Thursday, November 11, 2010

The week’s wrap-up

What day is it? So much to do each day that I usually  fall asleep as soon as I get to bed. Everything (except the piano) has now been moved into the villa, and has been unpacked into its new position. OK, so I have a few dozen boxes of books to shelve but that’s easy work once I’ve agonised over which room which bookcase goes into and which subject matter lives in which room. I’ve moved some of these books around the world so many times I’ve thought of retitling this blog The Gypsy Librarian, especially since El Bibliotecario y El Lobo just doesn’t roll off the tongue.

Up at the big house they’ve been having a big week replacing most of the crappy old windows and doors with new ones that are double-glazed and properly sealed. They’ve had the shutters closed for a month just to keep the heat in. Now there’s this transparent glass stuff that you can see through for proper neighbour stalking…. but that stalking works both ways, as I found when looking through Jean’s Flickr stream, where she’d captured the scene of all three dogs intercepting me in the driveway

 Michael Doolittle conversing with Smeggs, Munson & Tosca

Yesterday phone and internet were laid on (yay!) . I was a bit grumpy in the morning when the technician booked for 8-10am failed to show. Around 1pm I reached someone at Orange ( French Telecom ) to find out what was happening. The customer service guy was rather hilarious: “This is France, what do you expect? …. What are we going to do?”. I don’t think his second question was rhetorical. Later I wondered if this was a script to placate silly foreigners, but I have enough problems with English language phone support to chase that thought further… Fortunately the technician drove up to the house at exactly that point so questions of rhetoric could be put aside.


The late afternoon was spent slicing up and folding the plastic wrap my furniture had been bound in for four months so I could stuff it in the car and take it to the déchèterie (waste/recycling centre). Although I’d packed the rear and front passenger seats to the ceiling, Munson still managed to crawl in and cocoon himself in the wrapping. He seemed really happy to be there.

IMG_0055 IMG_0057

Ending on a sombre note:  I hope these pictures of Munson provide a scrap of cheer for my friend Julian in Copenhagen, with whom Bondi and I stayed toward the end of our European loop in 2007. His lovely dog Cindy passed today – he writes:

No price can be placed on such devotion, no label attached, it is private and personal, to be cherished and appreciated. I can only hope that I did what was best for her.

Looking up from where I write now, I see Bondi’s ashes on the mantle over the fireplace, beside one of my father’s swimming trophies. There are almost certainly a few of his hairs floating out of the bottom of my sofas and packing boxes. Even more certainly, there is no way of stopping the right one from squeezing in through all the detritus and making themselves comfortable in your heart.

Ah ... let the right one slip in
Slip in
Slip in
And when at last it does
I'd say you were within your rights to bite
The right one and say, "what kept you so long ?"
"What kept you so long ?"
Oh ...

- Morrissey, Let the right one slip in


  1. Anonymous7:22 am

    Those Munson in the wrapping shots are hilarious! I wish I'd had a go lazing in the bubble wrap, too.

  2. We are sorry for your friend's loss -

    It is tough to lose a furiend -