Thursday, April 8, 2010


Alone on the Edge for a few days, Mr. Signs having driven north to the annual Shrink conference. Even the cat seems to have disappeared, it being a proper spring-like day, the kind that draws her away on mysterious business. I have much to do, like Mrs. Pepperpot, thus called because she often shrank to the size of a Pepperpot and ordinary everyday tasks became a huge challenge. She knew how to talk to animals and inanimate objects, and they helped her. By the time Mr. Signs returns on Sunday, if all went according to story, there would be thirty pancakes ready for him on the table, though as things stand he would probably prefer a leg of lamb or a whole roast chicken.

I have lost the nimble and airy biodynamic gardening person who used to come and clean Signs Cottage once a week, did all the hard bits like vacuuming (including steep, narrow stairs), floor-cleaning, changing the bed linen, appeared to flit around the place as though she were not doing anything at all and always left a gleam behind her. There is a kind of genius to this. She has gone to work on a biodynamic farm and I will miss her. Time to cut back on all the spending so will try and do without help. Where is the cat? It's time she pulled her weight around here, did a bit of housework.

Someone asked me how it was going with the "vegetarian project." I told them I didn't miss meat.
But what about sausages and burgers?
Especially not them.
So what do you have instead?
Ice cream.
What? You're joking!

Swimming back and forth in the lit blue pool, I pretend to be an ancient mermaid stranded in the realm of humans, finding my element again. But the chlorine gets right under my skin. Afterwards I stand under the shower and wash with Weleda Calendula body soap, rub lotion into my arms, legs and face before I dress. But still, the chlorine that got under my skin seeps out. A sign next to the jacuzzi says that if you have high or low blood pressure, or a medical condition, you should not use the jacuzzi. I sit in it for short periods, the water is hot and swirls around me, it eases the muscles temporarily. But it fixes the chlorine, gets it right into the system. There's always something, isn't there?

My Smokefriend (London-based, erstwhile smoking buddy) is coming tomorrow for the sharing of writing, of which I have disappointingly little. But she says, we're in it for the long haul, meaning the nothings and setbacks are part of the journey. You know it's a real friend when they put a shine on you, and to this also, there is a kind of genius.


Cusp said...

Yes there IS. Blasted chlorine. That's why I don't/can't go near swimming pools. Even after 5 minutes watching the children I begin to wheeze and get a headache. Pity, because I love the water. Still, so long as it feels right and the dre beawbacks are bearable, you persist.

I think this

is probably you after the swim.

Enjoy the time alone. You can do just as you please

Reading the Signs said...

Oh yes, yes! But perhaps with a copy of TS Eliot's poems (I have heard the mermaids singing each to each)instead of the Vogue.

I'm deliberately not looking too deeply into the effects of chlorine - but if you wheeze you just know it's one to avoid.

Mim said...

You may want to try Sappo Hill soap:

All the best for the time with yourself.

The dust will outlive us.

Reading the Signs said...

Mim, I don't think this soap is for sale in the UK. I think cold shower will be best - hot water "fixes" the chlorine.

The dust. Yes.

Zhoen said...


Fire Bird said...

dear Mrs Pepperpot, how lovely to think of her...