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Today I have mainly been v1

Discussion in 'off topic' started by hifinutt, Aug 2, 2021.

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  1. hifinutt

    hifinutt hifinutt

    keep meaning to get back to tewksbury , not been there for decades . shame your visit was a bit lacking
  2. Woodface

    Woodface pfm Member

    Really pleasant pedal in the Peaks & up Coplow Dale which is a hard but incredibly scenic climb. Had a very enjoyable listen to Stevie Wonder - ‘Innervisions’ & Laura Marling - ‘Sempa Femina’ with a bit of Radio Paradise in the middle until a Bob Dylan track came on.
  3. Jamie

    Jamie pfm Member

    Booked a week in the lakes for October half term. Really fancied a week in the med (or Canaries, as the weather is a bit better, and I've never been), but the Covid rules are very confusing with a 13 year old (we are double jabbed). It's looking like for kids of that age, it's going to end up with quarantine for 10 days on return, so with school, that rules it out. Not sure that those who rushed to book this weekend realise?

    Anyway, a week in Ambleside, yomping over fields and many nice eateries will be a good break. This will be the first year since 1988 when we've not been abroad somewhere.
    hifinutt likes this.
  4. eternumviti

    eternumviti Wittering on the Vine

    Lunch with P, at his house. I last saw him not two months ago, and was shocked, but then he was in the middle of a bout of covid. C had told me on the phone that he'd been unwell when they were away, and had been in hospital since, so I was braced. But not braced enough.

    He met me as I walked through from the hall into the vast kitchen. Tall, gaunt, his cheeks and lips drawn back exposing his teeth, skull-like; unshaven, thin, greasy, unkempt hair, jaundiced, his skin a sickly grey-yellow. His liver is shot.

    "How do I look?"

    "You look fine" I lied, then instantly regretted it, I should have been honest, wry; "I've seen you looking better" would have done it.

    He shuffled awkwardly, weakly, around the kitchen table, blue, monogrammed loafers clonking and dragging on the stone floor. He was uncomfortable, trying not to be in my direct line of sight, so I had to keep turning to talk to him. He normally does the cooking, and kept barking instructions at C. Or trying to bark. His frustration was palpable.

    Eventually he settled in a chair by the window in the soft autumn sun, warming. He was wearing a jacket, a grey mohair scarf around his neck. It wasn't cold, but he was. I sat on the bench beside him, and he relaxed, talked of plans for next summer. We would go to France, to the Jura, and we should take the train down to Avignon, see Marseille again, drive up to the Vaucluse.

    We had lunch in the loggia, the three of us, rabbit stew, cheese, some berries. Chablis. He had a glass in front of him, but barely touched it. Neither did the stew interest him. In the far distance, across the fields and the woods, I could see a bright splash of newness, the house that is being built beyond the village. He was on reality TV, she's a young actress, beautiful, I told them. I remembered her name. "Ah, yes". They'd seen her on the TV, 'Our Girl'. We talked of Paris, and he wanted to go, now, on the Eurostar. Sometimes he was distant, vague, and seemed to be holding different conversation to us. C explained that it was the painkillers. Eventually he became tired and agitated, and finally, quite suddenly, he made paltry excuses and shuffled indoors to sleep.

    C and I talked a little, furtively. The hospital, a top private affair in London, was awful, the food dire, the place not being cleaned properly. She'd had to wash him and change his sheets herself. He's on constant painkillers, abdominal drains every three weeks.

    "Does he look worse to you? I see him every day, I can't tell any more." Concerned, fragile.

    "Much worse, I'm sorry. What's the prognosis?" I asked, as if I didn't know. "Can they transplant?"

    "No, there's nothing they can do. Its because of the cancer." She looked calm, accepting. We could hear him banging around in the kitchen again, he hadn't yet gone up, so we stopped. I helped her clear the table. She tripped on the steps going up to the kitchen and went down, broke all the plates she was carrying.

    "Were they the real ones, or the fakes?" she laughed, to herself. He'd gone now. They'd had some copies made last year, when the kitchen was done. There was a spot of fresh blood on her nose.


