Monday 29 June 2009

My Aunt and Bruce Springsteen

I’m not sure that I should rely on my aunt, Ivy, as a source of information about Glastonbury Festival but it was her who told me that Bruce Springsteen had been fined for playing past midnight this weekend.

As he is legendary for playing long sets the “past midnight” fact seems possible but would he be fined? And if so, how much? And would he pay or leave the authorities to chase him to New Jersey?

As a piece of information it does fuel a certain idea of British pettiness that might still exists but even so………..

Ivy, who keeps a loaded water pistol in her sitting room in case the neighbour’s cat enters her garden, is famous in our family for leaving her Lifesaver (an alarm system that she can carry that links her directly to a paramedic) in the kitchen cabinet when she goes to bed.

She lives alone in Eastbourne, England and one of the worries i have about living in France is that I will wake up one morning to see her as a headline in the Sun newspaper – Family Abandon Mad Aunt For Southern Sun, or something like that.

When she was a younger woman, living alone with my grandmother, she exited from her house to make a phone call from the public cabin down the road only for a group of, frankly very clever youths, to wrap rope around the telephone box and tie a big knot – thus trapping her and forcing her to phone the emergency services for release.

This intimate relationship with the rescue services continues to this day, usually in the middle of the night when she is unable to locate the light switch.

She also informs me that it is very hot in England at the moment.

I suggested that she sleep with the window open.

“Oh no, I don’t do that.”

“ I realize that aunty, but try it.”

“No, I haven’t done that since I first arrived here.” (About 23 years ago)

“Why not?”

“One night a moth flew into my ear”

It seems petty to blame one moth for twenty three years of airless summer nights , but maybe that’s how it is in England.

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