10 Forsythia Grove
CORSETTSHIRE ZY6 4GT
My Dear Ralph
I am feeling an unusual - not to say unprecedented - degree of happiness today. I am not sure why except, perhaps, that I am throwing certain disagreeable aspects of my past to the rear of me. Such a delightful state of mind cannot, surely, be attributed entirely to today's blue sky and the general ambience of sunshine?
I am seated, anyway, at one Beetroot Inn just along the road from my own establishment. This watering hole, albeit on the somewhat rough and ready side, does at least have a substantial working surface on which to spread my papers. Of course, the presence of scrapping dogs - wrestling near the dart board - does distract one's train of thought somewhat, but at least I myself am feeling comparatively sentient.
I spent yesterday afternoon, dear, hauling my tender perennials in from the garden and on to my broad bedroom window ledge. And these items are now respiring peacefully in the autumnal sunshine. In fact, we are all breathing together, in one group, at bedtime and during the night. Molecules from two scented geraniums and a Lemon Verbena - do try tea made from the leaves of the latter pet - are perfuming the air and the whole ensemble makes for a most heart-warming sight. As does the spectacle of Cuthbert, my teddy bear, reclining his furry form over my new tartan-covered hot water bottle at rest on the armchair. There is nothing, in my opinion, to quite match a sleeping space decked out in lilac, green and pink for conjuring up an atmosphere of grace. How you can nod off in your own environment dear - with any number of Airfix model aeroplanes suspended in the airspace above your pallet bed - I find it very hard to imagine! And as for the drab browns and greys they are bedecked in, these are not hues likely to imbue one's dreams with a sense of beauty and peace!
Meanwhile, I spent some time wandering around the architectural reclamation yard at Great Deverington the other day. I was very taken by the Butler sinks, stone troughs, metal work love seats, oak pergolas, and such-like on display there. I even saw a large, stone, Inca head and this would lend a sense of gravitas to any large green space. I do feel like heaving a slight sigh here pet as none of these items would fit in my own tiny yard and - even more to the point - I don't have the funds available to purchase them with. Never mind. I do wonder sometimes at how we all arrive at this sense of what makes an objet d'art beautiful to the eye? Whatever it is, there must be some general level of agreement regarding the aesthetic attractions of curve, colour, and line or we would not be drooling over them in yards such as Staddle Stones for the Connoisseur.
Reality does frequently strike home, doesn't it though dear? I was just in the process of scraping a thin layer of margarine over an equally thin slice of toast, when a radio programme about the use of abortifacients in China caught my ear. One never chooses to hear stories of this kind and, given an early enough opportunity, I think one would turn them off. However, I was heavily engaged in bread crust-slicing activities and so ended up hearing a particularly harrowing story about some poor intending mother who was forced to have a chemically-induced abortion of her 6-month-old foetus. She said she felt the child struggling for life inside her and, once born, it uttered just a few cries before dying. Dear me pet. Life is certainly not kind and just is it? I should like to tell this Chinese woman how her experience wrung my heart this lunch-time over here. I don't know if that can be managed can it?
Not that Pom-Pom's experiences over in No Return District General Hospital are much better. I did turn up recently and everything looked okay on the face of it. He was in bed (in a six-bedded bay) looking clean and comfortable and with his catheter bag hung over the side. He seemed less tired than he'd sounded when we'd spoken earlier, on his mobile phone, and wasn't slurring his words. And, it seemed, from the state of his plate, that he'd just munched, albeit toothless, on half a sandwich and the inside of a custard tart. I then plugged in his electric razor, and phone, to charge and sat down to read to him, and chat, for an hour or so. I would certainly be interested in how many frail elderly people escape from such premises alive? For it seems that you enter the centre of a web - and that the more drips and tubes you gather - and the less often you sit out of bed - the less likely it is that you will ever emerge (alive). In fact, one positive aspect about hospital care in so-called 'undeveloped' lands is that relatives are allowed, and apparently encouraged, to sleep under the bed and help with administering basic care such as the washing and feeding of their loved ones. One can go too overboard with infection control and hygiene in these vast places pet. In fact, the basic problem is that they are TOO VAST - and TOO FAR OFF - to be much good to the health and happiness of the unfortunate patient! Oh well dear. I expect you are tiring of my rants concerning those in 'the clutches' on this sunny day!