Saturday, 13 July 2013

I am not sure I like weekends

It is late Saturday afternoon as I write, while listening to a CD of John McCormack singing Irish songs. Allowing for the age of the recording, it comes up rather well.  I bought the CD thinking to send it to my sister in hospital, but from talking to my other sisters, I think that she would be ubable to play it without someone else helping her. So I sent her chocolates instead. It is her birthday tomorrow.

On Saturday mornings I go to the produce market and buy sour dough bread, fruit and vegetables and flowers. Usually it does not take long - the worst thing is the Saturday morning traffic and finding a parking spot. This market is open each Saturday, sunshine or rain. The flowers are cheaper and better than at the florist's or the supermarket. Before moving to Sydney I never bought flowers, as I grew my own and managed to have something, however small, to pick for most of the year round. But after moving here, to a house with a very limited space, I started buying flowers. Dr P, who had little aesthetic sensibility, did not think much of my buying flowers (and his daughters commented adversely in their affidavits about this extravagance) but I took no notice. And I continue to buy flowers - lilies, in particular, and alstroemerias, and they give me great pleasure.

As quinces are still available I bought some more, which means that more quince jelly must be made, and given away. Making jam gives me pleasure, and occupies the time. The cumquat trees, which for years gave me enough fruit for cumquat marmalade, have now been chopped down. Luxury apartments are to be erected on the site. There are still some frozen cumquats to be used, and while walking around the neighbourhood I have noticed a couple of places with large cumquat trees, so I am contemplating dropping off a letter to them to ask whether they might be prepared to let me have some of the fruit. All they can say is Yes or No.

That the bread stall and the flower stall knows what I buy,  that the local cafe remembers how I like my occasional cappucino, that the sushi bar remembers my preference, and that the patisserie remembers my liking for spinach, that the pharmacy, the bank and the post office staff know me, all these give me some pleasure. Although alone, I am not absolutely anonymous. Little human interactions, in themselves of no great importance, do make a difference.

The woman two doors away with the two black scotties said hello this morning. First time ever! But there is silence in the neighbouring house across the lane, and no lights. The old lady is about 97. Although I have met her a few times, she never remembered me - too old, and eyesight too bad. The last time I spoke to her daughter, who called to see her each Saturday morning, she said her mother was failing.  The car left just as I got back from the market, so it was not possible to enquire. Perhaps she has had to go to hospital or a nursing home - or perhaps she has died.

Weekends tend to make me feel rather morbid.


Pam said...

Oh dear! I hope the morbid mood has passed.

Jayview said...

Like you, I love the little everyday interactions with folk in my local shops. Looking out for ones neighbours seems important too - if harder in our cool impersonal cities!