Sunday 27 July 2008

At last a brief glimpse of what we used to call summer

14st 1lb; 6.0 units of alcohol yesterday; 1,288; Home.

My dreams continue to deteriorate. This morning I found myself sharing not only a room but a bed with another 50-something bloke who had been my best friend when I was aged about eight. At least the relationship seemed to be on the Morecambe and Wise level rather than anything suggestive of long suppressed homosexual tendencies, though I dare say an analyst would have a field day. I woke up shortly after an Oriental maid had brought us a morning pot of tea, and I was chivalrously insisting that my friend drink his from the single cup provided while I went to find a tooth mug for mine.

On the positive side, summer finally arrived today. Having spent weeks moaning about it being cold, wet and foggy, I am now on the cusp of moaning that it is too hot. Sash windows that have not been opened for years were laboriously unlocked (when I finally tracked down the key) and flung up to try and produce a cooling breeze. I was even moved to go and rootle around in the attic and dig out the two electric fans I once used to waft the torpid air around a bit in my former London flat. These were then deployed in an unsuccessful attempt to make conditions in my study and sitting room more bearable.

Still, at least I have recovered from yesterday’s lethargy and, perhaps because there was nowhere comfortable enough just to sit down with a book, I had a remarkably productive day by my standards. In fact I spent hours industriously cleaning, ironing and gardening almost as though I were a normal crusty old bachelor in his 50s, albeit perhaps one with a slightly exaggerated concern for personal hygiene and the keeping up of appearances.

A beautiful, thick, low white mist was rising over the fields when I finally put my mop away in the conservatory shortly before 10. It is one of those sights, like the very occasional glimpses of the Northern Lights, which makes me feel immensely privileged to live here. Then I sat with a glass of Jura malt (never one of my favourites, but it suddenly seems to have grown on me) watching some recorded episodes of Coronation Street and wondering, not for the first time, exactly what was the point of ITV claiming to offer a PDC (Programme Delivery Control) facility when they consistently cut off the cliff-hanger at the end of the 7.30 episode on Monday and Friday. So I went to catch up with it on the much vaunted playback facility at, and found that that did not work either. Anyone who knows what Kirk accidentally recorded in that grotesque plastic egg (don’t ask) in place of Tyrone’s proposal to Molly is encouraged to leave a brief comment containing the relevant information.

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