C. rang this afternoon, and I'm flattered that a 28 year old wants to talk to me. She has a perfectly good mother (and father), but they have difficulties at the moment, so she could tell me of issues that she might feel might burden them at present: I am happy to be a surrogate. She is leaving her prestigeous city job and going to work near a remote country town (population: 9).
I went to the library and immediately came across 2 books that I had been going to reserve, Good fortune! After, I went to the supermarket....urgh. I'm not quite sure why I say that: the routine, perhaps? Mundane, I suppose. I find the checkout assistants to be energetic, polite, quite sweet really. Insincere? Not really. How sincere can you be to a passing stranger? I assume that they feel goodwill for that instant. What else could I ask of them?
Some assistants - (lord, I don't want to call them checkout chicks) -I have known for years. Before I went away in 2012, one, a woman in her fifties told me how she had bought a new (2nd hand) car and was planning a trip to Hawaii. When I returned, 15 months later I asked how the trip had been. "Oh, that was ages ago," she said. "Since then I've been to -(I forget where) - and Dubai.
Everyone I know travels. "How was the trip to Turkey?" I asked June. "Wonderful,"she said. "But since then I've been to - (I forget where) - and Paris. Next week I'm meeting friends in Bali."
Andrew and I were talking of this travel frenzy at the supermarket. Andrew is grizzled, forthright, down to earth, an independent spirit. On their retirement, he and his wife - one of the earliest women to obtain a doctorate in her field of agriculture - bought a run down farm and took to farming. He spoke with delicious irony of advertisements offering European river cruises "with your own private butler".
"Your own private butler" used to be the Goanese stewards on all P and O ships.
Some time later friends told me about their glorious time on such. Their "own private butler" enhanced it, of course. Different folk, different strokes, as they say.
Easter Island, Myanmar. El Camino Real, either on foot or on bicycle ... people have a hunger for travel/experience that I simply don't share. Don't understand.
David Lodge, who Relatively Retiring introduced me to, has some interesting insights into travel.
Leaving the supermarket I thought: "It is probably 5.10." Looked at the clock and it was 5.09. I think many can estimate time like this, without quite knowing how.
For some months I have been waking around 6.40 a.m., rather earlier than I want to. I assumed that when daylight saving ended this would turn into 7.40...however, it, whatever it is, immediately put its clock back, and I still wake around 6.40. Evidently I have an inbuilt snooze alarm, because I find it easy to sleep after this until, say, 7.30. which is when I choose to get up. I think that we are odder than we know.
This year I have been getting occasional hand cramps, locking my fingers into mildly painful, quite unuseable shapes that make typing or handwriting impossible. I googled, and tried the first, absurd suggestion: hold a cake of soap. It worked/works. The cramp vanishes before my fingers have closed around the cake. How odd is that?