Sunday, February 04, 2007

A house is not a fallout shelter

impossible songs

Our house is a very, very, very fine house (very fine house), with two cats in the yard, life used to be so hard, now everything is easy ‘cos of you…

(Graham Nash & CS&N 1969.)

impossible songs

Running to stand still

Something resembling a rather awkward and trying seven day week has finally passed in five days. A new and unexpected requirement to move house has rather fragmented and unfocused our thoughts over the last few days. Then of course, in full “flight or fight” mode our thoughts re-fragmented and focused (a bit). Mine firstly focused onto a South African apricot and mustard sauce, into which I added and cooked some chicken, then they focused on Dunfermline’s win over Hearts in the cup and then on how best I could lay claim to being the individual responsible for unleashing “Dark Side of the Rainbow” onto an unsuspecting and innocent world some twenty years ago. Ali’s thoughts of course focused onto finding somewhere for us to stay and getting her car washed.

Monster House

The world is full of many safe havens and sheltered harbors; we are now sailing onwards, searching the blank horizon for such a place – for habitation for a short time. One possibility is an idyllic, run down, battered but soulful property about a mile away in the heart of the estate. Engineered straight out of an Enid Bylton book or some CS Lewis allegorical story this rambling pile, complete with about an acre of neglected and desecrated gardens (abandoned chicken coops, mysterious concrete bases, rotting timber poles and assorted bits of woodland) impressed the kids and I (and a grandchild). The surrounding history, latent ghosts and stony memories, village bonfires and rites are a further attraction. A significant amount of minor works and negotiations will be necessary for a proper move however, so the jury is out at present.

Imagine a very small amount of possessions

So our nomadic phase has come around again and we realize that really you should never settle for settling anywhere, sooner or later you need to make sure that all your best possessions will fit neatly into a normal sized shoe box. I do feel truly sorry for the mad, shopping fixated masses (usually female and in the age bracket 25 -35) upon whom this truth has not dawned as they stuff cupboards, wardrobes and houses full with impulse purchases that have just been containered across the world from the Far East. (Having said all that, what is wrong with a little fun and retail therapy now and again? I think I’ve flipped out a little at the prospect of another house move, although the opportunity to revisit a few basic inventory control measures on my stuff always has a certain abstract attraction for me.)

Extra long broccoli raises etiquette issues

For some a nightmare, for me a marvel, broccoli you can pick up and suck and dip and (err...) crunch. From the far away green fields of Mozambique or Malawi or Tesco comes a versatile vegetable that cannot ever be acceptable in any high class eatery due to the amount of personal involvement that the consumer must enjoy. Pick it up and bite it, suck it – if it flies it’s ok to pick it up, flying broccoli? Well I can’t imagine it making it to the UK by boat.

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