Well. She's back. And sitting in her VERY OWN OFFICE. First the chickens were given a home, then the bantams, then the donkey - except the donkey turned into two goats - then the dairy necessitated by the arrival of the goats. Then the vegetables got their garden. And then - at long last - Granny, and Granny's need for accommodation arrived at the top of the list. (Maybe best not to ask Beloved or his willing assistant, Mr Handsome from Blackburn, what their priorities were; not Virginia Woolf's, not every woman's right to a Room of Her Own evidently. But at this moment she's not complaining, no she is not. ) She has an office; with bookshelves, a rug on the floor, a lamp, a heater - which in the interests of global warming she will TRY not to use - a desk, this time looking out of the window just like her previous less private desk in the kitchen - her laptop, her telephone connection, two speakers so that she can play her kind of music as loudly as she likes (presently the Carter Family) without upsetting anyone else - and, above all, a DOOR SHE CAN SHUT. Heaven.
So now she will have to produce a baby; this post you could say IS her first baby. Though probably not enough. On this warmer island it is, after all, the season for nesting and giving birth. Only this morning she saw a kestrel doing the winged equivalent of legging it across her land with a lizard dangling from its beak, destined obviously for its hungry young. It is warmish - though not as warm as yesterday -and after a period of heavy rain while she was away, the green has come up on her land at last, wild marigolds are flowering, more flowers she hope will follow. And today Beloved arrives home from London. Good.
Ah London. For once Beloved spent long enough there for Granny to show him London is not all bad. She took him to the Tate to see the Hogarth exhibition; to the cinema to see The Last King of Scotland; to the theatre to see the History Boys. Beloved Painter Friend arrived and they went out for a very good dinner. Between-whiles Beloved cooked. How he cooked; inspired by the wealth of foods available from the stalls and shops of every ethnicity in Shepherd's Bush Market but not available on the smaller island: filo pastry for example. The week was FILO PASTRY WEEK. Some creations using it were more successful than others. Of the red mullet wrapped in it fed to Beloved Son the night he came to dinner, Beloved Son said, tactfully, and only to Granny, that it wasn't Beloved's very best meal (in this case, the filo pastry did come out somewhat soggy.) On the other hand the parcels made of all kinds of things, mixtures of different kinds of cheese, spinach etc etc were delicious.
Beloved, though, is not the tidiest of cooks. And the London kitchen is too small for Granny to be in there too, clearing up after him. She had to wait till after the meal; she washed the kitchen floor as many times in one week as she would wash it in a month, living by herself. Clearing up not only the kitchen but the whole flat for the new flatmate due to move in as soon as Beloved leaves meant clearing up round not only Beloved but Beloved Painter Friend; both tended to retreat to other rooms when Granny's cleaning frenzy got too lively - for them - and they were tired of having to move their feet or bodies out of the way of the broom, vacuum cleaner, duster wielded by the none too enthusiastic Granny.... who was removing too the heavy evidence of visiting grandchildren - or surrogate grandchildren. Not that she objects to THAT. Back here she misses all of them and their parents too. It's the penalty of living in a nicer climate, so far away. But there you go. You can't have everything; her cliche for today. She is happy to be here, yes. But as always just a little sad.
It was cold outside in London sometimes. Yeah. Not like here.
Oh and this; Granny is now blogging for Expatica as well as for herself. (Old friends shouldn't be surprised in posts on that site to recognise some of the material. Granny like all writers - and composers too - believes in being economical with her material; self-plagiarising in other words, when it's useful.) If you go here you will find her in this new guise.
And chapters Nine and Ten of Lifting the World are up. For those click here. To start from the beginning click here. Enjoy.