Pumpkins and Roses
I had coffee sitting in the back garden today, admiring the new plinth that has been built to support my summer house. This gazebo will not be bought and constructed till next May or so but since everything around me is unseasonal, I don't see why I shouldn't plan it now. I have an early-flowering azalea, which normally blossoms in January/February and it is in flower now. And we have another "last rose of summer" on a bush in the front garden.
But I spent the morning making a pumpkin lantern and Thai curried soup from the flesh. So it feels as if all the seasons are happening at once.
We celebrated my nephew Freddie's first birthday last Saturday. He was surrounded by upwards of six aunts and uncles, full, half or by marriage, three grown-up cousins, one grandmother and two parents, each of whom had brought a present. He coped very well in the circumstances, tearing paper and pulling open boxes and having a good game with everything inside. His mother blew the cake candles out by mistake by laughing so hard during his reaction to the birthday song, so that they had to be lit again for the photos. A very happy occasion.
The house and garden have been full of buildfers this week. As well as the summery plinth, we had the roofer to check tiles and gutters. He has only one expression - "lovely job!" - which was applied to everything from cups of tea to the plinth. Also a plumber who spent all day replacing two radiators, which was not a lovely job to do though well done. Lorenzo, the blue Burmese, appointed himself plumber's mate for the day and followed Mark everywhere, apparently checking on every stage of the work before signing him off.
Jess has gone to a Halloween party in Brighton, dressed as a fallen angel, in black corset and full size black angel wings. The cats were terribly excited by these. Imagine what fun it must be to think you have discovered that one of your favourite people has secretly been a chaseable bird all along.
I had a very nice fan e-mail today which included the line "I see from the website that you have sold the film rights ..." Now I have checked what it says on the FAQs and it states clearly that "there are no film deals at present." This is not the first time I've had such a reaction though. What can I be doing wrong?
This week I saw the first two episodes of Torchwood - absolutely brilliant! I'm a great fan of the new Doctor Who and Torchwood has the same feel. I also saw Simon Schama's fascinating programme on Bernini's Ecstasy of St Teresa. I read Bagheria and Il piacere di scrivere, both by Dacia Maraini. I wish I'd read them both before writing my essay on La Lunga Vita di Marianna Ucria, since they cast such light on the novel. I heard Francois-Ferdinand Guy playing part of Beethoven's Hammerkalvier sonata. And all of the Incredible String Band's 5,000 Spirits or Layers of the Onion CD, and much else, while stuck in a traffic jam on the Headington roundabout for an hour and a quarter