It has been...a good day.
I've almost finished painting the woodwork in my new shed and Himself has put another couple of shelves in there and brought loads of stuff out of my old workroom which is looking decidedly horrible now...we'll turn it back into the grandly named 'Garden Room' and stuff it full of plants next spring.
It's been quite nippy mind you...no frost last night but the sky is clearing now and a frost is forecast and quite why we couldn't have had clear skies in August when the Perseids were at their height, I really don't know... I think it's a conspiracy.
Ages ago...before we had a computer and I wouldn't have known how to turn one on if you paid me...I know a woman who spent most of her time on peculiar sites...the sort who announce that jet trails are actually laden with hidden cameras which monitor your every move...she believed every single last word and on one memorable occasion dragged me outside by force and pointed dramatically to the sky with the inevitable jet trails and told me to beware...Big Brother is watching...she said. I said I thought it was just vapour...she looked at me aghast and told me there was no hope for people like me who keep their heads in the sand. Then she went home.
I see her sometimes...she stalks past me with her head in the air and pays me no heed.
The same woman won't have any animal neutered...says it's against nature. So her tiny cottage is stuffed to over-flowing with stinking Tom cats and in-bred kittens with runny eyes and noses and there's a Billy goat in the kitchen who un-sheaths his penis and sprays semen all over the floor and table...and a couple of horses hell-bent on getting into the sitting room...you have to forcibly shove them out of the way to get in the door.
The sad part is...she's very clever. Translates learned papers into Hebrew and back again...but she is quite mad altogether.
We once had a lamb who was a triplet...she was tiny and skinny and I fed her on warm Goats milk laced with Whiskey and she thrived and grew quite enormous...the original mother sheep was owned by an old man and his sister who lived in a three roomed cottage in the back of beyond. Three hard backed chairs...a plain table and the inevitable dresser heaped with old newspapers and calendars and bills from the 1940's...two slavering Collie dogs under the table and an open hearth with a crane and an old pot bellied kettle. They thought it amazing that I'd come into their home and admire the religious pictures and the plaster figurines of the Child Of Prague and the Madonna herself with her pale blue robe all scuffed...
They weren't mad of course...they just lived in a time warp.
But my absolute favourite people lived high up in the Ox mountains in an ancient thatched farmhouse...so many little ones there...and Granny and Grandpa sitting bolt upright at the table and Collie dogs lurking underneath and fat lazy cats snoozing by the range and I spent probably one of the best...if not the best...afternoon of my life settled into the squashy sofa by the glowing range while the snow fell down outside and Granny told me all manner of stories and Grandpa brought me a glass of the poiteen, scalding hot...carrying it carefully. Granny added a generous spoonful of sugar and stirred it briskly and the small children came in and out with red noses from the cold outside and the Mother...with her stout legs and flowered pinny, brought bread and butter on a china plate and a small pot of wild raspberry jam...
Then it was the Angelus at six o'clock on the radio and everyone stopped....the little foxy headed children sank to the floor on their knees...Mother halted her visits to the back kitchen...Granny and Grandpa sat even more upright while the bells tolled and a Hail Mary was said.
We made our way home soon after...I was with a friend on that afternoon...driving down the mountain roads with heavy snow falling and the wind screen wipers doing their best and all I could think of was the plump tabby cat who sat on my lap and the Granny with her old stories of famine times passed on from her Granny and the little pot of scarlet wild raspberries to eat with fresh baked soda bread and butter...