Small pleasures

It was sunny this morning. I’d almost got enough sleep. I put the new flashing pedals on my really nice bike, the ones I got on Ebay for £9 instead of the £35 they ought to cost, and rode it down to the paper-shop, four miles away through the empty lanes. Then up the back road past the Old Vicarage (no, not that Old Vicarage, the one in my head, the one in Not Your Heart Away, that would be altogether too perfect, even for today), along a lane past the big weekend houses with huge name plates on their doors, probably so the once every month in the summer and probably at Christmas this year dependings (yes of course with a hyphen) can recognise their own house when they go there. And then into a place I’d never been before that somebody told me about yesterday, an ancient little wood full of bluebells and wild garlic, a perfect place I would once have loved to walk dogs in with someone gone, where the centuries sleep deep.

And from there to the boot sale where I managed to buy a huge old terracotta wine cooler and some geraniums to put in it, and on to the well, let’s call it an objet trouve market at Snape Maltings, where because nobody else wanted it I bought the shirt I saw there this time last year for £7 because it had the wrong label on it I’m pretty sure, where I had a chat with a nice woman about lamps made of old film projectors, then on up the back lane to home just as the rain was starting and managed to get the washing in before it got soaked.

"Yes, that's mine. Are you sure you wouldn't mind driving?"
“Yes, that’s mine. Are you sure you wouldn’t mind driving? I’d be really grateful…”

Then asparagus and scrambled eggs for lunch and polenta made for dinner which will be that and partridge breasts and inevitably at this time of year, more asparagus, bought for £6 as ‘Kitchen Grade” for about 2 kilos in a big plastic bag so it’s not straight but tastes brilliant from a huge barn on a deserted farm I’m not telling you where. But near here.

The asparagus soup is ready for the freezer, and the tea is in a mug next to me, and I know what I’m doing with this training course now after the best and worst week doing it. I spent half an hour telling myself I was packing it up on Wednesday night. Then I spent rather longer telling myself to stop being so stupid and get on with it. Result: best marks on the course so far.

Small things

But nice things. And things to be grateful for. Plus I bought a really good Gunter Grass I haven’t read yesterday, for my coat pocket for the week, still thinking that one day I will go into the perfect place that doesn’t exist and someone beautiful and kind and totally not deranged or with someone will finally say ‘all my life I’ve been waiting to meet the other person who likes that book. My car’s outside. Would you mind driving, because I have this not-at-all serious thing that affects beautiful and sensitive people who can’t be arsed to drive right at the moment. And anyway, you’ll enjoy driving it. In fact, you could drive me to my place in the Cotswolds if you like. Were you doing anything for the weekend?

Stranger stuff than that has happened in my life before. Much stranger. And until it does I’ve still got a cup of tea and stuff to do that I can do. And Ali Smith’s The Accidental to read as well, which is making me smile. A lot. This is a nice weekend.



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