oh, well, whatever . . .

lathering a dusty moose

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Some time today three part-worn car tyres on grubby black steel rims took up residence on the gravel beneath Hugo’s railings. They do not look to me like Mercedes wheels, and I therefore assume they are not for the Alligator. I suspect it may be a long time before Hugo discovers their true purpose.

I rang Hermann Evans today and made an appointment to see him at his home next week. He was very upbeat and positive, I thought, and there were no signs at all that he is contrite or feels he has an apology to make. I am therefore anticipating that he will be thinking in German for most of our interview.

When I got home I had a pizza for tea and sat for a while in the conservatory watching De Kooning sitting on the hut roof surveying the Citadel site. I had a cappuccino and listened to the news on Radio 4. Gordon has been entertaining George today, although in reality the reverse process seems more likely to have occurred. Gordon is not a great entertainer. George on the other hand is little more than that, although he is of course famously self-deluding and dangerous, the kind of chump who makes anyone who stands next to him look just as big a chump. Today it was Gordon’s turn, although like Tony this is not an area with which he has ever needed very much help.

There was some paw print evidence along the conservatory windowsill that it has been another dusty day.  I went out into the garden to see how the flowers were doing. Hugo was out. He had a bucket of steaming soap suds and a pale blue white-bristled brush in his hand. He was washing his moose. After he’d thoroughly lathered it down he took each of the three mallards and dipped them into the bucket too, giving them a quick once over with the pale blue brush too. He put them in a row at the moose’s feet and then took the heron and dipped it head first into the foam and gave its flanks a brisk brush. He stood the heron on the lawn next to the ducks. Splodges of white foam slid off the whole menagerie and melted into the grass. Hugo emptied the bucket and then turned on his hose and rinsed them all. He put the wildfowl back in their places beside the pond, ensuring the heron struck almost exactly the same truculent attitude as before. He then took a chamois leather and wiped down the moose from antler to hoof, wringing out the leather from time to time to ensure the huge plastic ungulate was thoroughly dried and had no discernible streaks. I wondered if he would now wax and polish the creature. He didn’t. He just stood back for a moment or two to check that it was once again free from all grime and pristine and then he went to find his hammer. A few minutes later I heard the thuds as he began to give the Alligator its usual evening pounding.

De Kooning had watched Hugo lathering his flock from his high perch on the hut roof. Once Hugo had finished he jumped down and ran across to me, tail in the air. He looked up at me and chirruped. He was hungry and had seen enough for one night.  I picked him up and took him in for a plate of fresh prawns. Later I had another cappuccino and read some chapters from a history of Scottish art. I’ve become quite an admirer of Henry Raeburn of late, for some odd reason. Earlier this year I was in the Scottish National Gallery in Edinburgh and looking at his portraits again I was suddenly caught by their subtle magic for the very first time. It’s strange isn’t it how art, like many other things in life, can sometimes go straight over your head and you somehow just don’t get it, but once you do it casts a spell on you that can never be broken.

Margaret’s teeth are a little better today. She’s taking tomorrow morning off work to join the Citizens on the mass trespass. Her Timberland boots have reappeared in the hall, I noticed, and wait dutifully between two pairs of Turkish mules, each made of iridescent silk, one pair green like the Mediterranean Sea, the other a shimmering fiery pink. I’m assuming that for the trespass it’s the Timberlands she’ll be wearing, although I’ll be more than happy if I’m proven wrong.


Written by yammering

June 17, 2008 at 4:04 pm

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