Sunday, September 18


The cellmate is in NZ again. Meanwhile I'm coming off tea this weekend, cold turkey.

To take my mind off the cravings, I walked the neighbour's dog, a good-looking retriever.

I'm trying to get enthusiastic about a cup of rooibos tea.

Over in Piddledorf, there's been excitement over a cultural highlight, a visit by a touring British band.

Saturday, September 10


These days life's a bit of a treadmill, even though I only work 3 days (and evenings) a week. On the other days there's always housework or DIY or gardening. True, I do get time to read and watch telly, and I get a bit of exercise walking back from the supemarket with a backpack, but I want even more time for everything - I've got stacks of books to read, and I need to get back into swimming. And one day get another dog. Probably I'm simply aware of life running out before I've had enough.

I've borrowed 3 massive library books. 1001 songs to hear before you die. 1001 albums to hear before you die. And 1001 beers to drink before you die. I'm going to have my work cut out for me.

This morning on the dog walk sans dog, I set the iPod to play all songs alphabetically.

Atom Heart Mother by Pink Floyd, takes me back to Pollok Halls innocent naughtiness.

Always, by Nilsson Schmilsson, one of the old man's favorites.

All The Girls Love Alice, by Elton John. Lynda and I were introduced to Goodbye Yellow Brick Road on Friday night dinners down Leith Walk with a Canadian couple. He was a clinical psychologist and she was a young beauty whose brother murdered their father.

America by The Nice. When Leonard Bernstein heard it, far from being flattered, he was disgusted.

I've only just begun on the A's. If I'm going to savour the whole musical alphabet, it's going to be a long life.

Sunday, September 4

day trip

Saturday. The cellmate had been pressurizing for a weekend away. For the sake of balance I had been resisting. I'm dreadfully hard to winkle out from home. Today we compromised on a day trip.

An hour into the trip we had a destabilising row, which continue to simmer during the morning bush walk. I would tell you who was in the wrong, but I'm too much of a gentleman.

But then we happened upon a wee village tucked away in a corner of the forest, just out of reach of urban hustle, and everything became simple again. Fish and chips for lunch, and I had a pint of proper beer. Great waitress (at my age, I think one values friendliness and professionalism more than looks - though Albert would disagree).

After lunch we went for a second walk, discovering a beautiful long curving beach, almost deserted.

Then we walked inland through weird dense forest growing out of sand. There were funny little flowers and coloured fungi. I wanted to take some photos to show you, but the cellmate was setting the pace and I didn't want to risk the mood by stopping.

On the drive home through endless suburbs of red brick, we spotted an improbable cafe inside a seedy antique shop. So we stopped for superb tea and cake. Once again, the waitress was warm and attentive. In that part of the world they all seem to be happy, expert and friendly. It can really make a difference to your day.

Back home, I had one of the home made beers with alcohol in it, and the cellmate cooked a beef and veggie stir fry. Good TV, climaxing with a one-hour documentary about the first Doors album.

It's been great to get away for the day, I'm so grateful I was persuaded. And tomorrow we meet a non-deifheid couple we know, in the only art gallery I love.

- iPhone post

Friday, September 2

a whole day

Spent most of the day cleaning the kitchen as a surprise for the cellmate, while listening to some wonderful jazz tapes from the 70s and 80s. This is the kitchen we had installed a couple of years ago, against my better judgement and at some expense. I don't like cleaning, so I wanted black surfaces because they don't show the dirt, but was outvoted by the designer and the cellmate. So we went with a white benchtop, because "white's so easy to keep clean." It turns out that means "easy to see all the dirt when you're forever cleaning."

But after 5 hiurs' work it eventually scrubbed up nicely, and I retired exhausted for a nap. When the cellmate came home, she noticed nothing, then later she spilled redcurrant syrup across it. I handed her the Ajax and a cloth.