If ever there was a day designed for staying at home and clearing out the cupboards it was yesterday in London. The tail end of Hurricane Miguel caught us and was less Flaming June, more bloody hell as temperatures dropped and rain poured out of the sky with grim determination. Visitors to england have strange ideas about the weather. They often seem to think it rains almost constantly and heavily. The reality is that our rain is generally light, frequent, and short lived. Or it used to be. Climate crisis has introduced even these islands known for their temperate (some would say unexciting) weather to bizarre swings and abrupt changes, and flooding in parts of the country has become the annual norm.
So I knew rain was forecast but as I had spent Sunday in my shirt sleeves, and Octavia and I had eaten supper outside in her garden as the grey Ninja swarmed up the trellis onto the walls and posed beautifully against a blue sky, I foolishly thought it would still be quite warm. It wasn’t. I had the misfortune to be working outside all morning. My hands got colder and colder and Raynaud’s Disease soon drove the blood from my fingers. On the bus journey at lunchtime I sat with my hands clasped between my knees waiting for warmth to return. To add to the misery, my erstwhile trusty waterproof shoes leaked. My socks were damp and unpleasant. Thank goodness the company was good.
In the evening the Young Relative who is going to look after MasterB when I am with Cousin in NI came round. We had a lovely evening. MasterB honed his technique for keeping her under his paw. We ate, drank, talked family stuff. Before she went home I took her to the local Turkish deli. The original plan had been to show her around the area, but the rain rather dampened that one. At the deli we met J. He is the son of Celia’s good friend Lata, who is visiting from Australia, and J should have been flying home to the US today. However, as Robbie Burns so eloquently put it, The best laid plans o’ mice an’ men / Gang aft a-gley.
J was returning from hospital, where he had been to see his mother. She tripped, fell and broke her femur. So yesterday she was being put back together by surgeons, and J’s travel plans are on hold. Celia tells me Lata is in good spirits today and the physios have already had her out of bed and practising walking with the aid of a frame. Celia shan’t be able to visit for a few days as she goes into hospital tomorrow. Celia was supposed to be the one having the central role in this week’s hospital drama, but Lata’s fall has rather eclipsed her. So competitive. Unfortunately they are not going to be in the same hospital. Though B, as in B&J, MasterB’s famed cat sitters, has just been released from the same hospital Lata is in, and is now confined to quarters at home.
I only learned this late last night when J contacted me. So the diary is filling with question marks of who I can see when; I expect texts telling me how the grape situation is, what books are needed to keep insanity and boredom at bay. I have advised Celia to take her iPad, ear phones and catch up on the three series of Mum which she has never watched. I am hoping Lata is watching it too, because we were talking about it at the theatre on Friday, pre fall.
Mum is one of those rare television series that comes along once in a while and awes you with its perfection. I hadn’t realised the third series was on until it was over, so I more or less binge watched it. Each episode is only thirty minutes long, it’s a BBC programme so there are no adverts. I mooned about for a day or so after watching the last episode, constantly singing the theme tune, and then returned to series one, which, now I know what happens at the end of series three, I am watching with a different eye, and still loving it.
And the theme tune by Lula and the Lampshades is still going round my head, so I think you should enjoy it too.You’re gonna miss me. Sing along now.