I had nothing on my plate yesterday afternoon – I had skipped lunch – so about 4:00 pm I decided to do something novel. I grabbed my copy of Jasper Fforde’s ‘The Eyre Affair’ – I just had to read it before Next, Thursday! Just to aid in the vowel balancing act, I grabbed a beer to go with the book.
I went outside to my front porch and sat facing north-west. I knew the exact direction because I was only 20 feet from the weather-vane my oldest son had given me when his family came to visit us at Thanksgiving. I had bought a six-pack of some new German beer – it was called Sapphire – made by Beck’s. I immediately thought of Amos and Andy.
Then I started to read the book – at page 302. No, I mean I started it at page 1, back in September 2012, but had left off at page 301 a few weeks ago. I am notoriously slow at reading anything written in English – but with anything written in any other language, I come to a grinding halt – so I take solace in that. It is a gripping novel, which was a little disconcerting as it impeded my efforts to lift my beer glass. The beer had been bought ‘off the floor’ only an hour or so before – so had not yet cooled to its optimum temperature. I let the novel have its way – for 6 more pages over the course of the next half an hour – before loosening its grip on me.
By that time, the stiff breeze that blew from the WSW – I am so thankful for that weather vane - had caused the beer to chill a few more degrees to where it now had that little crispness it was lacking at page 302. It wasn’t a cold day, maybe 54 Fahrenheit; I’ll let you Celsius-lovers adjust your algebras – and any other undergarments you need to loosen - just very breezy. My son’s Thanksgiving gift was not to be in vain! I tried to assess just how breezy it was by trying to count how many revolutions per minute were made by those little cups on its anemometer. Not even the Bolshevics, the French or the Americans had revolutions as fast or furious as those blydi little cups! My head became dizzy watching them furiously whirring around. I think I could feel the heat they had generated on the vane’s axis.
No wait! Maybe the dizziness was from that beer I had been sipping, and I was not sure whether the heat I felt squarely on my left cheek was from that vane, or from the sun (you deduce the direction) which was at an elevation of about 20 degrees – neither F nor C this time – but above the horizontal.
There had been the odd fluttering of small birds seeking the spillage from my birdfeeder in the plum tree – also to my left. It was a pleasant late afternoon but the sun would set in an hour or so; it was already beginning to dodge between the chimney stacks on the houses across the cul-de-sac.
I decided to venture back indoors before the less fortunate, those still having to work for a living, began their mad homeward 40-mph dash down the subdivision street in front of me - as I wished the 25 mph speed sign would jump in front of them, before some ball-chasing-child would be involved a ‘day-, no a ‘life-spoiling’ calamity. There are no roses in bloom yet for you to small folks, but please SLOW DOWN !!