Saturday, 6 August 2011

Today was a good day

 The males in my life woke up all grumpy and snappy after a light, broken sleep. I, on the other hand woke up refreshed and eager to make plans to enjoy the sunshine. I soon realised today was not a day for hill walks, picnics and strenuous activity. "Let's just have a quiet day", I said.

"When in Rome" became the catchphrase of the day, and I found myself mirroring the behaviours of the neighbouring caravan owners. Before 9 am I had cleaned the windows, washed the net curtains and engaged in some very lightweight small-talk with the elderly neighbours who were supervising the sparrows as they feasted on wholemeal bread (they prefer it to white, apparently).

I was fortunate enough to hear the story of what Margaret had planned for John's tea four times, she told me first. Margaret had corned beef sandwiches for lunch, but John has been to work all week, so a corned beef salad wouldn't suffice. Sliced turkey breast for John, he's been boiling in London, so doesn't want a roast dinner. Margaret kindly donated the leftover corned beef to the sparrow fanciers, explaining the salad dilemma she'd been faced with. John's 6 o'clock dinner was plated up in the fridge by 9:30.

The lady in the caravan next to Margaret worked her socks off all day. Wiping, sweeping, dog walking, washing, cooking, shopping - no wonder she looks so fit; her husband is dying of cancer and he just watches her, looking sad. Margaret's salad story didn't seem to interest either of them, nor her quips about being worn out from clearing the cobwebs from her decking.

The kids had a nap at midday, so did OH. The sky was clear, the sun made it's boldest appearance this week, no way was I going to sleep through it's performance. I pottered a little, read for a while and then decided to worship the sun. I sat for a couple of hours, blatantly  basking in the heat. I had a few glasses of water, 2 glasses of wine and a bottle of mixed berry cider, I only remember needing the toilet twice.

I drifted in and out of intense daydreams, Margaret punctuated them at regular intervals with random statements. "Turkey is stinkin', never been there 'cos all our friends came back with bad stomachs".
I relaxed deeply, in my meditative state I was able to cancel out the yapping dogs, frolicking children and lawnmower sounds.

I thought about the people above me, flying to Turkey, Greece, and Spain every 15 minutes from the nearby airport. I thought about the people around me, caravan  owners - mostly retired and their grandchildren growing up. I thought about my sleeping family, I wondered what drama lay ahead for us all in the coming decades. I thought about Margaret, in her seventies, yet still getting excited about seeing her husband. I thought about the poorly people around me, life nearing it's end - simple things mattering now. I thought to myself, there is nowhere else I'd rather be, and nobody else I'd rather be right now.

I wonder if John enjoyed his turkey salad, Margaret said she'd take it out of the fridge about 45 minutes before he got in.


  1. I am so glad to hear you happy and content...unlike moi. I just drafted a brilliant, witty comment to you, full of references to the classic comedy shows of 70's England, and my computer went on me! (If it isn't my computer regularly crashing, it is the internet.) I have tried to be bloody upbeat and damn perky, but geez it is the straw on the camels back! Enjoy your holiday!

  2. Ah the drink-induced half-dreams when in holiday mode. You drew the picture so well. Hope you are feeling thoroughly refreshed now. BTW picky sparrows round there!

  3. "Turkey is stinkin'"....gotta love a comment like that!!! Glad to hear you're enjoying yourself.

    K xx

  4. What is it about caravans and net curtains? For some unknown reason my mum delights in them and we always make sure the curtains are in good condition for when we leave, or else risk the wrath of M. And the incessant drone of lawnmowers, well done for cancelling them out!

    Glad you had that moment sunbathing, I have felt something similar when on holiday at my parent's caravan and it has always come as a bit of a surprise.

  5. To second genius loci - caravans and net curtains - are they inextricably linked!? :-)

    Such a sad image, the man who is dying from cancer watching his wife beavering away :-(

    Jem xXx

  6. haha at "Turkey is stinkin" classic comment and would possibly have come out of many of my fellow bootsalers mouths. I do hope john enjoyed his turkey salad too Scarlett x


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