It’s 1st of December. And yet again December has crept up on us in spite of a full eleven months’ warning! How does this happen EVERY YEAR?!
I hear the sun will be returning next week too. A joy in itself! This week has been so dark and gloomy – and so have I. When I think of those poor people who live in Tromsø and places like that, I wonder how any of them still exist. Why the entire population doesn’t hurtle lemming-like to the nearest ship heading directly to the equator at the first opportunity. And as for the time when the sun never sets? It sounds like a different kind of nightmare! I always feel slightly guilty when heading for a nap during the day. I can’t imagine how much guilt I’d feel in that circumstance. Also – I don’t know about you – but my neighbours all seem to own an excessive amount of noise making equipment like weed whackers with lifelike “giant angry hornet” sound effects, big diesel trucks that need to be started up 15 minutes prior to going anywhere, lawnmowers that sound like they are somehow operating inside a giant tin can and don’t get me started on leaf blowers … what if your neighbours choose to do a little light gardening while you are attempting to sleep? There’s not even the discouragement of darkness to stop them. Although me, in my flannelette night attire, with eyes like sinkholes and hair on end screeching at them from my garret would probably get the message across.
Speaking of lawn mowers. My mother once had a friend who was .. how can I put it .. well, twenty years ago we would have described him as “a man’s man”. He was fairly oblivious to the thoughts and feelings of others but nonetheless he was able to convey the distinct impression of utter disapproval to anyone in the vicinity. He did this merely by breathing heavily through his nose , perhaps with accompanying whistle. I don’t know quite how he managed it but there was no mistaking the disapprobation contained therein. To top it all off he had a very strong Birmingham accent. If you don’t know what that sounds like – congratulations. If you do – feel free to take a hot shower and scrub yourself down with Lysol when you’ve finished reading this.
Aaaaanyway … to get back to the lawn mower. This man was a mechanic and (somewhat annoyingly) a very good one. He had all the machinery imaginable and because he was such a good mechanic he would keep everything FOREVER and just fix any issues that came up. My one fond memory of this guy is when he “fixed” up his mower. It was a big old rattley thing that choked out blue smog like a smokestack and it was self propelled too. I guess over the years it had slowed down and he decided to restore it to it’s former, speedier glory. Unfortunately, he neglected to take into account that he himself, had also slowed down over the years and was therefore unlikely to be able to keep up with said former glory.
Mum and I were having a happy time, chatting and drinking tea, admiring the garden from French windows and enjoying the gentle call of blackbirds and thrush in the early morning. The look we exchanged when we heard the budugh-budugh-budugh of the mower starting up was one of eye rolling irritation accompanied by a sigh of loss that accompanies the putting on of a biscuit tin lid or the receipt of a “gift” from a cat. All irritation was swept away however when – gloriously – the mower SHOT across the lawn in front of us trailed desperately by a man in huge wellington boots (5 sizes too big but were cheap enough to make him overlook that fact). Veins bulged, eyes popped, fingers clung desperately to the bar as he swiped in vain at the off button. His strides grew impossibly long until the inevitable happened and the mower broke free of it’s human shackles and made a bid for freedom! It nearly made it. Almost. Had there not been an enormous pile of horse “fertilizer” it would have been free but it was thwarted at the last hurdle. It plowed into the heap at considerable speed and buried itself in the centre of the pile. After few moments of fetid coughing it admitted defeat and breathed it’s last.
We never spoke of it again. Until now. It’s nice to pack these effulgent memories away for a rainy day isn’t it?
One more thing – this week a friend, Anne, was presented with a lovely gift and effusive thanks by a very grateful lady. Anne is completely unaware of who this lady is and what she did to help her. Isn’t it wonderful that we can do something important enough to earn someone’s gratitude without even knowing it? So thank you to all who go about their business, being themselves, whatever that may involve – you just never know when you’re giving someone a luminous memory for a dark time.