Am feeling a smidgeon sympathetic for all my kin on Mud Island. The lords of dark sea and sky have locked and banished merry weather. When asked how they are, their voices seem to emanate from the depths of duvets complete with a lustreless thud like a stone landing in old oil drum when they ask about me. Taking to someone wearing sandals when they are bloodless, is cruel.
I can sense the hollowness of hope as February always, always drags from our spirits the very last drop of colour in England.
So I tell them how bloody hot it is here. Hot! Hot! Hot and awful. Wind howling like a proverbial dustball of ‘Grapes of Wrath’ calibre – remember the scene where she sweeps and the sand builds on the linonium floor, and she sweeps … if I remember correctly she simply walks out into the dust storm never to be seen again.
I tell them. They know I’m trying too hard. No reply. Perhaps the two hour time difference on a Saturday morning was not a good idea.
So I tell them about the lack of water, the iffy neighbours. The painter who began sulking with the first brush stroke and talks of wanting more money. That I am so lonely at night and miss them. Miss the mothership.
My children are mute in their indifference to my being so far away. I am in sandals.
And I am. For another month I am setting up my house in the Cape for tenants. For real this time. The past year (who like Voldemort I will not mention by name, but call it the ‘shotintheface’ year) all I could plead was temporary insanity. And it was, trying to live there, be here, go thence and get rent from one place, or was it two, mommy’s stuff, my stuff, stuff packed on top of stuff – it was shit. It was letting our house to anyone, grateful for crumbs, apologising for absolutely anything – why do we do that!
Have never been. Never been a landlord, a knower of rental agreements where I am the Lessor (hate that word), inventory taker, Shylock bill collector and tough dame. My title of Martyr and professional weeper of all – needs changing. No more, woe, what the f … or stop the world … so may I present, until the wheels come off again.
Looks nothing like it but liked the picture. Ours is better but no picture
Madam the commuter: Will work for airfares. A millions miles behind one mile towards ticket and may have to wait a decade or so to get the globe trotting thing sorted.
Madam the negotiator of maintenance: Tried professionalism, then aloofness and then begged.
Madam the handy person: True, I had my bikini on (horrific sight) to sand a plank. The plank is part of a small gate, I have proceeded no further than the plank. Did get a little bit of a tan.
Madam the deal maker: Extra glass of wine for you tonight lassie. You have tenants, swallows next December. The fact that you cannot come out for December now and will be in London in February is to be faced later and that they wanted a sun lounger in your non existent garden – but you were not phased, is admirable. Just need to find tenants for the months in between. Where is The A Team when you need them?
Madam the migrant: This new lifestyle means that I am a swallow myself, albeit a little brain damaged as I am flying to the winter but new business woman is launching – Axelrod, I hear you. Have already let out my flat in London for the tennis so if anyone has a room … thanks.
Madam the play play house person: Rather than live in my little house (which I suspect everyone wants me to on a permanent basis) I have the fun of playing for a few months. But, like a good girl, I have to pack up all my personal stuff before leaving – the toy box is slightly larger than most.
Madam to a be an earner on steroids. To earn, to learn.
Madam say goodbye to a regular life: What was that anyway, I forget. No, not really, it was great, but it is over.
In this Silver Street part of my life, where the special street is full of open and closed doors, for me, no matter how beautiful the weather, perfect the little home, ideal the circumstances – all pales when family are not close by.
My family will live on two different continents, as many of yours do, and I plan to be close.
They may despair and I can hear the sighs but the problem of Madam is madam’s tapestry to sew.
Think I may retire in the little house, or Paris … or a little villa in Italy.
To London and the Daffodils xxx