Painter departed yesterday; house empty except for me and beloved, first time in ages. Come across grand-daughterly Easter baskets (paper and wonky) and feel a little sad in a grandmotherly kind of way. Cloudy without, which fits melancholy. Beloved has gone to see a lawyer about the attic woman's future - means I have the house to myself, briefly, though handsome from Blackburn is due any minute.
May, of course, is not April; in my family that cruellest month of death and birth, rubbing it in. Deaths of mother and twin (5th and 11th). Birth of daughter (2nd) and now twin sister's first grandson (9th). Am off to London for 4 days tomorrow to meet the latter, with feelings of grief, uncertainty, delight - name all the contradictions they are there. At same time to see decrepit ancient, my dad, who shouldn't be alive at all, doesn't want to be, but medicine calls the shots here and medicine says pump in the anti-biotics, keep em alive. But at least they keep my dad at his own expense, on his income, which is more than can be said for many. In which case the Civil Service is the loser. (And us, come to think of it, in the end.) I love my dad - reluctantly - we have seemingly little in common, apart from obstinacy and shared histories. Awful as it is to wish him dead I do, I do. Each time he is weaker, more shrivelled, more ashen, deafer a sadder phantom. But each time, still, he lives. Lives only to watch, by choice, the young and active on TV in various sporting events..... And then, this time, the baby, just beyond, I expect, that pre-warning of the ancient look, the newborn baby.
Yesterday, our land was scented by flowers. Wind blowing - foretaste of Trade Winds perhaps. I nipped into our little local hole in the wall shop to buy onions; two other customers were in there, all three - shopkeeper, buyers - yakking away. They stopped when I came in, shopkeeper half smiled, broke off from finding bits of this and that for the first customer, asked what I wanted and produced my onions. The talk broke out again as I departed. What it is to be an outsider. Dialect Canarian Spanish doesn't help...At the same time I have this visceral knowledge of and feeling for my bit of land; more/less connection than anywhere else, ever.
The prickly pears are covered in flowers (and, on their prickly leaves, the little chalky excrements of cocnineal beetles.) Some are waxy yellow instead of waxy orange.
The shrikes continue to argue. There's clearly a nest over the wall.
Will it rain today? Or is it just gloomy.... I have a lot of washing to dry. Clean knickers needed for tomorrow..