Queen’s Birthday Holiday

This is a delayed journal entry.

The second day of fine(ish) weather after the great storms of the previous two days.  Like many others in Sydney, I guess, I did some washing and hung the clothes out to dry.

PP, an old friend who now lives in Melbourne, came round in the afternoon.  I would have proposed a walk in the sun but she had already been for a half-hour stroll with her mother that had stretched to 2 1/2 hours.  PP is an old friend of J, whom I first met when I shared a house with J in Lewisham in 1984.  Actually, I think she knew of me a bit earlier than that, because we went to brother/sister schools, but she is a few years younger than I so I wasn’t really aware of her then. 

As old friends do, we talked about a lot of things.  Recently, PP has a new “boyfriend” (we’re all getting on a bit for that).  She had known him before for some years, but one or other of them had always been involved with somebody else.  Finally they were both “free” and something happened.  Last November she travelled to Germany, where he lives, and has only recently returned.  She has returned because there is a limit to how long she can keep her life in suspended animation while she is in Germany (where she cannot work and scarcely speaks the language), and she had work and other commitments (principally debts) to return to here. 

In the evening, D and I went for dinner at E and R’s place. They are J’s parents.  E was my high school music teacher and our connexion has continued in many ways since then.  I knew J through E.

On the way, I dropped off an (overdue) book at Fisher Library.  I was surprised how many other cars were driving through the campus at this hour on a public holiday.  After I put the books in the chute, we listened for a short time to the carillon.  It was slightly gothick (and not just neo-gothic) to look up at the single lighted room in the clock tower where I knew the carillonist was playing.

Originally, we had planned to eat out, but R did his back in in the morning, so we took some takeaway food to their house (as well as flowers and wine).  E has just had shoulder surgery.  She had been relying on R to shoulder the burden of household tasks, but now they are both hors de combat. D very constructively did a bit of washing up for them after dinner and we also took the garbage out with us as we left.

With old friends of mine like PP, E and R, D has a little track of turning the topic of conversation around to me.  I think he thinks he can enlist my friends’ support for whatever point he wishes to make.  I don’t always find these conversations very comfortable.

After dinner (which was pretty early) we went home. The big achievement of the evening was that I “fixed” our gas heater by the simple expedient of connecting it properly to the bayonet fitting, from which it had become disconnected.  I wonder how much gas had been leaking out into the room  before that.  It is possible that we are lucky not to have blown ourselves up. 

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