That's the trouble when you make an arrangement for a day a few days ahead: you then realise you're simply waiting for it to arrive. It's what happened to this day we've just had, I'm sure of it, though heaven knows there can't be enough of my life left to waste any of it in such idle pursuit. As tomorrow is going to necessitate an early start (wait and find out why!) I was very aware of taking it easy at the start of today, sitting up in bed with my morning tea, Patrick Stewart reading Shakespeare sonnets on my phone while I read along from the book, taking my time getting up and dressing, not even appearing for breakfast until it was probably time for it to be over.
I spent a wet moment or two outside talking to two men with a cherry-picker at the end of my back garden; they were fixing a faulty connection on the telegraph pole that is itself faulty (well - hollow) and not fit to be climbed. The jolly man said he'd be fine climbing it, he was sure, but elfin safety (I like to think of it like that) wouldn't let him. And I spent a frustrating half hour wrestling with the blog site I've run on behalf of a Russian choir, Voskresenije, for the past 12 or so years; Blogger have changed the template and the controls seem to lose all the pages I had set up for the various tours and reviews. They've had to cancel this year's UK tour, but hope to get to Switzerland in January. Meanwhile Jurij, their conductor, the friend we met up with on our cruise, is at his dacha on Lake Lagoda - I see little films of him foraging for mushrooms and picking great buckets of fruit from his large garden and wonder why even Russia seems to have kinder summers than us!
My blip, of course, has only a tenuous connection with all this, in that it's an old wooden-framed glasshouse in the formal gardens at Benmore. It's still in complete use, and is full of beautiful flowers and stuff. I love it. We'd feared rain, but by the time we came down through the trees from the top of the hill in the Gardens the sun had come out and we spent some time sitting like old people on a bench just looking at it all. But there were too many people there for my liking - by this time it was well past closing time - and I couldn't help wondering when the English schools go back. My grandchildren in Edinburgh went back today, and the state schools here have been in for a couple of weeks already ...
So you see, I seem to be waiting - for tomorrow, for the holiday I hope to be able to take in a fortnight, for this blinking virus to become more ...ordinary ... for singing to be allowed again, for the next time I'll be able to see the children safely. Waiting, as Leonard Cohen has it, for the miracle to come ...
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