stories to tell from the Archives.

Dr Warr the rheumatic, specialist tell me and son, Toby and friend Milo who form a support team for my medical appointment, that the test which have had over the past few weeks show nothing to worry too much about. I feel better already but more test are needed.  I leave still weak but optimistic. 

As I am still losing weight  and am shown to be slightly anaemic I  am advised to eat food which over the years I am to supposed to avoid. Bacon sandwiches, steak and chips, pork pies. Here I come.

Another Sitges from the archives.

Dr Warr the rheumatic specialist tells me tha

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Door, study and danger

Door in Sitges from the archives.

The room where I spend most of my time at the moment I call my study. For a good many reasons I discourage people from referring to it as a office. The function of every office which I used is quite different.

Perhaps because moving around is a problem for me at the moment I am increasingly  attracted by the current sport - called I think parcour -  of clambering over buildings and leaping the spaces between edges and projections. It looks very dangerous but has a nonchalant elegance about it which I find compelling.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Fresh peel, achievement and tools


Managing  to get myself out of bed and breakfasted in time to get to Pembury Hospital for am echo cardiogram at 8.45. It may seem a small achievement but it  is something I am dreading because the mornings are so difficult  and time consuming. Thank you Milo for being outside the front door in time for a lift to the hospital.

A projecting floor board with loose nails has been threatening to trip me. With a box of well manged tools some counter sunk screws and the  ingenious use of  a piece of slate, son-in-law Dom levels it off neatly leaving a smooth path from my  desk to the hall. Here is a man who loves and understands tools. I am full of admiration.  If I am dependent on such acts of skill and kindness I couldn't be dependent on nicer people

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Singer, tamarind and daphne

Waiting to sing.

Mackerel and coconut curry. An ingredient which I have not used until now is tamarind paste. I had not associated mackerel with India, but it substitutes well I suspect for an equivalent in Indian waters. Thank you Anjum Ansand for another new experience.

A spray of daphne placed on fireplace in front of a mirror keeps catching my eye. It looks Japanese, a pleasing sight, all day.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Cat story 2, resolution and parsley sauce


Cat story phase two from the archives.

Today's resolution is to see if tomorrow  I can take photographs of the objects I spend my day idly staring at in a perpetual state of lethargy.

Lunch with neighbours Milo and Virginia. My fellow guest is their friend Biddy who has just undergone in close succession  two hip operations to say nothing of other unspecified illnesses.  A crocks' gathering.  We flatter one another: How well you're looking! We keep ourselves cheerful with small talk and managing to laugh. The art of small talk at such times is not to be easily dismissed. Parsley sauce with boiled ham and lovely new potatoes. I had forgotten the pleasure of a well seasoned, old fashioned parsley sauce.