Friday, 10 August 2012

The prodigal glasses

In a response to a comment last week, I promised to tell you the story of the Prodigal Glasses. These are (and nearly were as we shall see) my dark glasses which, following the various operations I have had on my eyes, are the ones I am supposed to use for driving.

We were very lucky when we moved: after months of dreary rain and grey cloud we had a few days when the sun was shining and it was hot and hot. There is room for one car in the garage and another just outside but the garage was full of boxes and so my car was parked in a car park some distance from the house. Although very little happens to cars so parked in this neck of the woods, it is not an ideal situation so I was hard at work on those boxes. The result was (as always) masses of tissue paper, newspaper and cardboard (all recyclable) as well as bubble wrap (which is not). All this packaging was being sorted and stuffed into bags as I emptied the boxes and Marcia was finding suitable homes for the stuff that was coming out. I use that word 'stuff' quite deliberately as so much that one accumulates over the years really is utterly pointless but, usually for sentimental reasons, cannot be just given away.

Anyway, lunchtime Friday and really no time yet to get organised food wise so over to the pub for lunch. Brilliant sunshine so both wearing dark glasses. Return from pub and carry on unpacking. Reach the point where Marcia can get her car into said garage and I prepare to walk over and fetch mine. No dark glasses. Search everywhere, telephone the pub (no sign) and use ordinary specs to fetch car.

As I am due for another eye test soon (17 August to be exact) it seemed rather silly to panic and so I decided to just cope without until then.

Fast forward to early evening on the following Saturday and Marcia and I are carrying four bags of recyclable rubbish to the skips in the car park. Three have been emptied and we are working on the fourth. Marcia is holding the bag open and I am bundling the contents into the skip's 'letter box' when suddenly there is a clatter as one pair of dark spectacles fall down, bounce off the skip and land at my feet.

No fatted lamb but I was very pleased to see them again. Must be more careful in future!!!

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Two nice packages received this week. One was from Transworld with a copy of the bound uncorrected proof copy of the next book: these are produced for distribution to the various publications that carry book reviews. Thought you might like to see the cover.

Then we received a card from our old friend Pam Goddard. Pam is one of those people who Marcia loves to write about: people who can paint and have something special on top of that talent – humour in Pam's case. She also has huge empathy with the creative process and helped Marcia with the way in which Aunt Em (in The Way We Were) worked.

Whenever Pam writes to Marcia she does so on a card that she has painted. The story behind this one is that Pam has recently become a grandmother and Marcia saw the most delightful dog hand puppet – on of those that take you hand and arm up to the elbow – which she thought Pam might like to use to entertain her grandson. Pam has given this dog the name 'bracken' and here he is, on Dartmoor, dutifully looking after his sheep and bearing a present for Marcia – a bone. The painting is, of course, signed – bottom right hand corner – 'Em'.

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Marcia was at Chagford library meeting some of her readers there the other day and met up with Emmanuelle, a French reader who lived for a while in Chagford and often pops back to visit. They have been in contact by email for many years but this was the first time they had met.