Thursday, May 19, 2022


Remembered from a few years ago in Spring, and elsewhere: A pot of tea, the courtyard under the overhang, a fresh tin of tobacco, and a quiet afternoon playing hooky.
With a dense book about geology.
Contrast this with an ideal afternoon in an imaginary universe: Malcolm silently closed the library doors behind him, opened the French doors to the terrace, and slid the volumes of the encyclopedia forward to reach behind for the sherry. Along with the dizzy romance novel, the new tin of pipe tobacco, and the pot of tea, he had everything to avoid Mrs. Beezle and her fierce housekeeping for several hours. The sound of cricket practice at the boys reformatory was faintly audible from a long way off.
Today's plans: Head over to C'town with pipe and pouch sometime in the afternoon. Avoid tourists while smoking, following milk tea at a bakery where they never go. Quietly bellyache to myself about the maltreatment old trouts with pipes receive from the modern age, with its limitations on indoor enjoyment of tobacco with a cup and book.

As you might expect, I am sitting with a pipe and hot beverage right now. Because this place needs to air out before the other person who lives here returns home (her bedroom door is closed), this comfy situation cannot continue much past noon.

The most significant change over the past few decades is that smoking my pipe in the afternoon is no longer accompanied by tea, a book, and a suitable place to sit down.
Over the years I've become less attuned to climactic conditions, whereas in my teenage years the weather did not phase me. Nowadays, an indoor environment and creature comforts appeal slightly more. And I resent not having that choice.

The painting above is the Malpie Fen area south of town, vicinity of the Saint Benedict Abbey (Achelse Kluis), near the Belgian border. Teeming with wildlife. Including, unregretted, mosquitoes, gnats, and other bugs. The Dommel river runs through it.
I am not a bird, so I do not miss the bugs.

It rained there more often than here.

Thanks to the internet, despite living in San Francisco, I am not that far away.

NOTE: Readers may contact me directly:
All correspondence will be kept in confidence.

No comments:

Search This Blog


Some people eat it for breakfast, and there's even coffee flavoured with it. Ronald, who passed away years ago, once bought a tonne of i...