Back, yet not by much, and with Tolly Maw pristine, clean, new pin, bib, and hairspray. Here I’ve found nothing stalks hallowe’en, even though they know how to spell hallowe’en. Here and whilst horror runs a garage and the living dead a charity shop for the oxymoronic it is considered crude, rude even to stalk the night. Or even stalk. I had feared worse, I shall in the future know.
But returned and after a week or two of high adventure. As it would have been had I not for the most of it been enduring once more my recurring gout. It was I suspect because of visiting my ma, who since losing my dad and the yet more recent death of my brother has frankly taken to feasting on kittens. The old family hive is half closed. She has a puppy and so the rugs are dishcloth-damp every third step. There is no light, there is no heat and arriving she showed me the mince she had prepared, a day ‘or so’ before. A ball of it, grey, peppered with reformed mushed carrot (but carroted with no pepper at all).
I searched for and found salt, pepper, and a tin of tomatoes still stamped a wonder of the Great Exhibition. I asked if the meat was lamb, to which she agreed. I suspect now not. I suspect now beef though it was grey and reformed as described and could have been anything. Kittens would have been better - kittens do not set off my gout. So a day or three of damp walls, slithering half-seen tentacles and a pisspot of a puppy.
The house it’s worth saying is a mausoleum. A tomb, to books. I’ll say this for the ancestral hive, it has plenty of books. Indeed it has very little else. There are more books there than you have, any of you, in fact more than all of you – of us. Astonishing amounts of books, the simple Lego of mind and of many generations. So some light came to the gloom when prominent in the room put aside for my sproutish daughters were a complete run of Modesty Blaise and a pick of Bryant & May. They were in my old room too, so all very pleasing. We left and without regret and before we arrived at our next destination my foot was troubling me. Indeed and within another day it was painful, and I was then due to meet a pair of chums, to catch up and raise a glass – and did so, all the while in pain. So for a week more I was in an ancient town, went to see primeval hills and chalky horses and all increasingly without being able to walk.
Yet now returned and the pain is but a pain, going away and doubtless itself on holiday.
Somewhere far away I trust.