A short poem by Clement Marot (1496 – 1544) entitled ‘Plus Ne Suis Ce Que J’ai Ete’, which was this morning’s choice was rather a sad lament for the writer’s spring and summer. That a man who didn’t have an autumn by today’s standards could write as if his love life was over, was my first reason for counting my blessings, as readers will know I often do. That, at 70, I can feel as if I have not yet reached winter, is the second. The writer would have liked to have been born again to serve love better. My third reason to be grateful is that I have been given the opportunity to do so without ever having had such a wish. My renaissance is metaphoric.
The rest of the morning was spent on the usual cleaning up. Swabbing down the kitchen and hall tiles was left to this evening to allow for drying time overnight, and I finished off the garden this afternoon.
Taking a break outside in the sunshine to finish Valerie Grove’s biography of Dodie Smith, I was encircled by a large wasp that hovered around me for some time, no doubt contemplating whether or not I was worth a sting. My philosophy on such occasions is ‘don’t flap, and keep still’. I didn’t, and I did. Eventually it flew off in search of someone more attractive. The first lizard of the season, a larger than usual adult, ventured onto the tiles, but thought better of it as I reached for my camera. The avian occupants of the back wall continue to frustrate me. I know they’re in there somewhere.
The Observer described the book as ‘utterly delightful’, which it is, and Elspeth Barker, writing in the Independent on Sunday, offered the view that it is ‘a successful portrait of a powerful and original woman of devastating wit and intelligence’, with which I concur.
Three boiled eggs, slices of fig sausage, bread and butter, and an orange, sufficed for my 4.00 p.m. repast.