One cannot be living the appropriate life style when a “lie-in” until 10.30 am means that you have extended your time in bed by four hours when compared with a normal start!
As is usual in this canine bedevilled area the luxury of a lie-in is always tempered by the moronic mewling of the mongrels with which we are surrounded. The crippled dog next door (not my fault I hasten to add, but if thoughts were followed by deeds then . . .) is as regular as an alarm clock. It is one advantage to getting up early for school that I miss his aurora arousal of yaps (every second on the second) during the working week, but I am gifted his one trick performance when ever I get the chance to disregard the terminally irritating 6.30 melody which welcomes the start of each working day.
We are trying, and failing, to treat the barking which which we are surrounded like the ticking of a clock – something which the brain should be able to edit out of normal life. Unfortunately, although their repertoire is severely limited, the various members of the chorus have their own particular howl, yelp, bark or scream and they do not (except at times of chaotic pandemonium) all perform at once.
It takes a Dracula to find the beauty in the howling of wolves, but even I can see a sort of majesty in the combined wail of a troupe of wolves compared to the Fred Karno’s Army of dog doggerel that assaults our ears during a normal day.
One almost wishes for the Transylvanian Count to pay a visit to our neighbourhood to slake his thirst on the various rat creatures confined bodily but not aurally by their uncaring human jailers. Though thinking about it I am not sure that an unholy horde of vampire rat-dogs would be an improvement on the present degenerate crew. Thinking about it again, vampires do not eat and drink, so at least there would be diminution in the unbelievable quantity of dog shit which graces our pavements!
In an uncharacteristic moment I decided to wash the car. Admittedly I have gone through the last few months telling myself that a dusty car covered with bird droppings and lumps of congealed pine resin was a sure-fire way of ensuring the safety of a vehicle; a turn of for thieves.
However, there is a limit before designer dirt on a car becomes simply filth – and I think that limit has been reached.
I have broken two nails trying to get the pine resin off; I will have to use something more like a solvent rather than the wash-and-wax liquid that I used to clean the car – or rather I will speculate about what might get the resin off while I gently allow the car to resume its protective covering of dust, pollen, sand and the other accretions that a car accumulates.
At the end of my admittedly cursory cleaning of the car I decided to sit outside and continue listening to the internet radio (Pure – the new one) which continued to work in the garden and provided the traditional Radio 4 accompaniment to such a mundane chore of car washing.
I realize that my reaction to noise must seem to be verging on the paranoid but sitting with me in the garden after cleaning would have shown the full horror of al fresco listening.
The dog next door was barking; the dog in the flats opposite was barking; the dogs next door but one were screaming; a distant dog barked basso profundo; a child was yelling with a shouting father; a birthday party was being conducted in flats adjacent to us – the only thing we didn’t have was a bloody jet flying over! Sitting next to the radio which was on a shelf at ear level I couldn’t hear the commentary because of the ambient sound! God rot the lot of them!
Meanwhile, as if my troubles were not enough, Barça have crawled back from being a goal down to a draw at a crucial point in the season with Real Madrid huffing and puffing in the background. (Barça eventually won 3-1) Thanks to the demands of the league, King’s Cup and the Champions League, Barça and Real Madrid are going to play each other three times in the next few weeks. The tension is going to be unbearable!
I have now read four of the Brandstetter novels by Joseph Hansen: “Fadeout”, “Death Claims”, “Troublemaker”, “The Man Everyone Was Afraid Of”. I have been warned by Stewart (on the advice of his mother, though not I suspect in relation to these particular novels) not to read them all at once. I will therefore apply a self-denying ordinance and put the volume containing all twelve of the books aside to be placed in the case for Gran Canaria. This leaves a novel a day for the holiday. We shall see.
Toni is by no means well. He does appear to be a little more healthy today but he is nowhere near 100% but the idea of a holiday is keeping him going too.
And my examinations are all marked and results are in the computer. I am prepared for all the unexpected things that the last week of this interminable term might have to throw at me. Fond hope!