I felt unaccountably down today, for no real reason. This was not too good, as it hasn’t happened for a long time. So I resolved not to give in to it, ate toast and Marmite and went out to bash down the last of the fence.
This turned out to be harder than expected, as one of the posts had not actually rotted off. I cut off all the ivy, removed the fency bits and pushed, pulled and kicked, with no effect. I took up a sledge-hammer and delivered several resounding blows. It hardly even said ‘Pfft!’. I left it, got rid of the final post (which was only a nuisance inasfar as there was a whole lot of chicken-wire that had to be cut off first, and then, eyes narrowed, fetched a crowbar.
Five minutes later, I lifted the post from the hole. I still felt miserable, but in a manner leavened with triumph.
I was due to attend a Snape Prom concert tonight. Originally, I was going with a friend but he had to cry off. I decided to go early enough for supper, but I felt a little lonely…and then, five miles down the road, there was a police car and an ‘Accident’ sign and I was waved into the Saints.
Oh, the Saints. They are a scattering of villages, called Ilketshall Saint *insert saint’s name* or Saint *insert saint’s name* South Elmham (pronounced Ellum, like the tree is round here) and they are the Roads to Nowhere. Everyone gets lost. Even if you’ve lived here for years, you can wander round like the Flying Dutchman.
The two cars in front of me followed the road obediently, but a van driver and I were more wary. We didn’t want to go to Rumburgh, and when, after a couple of miles, there was a turning to the left, we took it. It was a single-track road and there was a quantity of traffic coming towards us, but it was the right way, and I arrived at the Maltings in good time. I ate a virtuous salad, with couscous, avocado and prawns, adding no dressing, drank a glass of white wine and scoffed a slice of cheesecake – because I hadn’t dresssed the salad and so deserved it. Besides, the Sage had lovingly tucked a couple of banknotes into my hand as I left, so I had to spend the money.
It was a fabulous concert. There were a lot of children there, some of them very young – like two or three, although there were also ten-year-olds. I was quite surprised to see a tiny baby Promenader – it can’t have been more than six weeks old, though it was alert and interested in the surroundings. It was quiet and no trouble at all, hope the parents have a good night!
The band was Kolsimcha, and they were great. Sort of jazz with Eastern European rhythms. They’d written their own material and it was bloody good. Fabulous musicians too, particularly the clarinetist, Michael, and the flautist, Ariel (good, aren’t I – the pianist was called Olivier, the drummer, Fabien and the double-bassist, Daniel. I remembered them specially to tell you), who had most of the solos.
I had been in two minds whether to go, but I’m glad I did. I’d swapped the spare ticket for another concert, and a 70-something-year-old man was sitting next to me. Good company he was too. He plays the keyboard in a folk group and his local church organ and his granddaughter is expecting her first child next month. He was wearing the same aftershave as my friend who was to come with me, which was a bit disconcerting – I rarely wear perfume myself and am quite sensitive to it on others, and it teased my mind all evening.