I seem to be having a nostalgia flush. Bit like a hot flush but it lasts longer and in my case starts in about 1966. As I explained the trigger was the prolonged rat pursuit and uncovering a whole bunch of old bits and pieces in the loft. I think in the past I have avoided nostalgic thoughts as they can be painfully engulfing if you let them, but nostalgic things seem altogether more manageable. The vapours have spread through to my shopping habits and a new preoccupation with repairing or replacing things that evoke memories but are incomplete or broken. Intriguingly one of my discoveries is a pigeon lamp; a turn of the 20th century french oil lamp guaranteed not to explode (F10,000 if it did). Surprisingly some French chap actually has the requisite spare parts – he chose to write to me in French to which I responded in Frenchlish – laughable but not Googled. – we have a deal and the part is winging its way as we speak. I have bought a couple of table ciggy lighters as you know – one is a close to one I coveted as a child belonging to my nan. The thrill is in the weight, substantial and the flame, lethal and exceedingly unpredictable. I have also bought the most marvellously drab card of the village I was born in depicting virtually nothing except some bloke in a hat lying down on a hill – as I think I know the spot – subsequently developed – I find it weirdly dreamy and haunting. I have also located the Radio Times from the week I was born. I want to write a piece on what was on telly when I came into the world. I am acquiring an obsession for mermaids. My dear friend Barry has leant me a book on the subject, only he would have one, and I have since found some ‘scientific’ photographs of the real thing. I did not know they really existed. I could at this point say something about the evidence for God being less convincing but far be it from me to mock.
Talking of strange encounters with friendly Europeans, I have struck up a friendship with a Romanian courier who delivers to us. When I say friendship, we talk about his car, which broke, his country, which sounds lovely and his girlfriend who cannot sew (what are women coming too) – anyway he caught sight of Maria’s sewing machine and proposed on the spot that she may care to fix his trousers – to which Maria was somewhat taken aback – he insisted on paying – she declined – he insisted – they agreed on £5. She then rethought and decided she had no desire a) to do the job at all, however she was sort of trapped by friendliness b) to take money for it – so instead she would request a Romanian delicacy eg. a local sausage. Fortunately she realised just in time that asking him for a piece of his Romanian sausage may send out a misleading signal and potentially attract non sewing orientated kind of business to our door. Anyway this has yet to be resolved but the trousers have arrived together with detailed specifications, a name ‘Anton’ and a telephone number – I am sorry the whole thing feels like a plot for a Brian Rix farce.
Love and freedom to all