Monday, 24 November 2008


I wouldn’t normally write about a day like today. It’s wet, grey and I’m sitting in an unpleasant shopping centre drinking unpleasant coffee looking out of the window at an unpleasant urban-scape comprising a vast car park a McDonalds drive in and a strip of shops offering tyres, shoes and fitted kitchens.

I’m killing time waiting for my car to be refitted, rebalanced, and probably replaced with something that I didn’t know I needed. It’s a Monday morning as well.

The weird thing is that this morning, at 5.45am the day, though it was still night, offered so much promise. The sky was bleak-mid-winter clear, the moon a silvery slice low in the east and so bright the rest of the hidden moon was almost visible. The stars were thousands and piercingly clear.

I’ve walked around the supermarket and bought a dish to make lasagne in, taking my time to open a packet of the pasta and try it for size in each of the displayed Pyrex forms. I found a perfect fit for a three by three lasagne. I checked out the Christmas DVD selections and hesitated over season 4 of Lost that Minnie has requested and added a selection of halogen light bulbs for the kitchen hoping that at least one will be the correct size.

And still the garage hasn’t rung me to see the car is ready. Later I will go into the centre and take a photo of the sign announcing the Harmonica course.

The last place that I would expect to find a poster advertising the services of a harmonica teacher who lives in Toulouse is the window of a butcher’s shop in Gaillac, almost 60 miles due west.

The man in the butcher’s shop was very kind; he knew immediately that I was there for more information and not a lamb chop and lent me his pencil so that I could write down the phone number. He was unable though to offer any further understanding of why the “ex champion of France” was seeking students so far from home and principally among carnivores.

The French don’t seem to take publicity very seriously, except on the television. Posters and handouts for events are usually graphically obese and far from eye catching. This doesn’t stop audiences arriving so obviously another factor of which I am ignorant is at work.

So a pretty exciting day all told, I should have walked the other way from the garage as then I could have bought a newspaper. I should have bought my umbrella too as now I have to walk through the rain just to get out of this dump.

I went back to the garage, an hour and a half after leaving the car, they hadn’t even moved it from where I had badly parked it in front of the doors before they had opened, so went and dispirited I continued on through the rain to the centre.

I stopped at the new cinema and checked out the movies, the only film I want to see, a winner of an award at Sundance and in English isn’t on until 3pm and if the car isn’t ready way before that I will be in no state to sit and relax in a darkened room.

I continued to the newspaper shop and am now in the second café of the day, mainly because my bladder is bursting from the hour spent in the first.

This time I have chosen the herb tea.


Dave said...

...and suddenly! (What happened next?)

popps said...

see part two!

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