Monday 23 September 2013


Liz has been on the go. I have decided it must be generational, but I still don't allow for writing a post while I am away.  The Guru has explained, patiently and not so patiently, that everything occurs and is held in Cyberspace. I do not have to have my very own computer with me to keep in touch with you all. Somehow, I imagine all the information on shelves in a library behind the screen, much as little ones think there are people inside the television. Anyway, whatever the fantasy, I have left far too big a gap and am glad to catch up now.

Those of you dogged faithful ones may well remember the scarlet swimsuit. It has  been to the seaside, again. Whether it will ever go another time is imponderable. There are reasons for this. Among five swimsuits it is the only one that fits, if you can call it fit, with the bulges around the back. At my advanced age there is no question of buying more and I am sceptical about losing weight. Indeed, I woke up this morning, the eve of an extremely remarkable birthday, wondering how I could lose a stone - 14lbs in Mountview, California - by tomorrow morning. I dont think so. Travel, in itself, gets more challenging. This time I was with the Guru who takes care of things like baggage and tries to walk slowly so as not to lose me too often. He also helps me in and out of the sea. Now, this is a very important function because I am not stable enough on my feet to manage the entry myself. The exit is even more challenging, especially because swimming in the cold, wet sea  is not his top idea of a fun thing to do. Indeed, on one occasion, holding my hands fast, as I thought, he dropped me and there was I, a scarlet whale, seated at the bottom of the ocean, waves breaking over my head with no idea what to do to remedy the situation. I think a combination of push and pull must have done the trick because, eventually, there I was, standing up, sea pouring off my head and out of my ears,having swallowed gargling amounts of salt water and feeling rather more than a little foolish. Fortunately, the funny side of it came to me and I started to laugh, much, I suspect, to the Guru's relief because his  face  which was a nice shade of off-white, suddenly took back its customary glow. The fact that the episode had been watched by rather a lot of people on the beach was potentially one humiliation more. But, as it happened, there was only kindness and friendly banter on all sides. I washed my hair for the second time that day, but I am still dealing with the water in my ears: quite a Jules Verne moment. Unfortunately, we were subject to a Provencal hazard, the Mistral. Out of our four days this vicious wind blew for three, whipping degrees off the sea and making it impossible to sit around in sybaritic idleness. Instead, we had an outing to a nearby town renowned for what I am forced to call its 'bling' and had lunch among the something - not youth, necessarily - dore. (Can't find an accent for the 'dore'on this machine). After a day's turnaround to do the washing, I was off to Austria, of which more later. At my tomorrow age one can no longer think ' one of these days' so if Liz wants to do some travelling or even revelling, it has to be NOW. Bore da

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