Sunday, May 22, 2016

RIP ...

Good old John Donne ("Dunnybrush" to his friends) wrote quite a bit about mortality - part of the job description I guess, what with him being a metaphysical and all - but somehow he never got around to writing about the huge hole it leaves in your life when you see your dog lying dead on the slab, with the last few dribbles of blood coughed up from his lungs in pools on the stainless steel, and there's not a fucking thing you can do about it. Can't think why - never trust a bloody poet, they always take liberties with the truth and put it down to "poetic licence". Whatever, I need to go clean out the car.

Give it time, it'll scab over, but right now it hurts like hell going downstairs in the moaning to take the dogs for their walk and realising in my sleepy mind that there's only one of them now, and that I'm not going to get a friendly leap and a slobber from the big hairy one. Come to that, it also hurts like hell in the evenings, and also at unexpected times during the day: generally speaking, it hurts a lot. Doesn't seem fair, really.

And I'm angry too: angry with him for being so stupid and getting himself killed; angry with the driver that killed him and didn't even have the decency to stop; and angry just on general principles because there was nothing I could do.

Shaun, you great stupid hairy lovable lump, we had hoped to have you around a lot longer, and miss you more than I have words to say. Goodbye, my friend.

Taking my mind off that for a while, we finally got around, a few weeks ago, to buying some halfway decent outside furniture for the terrace here at The Shamblings™, and having better things to do today and no particular inclination to do them I went out and started oiling the wood. I can totally see why people do this once, just to show willing, and then stump off inside muttering something along the lines of "sod it, we'll just buy new stuff next summer". Because quite frankly, it is an insanely boring job.

Still, I live in hope that an iceberg will arrive in Moux, for our wooden deckchairs are all lined up, freshly oiled and waiting on the terrace, ready for just such an eventuality.

It also means that the rather distressed plastic table and chairs that we inherited with the house can be thrown over the balcony, loaded into a car and be driven off to be loosed in the wild - more precisely, to roam the slopes of Old Hélène's bit of pinède over by Ferrals. I think they'll be happy there.

Did I mention that, amongst other things, there are the first blueberries at the market? I am feeble and infirm of purpose when it comes to such things, which means it became a moral imperative to buy some, which means this! I don't think you'll be disappointed, even though with the amount I bought I had to double the recipe and then bake two batches, just to get rid of them.

It's a lesson you'd think I'd've learnt a long while back, but somehow I always wind up forgetting: never, ever, under any circumstances, volunteer the information that you are "in computers". And when asked point-blank exactly what it is you do, far better to say that you're a sex worker specialising in goats or something and look a bit ashamed, and mumble some excuse about the sores.

To date I have located and installed a very light-weight Linux distro for old Nev, who stubbornly refuses to buy a computer worthy of the name and prefers to use a twelve year-old laptop with an 80386 inside on the grounds that like that he is refusing to be oppressed by the system, and is somehow sticking it to The Man: I have been accosted by John, who installed a copy of AVG on an ancient desktop system still running XP for the simple reason that he has an eight year-old copy of Adobe Creative Suite running on it, only to discover that after deinstalling it the mouse no longer worked properly: only yesterday I went past Rick and Mary's to set up the remote control for their automatic garage doors.

Mind you, it's probably even worse if you happen to be a plumber, or an electrician. They're the sullen taciturn ones at parties, drinking a lot and hovering by the door so that they can be off at short notice should someone come up to ask what line of work they're in.

Still, it's usually good for a drink or two of a Friday afternoon, when those who feel like it meet up at the bar. It's getting to be quite lively these days, and we seem to have managed to avoid driving away the natives. For me it's a good way to mark the end of the week: close the office, leave the phone at home (on the grounds that there's no point taking it with me, as there's no signal to speak of in the bar), and wind down a bit.

Anyway, dinner seems unlikely to get itself ready so I suppose I'd better let you resume normal lives and go give it a hand. Normal service will be resumed.

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