When in London, Granny and Beloved use a tiny flat, let in betweenwhiles to a Kiwi friend of Australian niece. She pays a lowish rent in return for getting out every two or three months so that Granny, with or without Beloved, can live there. This arrangement suits everyone - at least it did until Granny found herself forced to stay in London for the unwelcome but necessary attentions of the National Health Service. Her wish not to alienate nice Kiwi tenant, plus the ever more necessary injections of her rent has meant that since August, more or less, Granny has been living out of suitcases - not a situation she enjoys. It is a situation compounded now by the realisation that it might be an idea to sell this flat and buy a bigger one; meaning she and Beloved have a permanent base so that they do not have hide away all their possessions when they move out, and that nice Kiwi tenant does not have to find another bed for two weeks when they move in.
This may make mattters easier in the long run; in the short term it has led to still greater scatterings of Granny's belonging round London and elsewhere. Oh yes, she has watched those life-style programmes which advise how best to sell your property. No longer do buyers leap with whoops of joy on houses/flats they can knock down, through, up and over entirely to their own taste. Young yuppies no longer have time for DIY. They want to move into perfectly organised dwellings - 'well presented' the Estate Agent calls it - which means, apart from paint, dishwashers, etc all present and correct, a lot of - apparent - space. Tiny the flat may be; spacious it has to look. Out with objects, clothes, books, oversize electronics. In Granny and Beloved's case this week it has meant that the suitcases out of which they live have to sit in the car outside. Young yuppies presumably do not have much in the way of possessions, especially books. Certainly, they cannot spend much time cooking. Out it all goes, chop chop chop. In Granny's case in a disorganised hurry, with the result there's a certain lack of logic in the bestowing of her belongings. Her hairdryer lurks in Kew; her tax papers at Hammersmith Bridge; her mortgage details in Oxfordshire. As for her clothes... When she opens cupboards now, it is to find, mostly, Beloved's bags - oh yes he still contrives to have about six bags here - the ritual patter going on as ever ('where's X?' 'In my bag.' 'Which bag?' 'I don't know which bag.' etc.) Along with the odd fluffy toy belonging to the N K T whose taste inclines to the kitsch, plus her supplies from Ann Summers - the sex shop - rather more interesting if mysterious. 'Nipple lick? Raspberry Ripple Flavour? Granny inquires gently if Beloved would care for her to annoint her remaining appendage with this nectar. He shudders. 'It will be sweet,' he says. (Beloved does not eat sweet things; he is borderline diabetic.) So no. evidently this is not the means of enlivening the seniors' sex life.
Granny thinks; haven't things moved on since my young day. No, she is not altogether serious. In the 60's and 70's after all there was Alex Comfort's The Joy of Sex - complete with copious illustrations which contrived to be both decorous and graphic. There was too a book much touted for a while called 'The Sensuous Woman' written by someone hiding behind the initial 'J'. Granny remembers an injunction to the woman to keep in good sensual condition between sessions with her lover(s) by contriving to give herself up to 30 or 40 orgasms in the same session; very exhausting she found this the only time she tried it, not to say boring in the end. She also remembered an instruction (this one she didn't follow) to annoint the lover's erect and sensitive part with whipped cream, topped with chocolate flakes and to lick it ALL OFF. She was particularly taken by the weight-watcher's advice tacked on, to make SURE that the cream in question was reduced fat... Sensuous women, evidently, have to stay thin.
Perhaps you can buy reduced fat cream in Ann Summers these days too, along with Nipple Lick. Or perhaps not.
No sign of a buyer yet on the inconveniently minimalised flat. The agent however is hopeful. 'It's a very nice little flat,' he says; it is too. Not his fault that the market is currently subsiding towards Christmas. Anyway the NKT will be in charge again next week, having to make sure all is in order before she goes out. On Thursday Granny and Beloved return to their island; where the chickens, according to sepulchrous announcements by Mr Handsome on Granny's mobile, are in trouble. A hunting dog has killed aristocratic black hen Dolly. Aristocratic grey hen Daphne appears to have turned into aristocratic grey cockerel Damian, and slaughtered aristocratic brown cockerel David. The plebian brown chickens appear to be in no such trouble. Serves G and P right perhaps for going upmarket, poultry-wise.
The sex life of chickens also has its interest it would seem. And this time next week Granny and Beloved will be observing it all for themselves. She can't wait.