Friday, 14 June 2013

Perfect day, almost.

It wasn’t the day I would have chosen – that would have involved sitting somewhere nice in Italy, being cool, eating sun drenched fruit and drinking a good coffee. I can’t do that, but it was still almost a perfect day.

I got up early and cut the grass with a lawnmower that is falling apart; there just isn’t a lot of point in buying a new one. The handle is held on with an old window latch. The spark plugs I use have had their lives ‘extended’, miraculously. One of the wheels is held on with a sticky mixture of hope and good luck.

But I did it. By the end, even my aches were aching. I did lunch and then had a long easy afternoon reading Gramsci, ready for something I’ve been trying to write for a while: its coming better now. At the same time I was listening to Robert Elms’s ‘Funky Friday’ on BBC Radio London and just enjoying myself. Good sounds, good memories.

Then the sun came out and it turned into a beautiful June day, a bright sun and a strong breeze. I went for a walk around the old gravel pits, the water dark blue in the sun, small clouds scooting across a clear sky.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have any batteries charged up for my camera. So, you’ll just have to believe me when I tell you that the bullrushes were flowering yellow, the ducks were dragging their ducklings around and up on top of the old tip, the horses had gathered together in a tribal meeting. There were three new foals, very young and still unsteady, enjoying their first sunny day and surrounded by all their proud relations.

I flew a kite!

There were people around at first but it didn’t take long for them to flee in embarrassment at the sight of me. I should explain, some years ago I’d invested a total of £0-50p in my Tesco’s kite and then forgot about it – this was the first time I’d got it out, so expectations weren’t high. It folds up to fit in your pocket but it was a gusty day so it wasn’t ideal. It’s possible the bag it came in would have flown better.

It soared! It needed a tail weight, but it was a full 50p’s worth. It was a good afternoon. Good sun. Unlike the people, the horses had been staring at me, puzzled. So I went up to say hallo and pat a horse or two, avoiding the foals. They aren’t thoroughbreds, then again this is an old rubbish tip we are talking about.

Back indoors I cooked mussels in white wine and garlic sauce – actually I just put a pack in the microwave. You have no idea how good it was.

It’s been tiring but all it needs now is an ice cold lager in a favourite Belgian beer glass to finish it off and that’s in the fridge, getting ready.

A perfect day, almost.

Neil Harris

(a don’t stop till you drop production)

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