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Tuesday, May 23, 2006

water water everywhere

Strange being in England now; green as green and simultaneously awash with water and drought orders. Odd that. As for the long hot dry summer they keep promising; it hasn't appeared on stage yet, it's not even in the wings, it's back in the dressing-room more like, waiting to be called and making use of the time betweenwhiles to snog winter. Granny has the heating on; and wishes her sheepskin slippers were not languishing back on her islands. As she continues trying to prove she exists, is solvent, was and isn't married; or about to be. Or dying of green monkey disease or rearing vampires or Harley Davidsons for large profit, via the black economy (if only.) Etc. Etc. Etc. Wearisome. And all simply to move house.

Meantime; back on the island, her Beloved is making "improvements in the kitchen." (His words.) This is ominous. Very. Has the donkey house been moved indoors? Are there goats stabled under the sink? Or has he cut yet another ironing-board in half? She will wait in trepidation and patience both, she's not in a position to find out for some time to come. And anyway, back there the trade winds are blowing, the clouds gathered overhead, the island withering away. Not her favourite time of year. Apart from missing Beloved, she's not entirely unhappy to pretend she's a Londoner again, just for a while. The green will warm up in due course. She just wishes it would hurry up.

Oh and it's youngest granddaughter's fifth birthday today. Granny, bearing gifts, will advance on a church hall this afternoon to find twenty-five other five year olds - or about to be five year olds. Beloved (absolutely) Daughter-in-law never does anything by halves. Though she too no doubt looks forward to the day when an acceptable birthday party is three other girls + DVD for a sleepover, as with the new ten year old at the weekend. Ten, Granny remembers, is the breathing space between infancy, post infancy, the stroppiness of seven and eight years olds and the advancing horrors of adolescence. There may not have been sleepovers in her child-rearing days - or not under that name; someone should do a thesis on the changing terminology around children - no doubt they have. But the deep structures don't change much; those she remembers well.

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