Monday, 16 June 2014


I have just returned from a visit with my parents. As is usual on such a visit there was a medium sized list of things to do when I arrived. These included: cementing some steps, mending a fence, putting up two curtain rails and finding my father's emails. The next day we drove across the moors to visit my daughter in Leeds. As a child we often drove from west to east to visit my grandparents in Barnsley, then it seemed an immensely long journey. I remember their house as modest, green and smelling of lavender. It had a privet hedge and a stone bird bath at the front and at the rear a garden laid to stone with roses and a tree, furry like new antlers. The garden was the site of one of my earliest erotic dreams. There was a garage with a green double door against which my brother and I would kick a football. I have recently learnt that my Grandpa, as he was called, had had a whole chimney removed so that he could get his Jaguar down the drive.

This drive was made interesting by a discussion my parents had about Myrtle. Apparently she was not doing as well as she used to and had taken to turning circles in nearby fields. Difficult to awaken, she was often confused both as to whether it was day or night and to where she was supposed to be going. Myrtle is neither a relative, family friend, retainer, nor a pet, but a somewhat elderly satellite navigation device. She has recently been replaced by a rather educated man (as yet unnamed) but my parents still bring her along for rides.

Back home now I have begun planning for my visit to Cumbria. I have finally found a map that is neither too big nor too small and have placed stickers on the places I may visit. Some of the stickers have smiley faces, some sad. This is entirely coincidental.

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