Read As Bill Sees It and struggled to meditate, had coffee and then fed the puppies and took them outside. We all did an improvised stagey version of the old classic from the Pointer Sisters, Jump (For My Love) on the dew-wet grass, great fun.
I have to go up and admire flower arrangements set out on lace doilies in the Eureka Church Hall of the Dutch Reformed Church. The village ladies have been torturing roses and dried leaves into ikebana sculptures all week and tying up purple statice and pink lupins with gilt ribbons and tinsel for a Christmassy flavour. The centrepiece is a little wooden crib with rosebuds strung up into pink pyramids and marguerite daisies glued into lettering that spells out ‘Jesus Came to Make Us Good’ which I know will look blasphemous if not obscene to me but might convert some neo-Goth teenager to the virtues of Protestant morality. There will be bonsai with tiny coloured lights, and large grey stones with African violets clinging artfully to the granite sides, entitled ‘After Rodin’s Thinker’. Nothing I detest more than retro 1950s flower arrangements, but my neighbours will be hurt if I don’t go along and ooh and aah.
Anyhow. I bathed and washed my hair and dressed in respectable chinos and a summery top. Then, with singular lack of forethought, I went out and dug holes in which to plant clumps of agapanthus. I had to divide the clumps with a large spade and nearly cleaved my small foot in two. Few grown adults are as clumsy as I am and my gardening often counts as a high-risk activity. I shut the baby pups indoors out of harm’s way. Then I planted the clumps, spaded up more dirt, firmed down the earth with lively stamping and watered them.
After which I realised my clothes were muddy and sopping and my fingernails black with dirt. So I am about to have another bath and find some more summery and respectable clothes for the flower viewing.
Then, when I get back to the house, I shall make Popazoi, a Sicilian soup with beans and pearl barley. This is ‘poor food’ because there is not much else in the house to eat, but it is not a winter soup since the recipe calls for handfuls of fresh chopped parsley and I have plenty of parsley in the front garden. With garlic and parsley, it is less stodgy, delicious and filling. If friends pop in they can eat a bowlful or two with us.
And this afternoon I shall do some editing and work on the novel. My last five pages read as if written by a clean and sober Hunter Thompson, illogical but dull, Gonzo invective that takes a walk on the tame side. Damn, damn, damn.
And so the day opens out, no dramas, no great expectations, no storms in a teacup. The ongoing experiment in living with no escape from consciousness. Putting one foot in front of the other and appreciating the journey.