Most of the day was spent finding space in the flat for the belongings we had brought from The Firs yesterday. This required a certain amount of ingenuity; some binning; and some decanting to the garage that comes with the flat. Despite all the rain that has descended on it for the last six months, and the saturated nature of the surrounding lawns, the garage is bone dry inside, which is a bonus. We put some items straight in there last night and I noticed then that those of last autumn’s leaves that have found their way in still crackle underfoot.
A minuscule percentage of my books had been at Elizabeth’s. These are now in our living room. Brains are still being racked to imagine what to do with the rest when they arrive. Maybe the garage could become a library. To make room in the wardrobe, shirts are now divided according to season of wear. Summer ones, instead of being hung up, are folded and put away in a cupboard. Should it ever stop raining, that is probably when the winter ones will take their place.
Do you ever keep attractive boxes that you don’t know what to do with, but are too good to throw away? We have a beautiful Fortnum & Mason hamper which came, filled with goodies, from Wolf and Luci some years ago. Good for picnics. This year’s wonderful wooden brass-hinged box from the same sources had not yet been allocated a purpose and, since Christmas, devoid of the port and stilton it came with, sat on a shelf just waiting for us to know what to do with the tie overspill. Jackie’s inventiveness came to the fore. She rolled up a selection of ties and placed them in the box. Thinking she had thus found a home for all my ties, she was somewhat disappointed to be informed that there were a lot more hanging in the wardrobe. Never mind, these will no longer keep falling on the floor. Jackie did discover that one or two, as she said, had my dinner on them, and should probably pay a visit to the dry cleaners.
Sam’s father-in-law, Mick O’Neill, has a cheerfully flamboyant collection of vintage pictorial American ties which go very well with his image on stage as a banjoist in Perth’s popular Bluegrass Parkway band. He keeps his neckwear hanging, but I wonder if he has ever thought of a few exclusive Fortnum & Mason wooden boxes. I doubt it. His collection deserves to remain on permanent display.
I have still been unable to get my scanner working properly, so girded my loins and rang the Apple helpline. A machine advised me to call back during business hours. There was nothing for it but to return to carting stuff into the garage. As the sun sank behind the row of automobile’s homes, I thanked my lucky stars for the lack of electricity in ours, and came inside and had a beer.
A few days after Christmas 1974 (see yesterday’s post), Jessica, Michael, and I went to spend the first few days of New Year 1975 with Jessica’s parents at Bulcote Lodge, Burton Joyce in Nottinghamshire. Photograph number 7 of ‘Derrick through the ages’ was taken by Jessica in her mother’s vegetable garden. It was still warm enough for coatless gardeners, Jessica – who probably scraped the mud off her fingers before taking the photo – and Michael, to pick cabbages.
This evening we dined on Jackie’s marvellous chilli con carne followed by treacle sponge and custard. Jackie drank Hoegaarden. My wine was Palomar Creek 2011 zinfandel.