The Scent Bottle


This morning, I continued the task of cleaning and tidying the house, and separating the intruders’ belongings from mine.

My friends in Le Code Bar where I went to post ‘On The Road’, were very¬†supportive. Laurence, even though we had not met¬†for a year, was most warm in hers.

Lauren Nassef illustrationThis afternoon I finished reading Ivan Turgenev’s masterpiece, ‘On The Eve’. In the 1850s, when he worked on the novel, the world was about to change through Russia’s devastating war with the English and European alliance. This is a tragic love story, beautifully, sensitively, and insightfully written. The characters are well drawn, and the prose flows pleasingly. The last chapters in which the ill-fated couple Elena and Insarov spend an evening watching ‘La Traviata’ brilliantly ties up the story, for, like Verdi’s heroine, Insarov is dying of consumption.

My Folio Society edition is elegantly illustrated by Lauren Nassef.

The lowering sun cast a splendid light across the forecourt of Le Code Bar this evening,Le Code Bar RoundaboutLe Code BarDavid and customersFeet in silhouette as Duck and chipsI dined on magret of duck, chips, and salad, with sparkling Pellegrino to drink.

Before that, I had struggled to unblock the wash basin in the bathroom. This involved undoing the pipes underneath, draining off the water, and peering down the plughole which contained a perfectly fitting little round scent bottle. From beneath, I pushed it up and out with the handle of a wooden spoon.

The key to the letterbox on the wall outside has gone missing.