Saturday, September 03, 2005

A Rescue Package arrives to tide me through.

It must have been way past 4 before I put the light out last night. But that didn't stop me from being up by 9.30 this morning, a Saturday morning but very much like every other morning of the past week in that the day stretches forward with nothing to do. I sometimes amaze myself by how little sleep I can get by on but unlike recent Nottingham days, getting up at that time, after relatively little sleep, my bloodstream clear of poisons this time, I was up and about without a hint of reluctance. Shortly after pulling on some clothes I arrived downstairs as fresh as a recently wilted daisy.

Look, I'm no longer a young man so there has been some deterioration - arriving downstairs as fresh as a daisy would have been totally unnatural!

I chatted to D and L about various things, including food poisoning brought on by eating foodstuffs way beyond their sell-by dates, while I made myself coffee and some toast with anchovy paste. Anchovettes anchovy paste is one of those 'foods from home' that many South Africans insist on buying as a reminder of home - L has lived here for over 20 years but to this day still keeps a few jars of it in the cupboard. It's also a foodstuff that has very specific instructions on how to store and consume it to prevent food poisoning. It wasn't the anchovy paste that got us talking about food poisoning, it was the discussion that reminded me of the unopened jar and got my taste buds tingling.

About half an hour later, I was standing outside in the sun, savouring my soggy little roll-up when the postman arrived. Britain may have lost most of its red telephone boxes, you never see red double-deckers outside of London where they seem to be dwindling in numbers, black taxis are covered in adverts, slowly changing their colours while becoming more and more diluted by sedan upstarts, but the little Royal Mail post van still rules the country lanes. Postman Pat must be proud.

'Alan, there's a parcel for you. A big one,' shouted L from the house.

Both Mike and James had asked for my postal address within the last few days and Mike had said that something rather large might arrive for me today so it wasn't totally unexpected. I went through to the study. Yes, it was large! I opened it immediately to be greeted with the following:    

Now, I’ve always known what a thoroughly splendid chap is our Mike and what a great conversationalist he is but I wasn’t quite aware of how carefully he has listened to me in the past. Soon after we met, I recall telling him that whenever I go on a long train journey or catch a plane, I always buy copies of The Spectator (in case you are wondering, I’m not a Tory supporter but The Spectator is full of excellent, often very witty, writing whereas The New Statesman is dry and dour), The Economist and Attitude. And, two weeks ago, when we were out with James and Michelle, we had a longish discussion about The New Yorker’s cartoons. So, using those publications as a core, he added more of what he knew I’d like.

Mike, you really are a star even if you do want to kill me off with Marlboros!


Blogger mike said...

Wow, that arrived quickly... they said "one to two working days" in the Post Office yesterday afternoon. Glad to be of service in this time of trial! Happy reading and happy chuffing!

(NB. It was all Michelle's idea originally; I merely stole a march on her. Keep watching that letterbox...)

3:27 pm  
Blogger Reluctant Nomad said...

It seems that Troubled Diva has become a reading must for the Nottingham (puff, puff) journalists. Just a few weeks ago you were thanked for the review of a deli that had first been mentioned on TD. Now I see that the (puff, puff) Evening Post's EG supplement gives the Magenta evening a good plug, just a week or so after it was mentioned on TD. Neither you nor I had heard of it before, so I'm sure that (puff, puff) they must have heard it from you. Puff, puff!

4:40 pm  
Blogger Ben said...

The Evening Post really is a terrible paper - but as long as it takes you back to happy days in Nottingham that's all that matters!

Cheers for the link.

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