Wednesday 22 July 2015
Woke at 5 am, found some paper and wrote for an hour. House silent, ducks hooting and calling on the stream. Pigeons coo-cooing. Cars started leaving at 5.30 am. Had first breakfast and went back to sleep until 7.30. Came back down and was having breakfast at the large oak table when cousin's OH appeared, unusually attired in work shirt, tie, lycra shorts and trainers. He was about to cycle to work in nearby town just 5 kms away. Although a number of years older than OH, he is still slim and nervously active and watches no telly. His passions are DIY and classical music. In fact, no one really watches TV here, they don't spend time with virtual things or people, they spend it with real people. No Internet, second eldest daughter aged 30 and about to go and work in Bristol, had used up all the monthly allowance by streaming a film.
Went to cousin's shop in Andover which she runs with a German lady. A divine environment full of beautiful material, pattern and colour. I check emails and phone and discover OH has tried to ring me many times. He is with MM and trying to visit the chateau and the old guy with dementia isn't letting him in and he says he doesn't have the keys anyway. OH very stressed and has been hassling the local agent who is supposed to have the keys and wont let him in without the say so of the renter. He also left messages saying he cant find the chateau and he has left the client there on his own and another one, saying he thinks he has been caught by a speed camera. FFS. I text him the phone number of the renter and then switch my phone off and spend a pleasant morning looking at books, drinking tea and deciding what to make. Afternoon comes and switch phone back on and OH rings and tells me about an email offer which has come through and says I need to ring owner and I say I will email. He then starts going on about other people I need to ring - English people to whom he is actually capable of speaking and then he starts giving me a list of things to do so I hang up and switch my phone off. Bastard - it is about time he got off his fat backside and got things done himself.
Rooting through piles of things in the shop, come across a most divine little patchwork bag consisting of strips of fabric stitched together in vertical panels with boxed base and little handles. I have brought some fabric with me so get cracking but am challenged with cutting as the cutter blade is blunt and it transpires that I cant multiply 8 x 2 as I only end up with 14 panels. Have laughing fit. Three other ladies come in for afternoon session and similarly entranced and all decide to make little bag which cousin sells to them in nine quid kit. We all finish for five and cousin is dealing with phone client so I go out and look around the commercial zone where she has her unit.
The day is fresh with scudding clouds and a light breeze. I find a florists and go in and am washed over with the smell of blooms and foliage and cool damp. Obtain hand tied bouquet of pink pompom dahlias, tiny white chrysanthemums, feathery pink astilbe and frothing ladies mantle. Not a garnish carnation or tortured forms of bamboo or orchid in sight. The florist's partner is a house clearance man and she had a treasure trove of shells, crockery, paste jewellery and a tiny 1930's wedding dress. There was a stunning ivory manicure set and a mother of pearl phoenix button, gleaming on the dull surface of the desk.
Cousin finished and we drove back to hers. A knock on the door and it was a committee member come to do 'the bottle run'. Cousin got a kids low slung trolley from the barn and we rattled off up the road to ask for liquid contributions to Saturday's tombola at the annual flower show. Obtained about 20 bottles and then to the pub where we passed 1.5 hours and I was expiring with hunger as we had only had a small bowl of chips. The other lady was all for having another one but I insisted on going back for something to eat so we finished off the chili and cousin had a fourth glass of wine, I don't know how as she is tiny and how can she absorb it? and collapsed to bed, feet and head buzzing.