    I woke not long after four this morning, needed a pee. It was very dark. When I came back from the bathroom an owl screeched in the walnut tree, but instead of staying in the back of the room I thoughtlessly went to the open window, silencing it. I tried reading some dire political analysis on the phone to trick myself back to sleep, but it didn't work. Overtired now, my mind a spinning turmoil. What will I do when the house is gone, if it goes? Will we be able to secure the land, get planning consent? Have I got the energy. The money, always the money. What the hell am I going to do? Is my daughter going to be alright in this new job, the pressure is hurting her? P, his kindness, his enormous generosity, Glynebourne, Venice, France, Duxford to awe at sweeping Spitfires with the children, houseparties, the two of us dancing around the table in the vast hall, shouting "Hurry up Harry, come on!", as the girls mocked our stupidity. Weekend dinner parties, the extraordinary cast of characters, too many of them now dead. He got drunk and wept the day David died, 'Five Years' playing on the system. Five years. The festival when they forgot to sell any tickets, so held a party instead. The magical summer night when we took it in turns to read poetry by candlelight in the poolhouse.

    "I shall make this girl a bed of ferns..."

    The children. They're all far too young for this. Much too young.

    I went down and made myself tea at dawn, took it back to bed, read a bit more. That did it. When I woke, my vision was filled through my closed eyelids with a plank of old oak, beeswaxed to a soft, fluid sheen. There were marks, softened by time and use. The grain was fine, liquid. I knew that when I opened my eyes it would be gone, so I held it for a while.

    I looked out of the window. Still, autumnal, misty grey, numb, dumb. Not even a twitch of breeze in the leaves of the poplars.

    It felt as though the world had been paused.
    PsB, Sue Pertwee-Tyr, wacko and 6 others like this.
  5. Dogberry

    Dogberry pfm Member

    Very moving piece, elegiac reminded me of a Burns elegy.
  6. Bob McC

    Bob McC Living the life of Riley

    George Burns?
  7. wacko

    wacko pfm Member

    You could also pass by Puckrup Hall next time...
  8. eisenach

    eisenach #JeSuisProf

    Off to Dunkerque and Europe tomorrow for the first time since the autumn of 2019. My wife's cried off, so I'm going on my own, giving me the chance to do bigger loop taking in friends in Germany (Vlotho, Mühlhausen, Dietzenbach near Frankfurt/Main) before the main destination, Puy Saint-Vincent-les-Prés, near Briançon, where I'll spend a couple of weeks, walking a lot, I hope. Then down to Vergèze near Nîmes to see colleagues from the school where we did a pupil exchange for many years, before heading back to Dieppe for the 14th October, dropping in to see a former lecturer near Périgueux on the way. It's been too long ...
    hifinutt and eternumviti like this.
  9. Dogberry

    Dogberry pfm Member

    I remember one summer driving from Plage de l'Eléphant le Lavandou to Briançon.
    The tent was iced in the morning,had to beat it into a cafe.
  10. hifinutt

    hifinutt hifinutt

    wonderful , Germany is such a beautiful country , i would love to go tommorrow . I was chatting with my good German friend this morning who took me to his village 2 years ago , would love to go now but as someone mentioned earlier , its not easy with covid rules
  11. hifinutt

    hifinutt hifinutt

    you will greatly enjoy ambleside , such a characterful place . hopefully the weather will be kind
  12. Woodface

    Woodface pfm Member

    Beautiful words about troubling times.
  13. Jamie

    Jamie pfm Member

    Yes, we have been around half a dozen times previously, it is our favourite location in the lakes.
  14. Bjork67

    Bjork67 pfm Member

    Watching a volcano erupt in the canaries live on YouTube, having visions of a tsunami racing over the Atlantic :oops:.
  15. Cav

    Cav pfm Member

    Pete Burns?
  16. Brian

    Brian Eating fat, staying slim

    Just back from a couple of days away at the caravan.

    I have an eye-check booked today, my first since waaay Before Covid (BC), so while I'm concerned about how it will be done I need to go for it. I may try contact lenses again. Not going into the office as often is easier on the eyes. I will try normal lenses, not multifocal this time.

    While I'm in town I'll pop into M&S to look for some new general lagging, plus some new swim stuff for the up-coming holiday, this is the first proper holiday since BC.

    I also need to call the surgery to book a flu-jab, which I will arrange for after the holiday.

    Finally, I need a haircut, which I hope to have done today as well.
  17. ks.234

    ks.234 pfm Member

    At 1.14 this morning I became grandad for the first time to a 7lb 13oz baby girl.
    PhilofCas, PsB, lordsummit and 12 others like this.
  18. Bjork67

    Bjork67 pfm Member

    :DCongratulations ks
  19. ks.234

    ks.234 pfm Member

    Thank you. We’re very excited.
    Big Tabs likes this.
  20. hifinutt

    hifinutt hifinutt

    wonderful news, I assisted with a christening yesterday and babies everywhere ... lovely .
    Big Tabs, eevo1969 and ks.234 like this.
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