Tonight, I’m mostly listening to music – Mozart at present. Although this afternoon, I risked listening to football. I’m a dreadful influence, darlings, I hardly ever do so – though I realise that’s mere superstition and I’m the last person to be superstitious – all the same, watching a match and caring in the least about the outcome seems to spell doom.
I’m thrilled about Holland, I hope they go far. I.am.not.superstitious…
My father listened to jazz mostly, though he took an interest in current music. My mother liked light classical, operetta, shows (Oklahoma being a firm favourite) and the music she’d grown up with. She reckoned herself to be very knowledgeable about classical music, but there were limits – she preferred to stay within her comfort zone. I’ve always liked to push mine, but then I had an easier upbringing and I’m the product of a different age – I didn’t spend most of my teens at war, for example, and I had two loving parents, not a mother who died at the age of 25. I don’t have the same need to be comfortable.
I am, however, listening to an album she loved: Elisabeth Schwarzkopf Sings Operetta – I’ve mentioned it before. She bought it soon after my father died and we both loved it and played it over and over again, and it made me understand the operatic way of singing.
Radio 4 Extra did The Railway Children and the last episode was today. I started crying at the beginning of the last scene and kept going. Yet I don’t appreciate being manipulated – but the knowledge of ‘my daddy!’ gets me going every time, even in anticipation. Do you remember ‘Love Story’? Ryan O’Neil and Ali McGraw, from the late ’60s – I read the book, duly cried and resented it, even as I wept, because I could feel the manipulation, and I never did see the film, blockbuster though it was.
The rain bucketed down again today, though there’s a clear forecast now. I have been cosseting the bantams, who weren’t at all happy until I gave them a barrowload of very strawy manure from the muck heap to rummage through. It was largely because I’d run out of straw and they were standing in mud, but the insects and worms they found were a bonus. When I went to feed them this morning, I found that the majority were out of the run – I’d not quite caught the bolt. Fortunately, no harm done and I chivvied them in. Now that I’m not allowing them to sit on eggs, I’m turfing them out of the nest boxes every day, so every egg is being picked up. They probably don’t appreciate me for it, but every animal here has to recognise that I’m pack leader. Except the tortoises, I don’t think they know the concept.