Life is the rose’s hope while yet unblown

There’s a local guy who has started up a meal delivery service. As I mentioned the other day, it’s Indian food, just on Friday and Saturday. He uses local ingredients and it’s been recommended by friends. We tried it a couple of weeks ago and it was very good, home cooked food (rather than Indian restaurant/takeaway food). He’s really nice to talk to, as well. The delivery time is given as 4.30 – 7.30pm and today, he just squeaked in at 7.25. It didn’t matter at all; as it happens I’d ordered a day early but we eat later anyway.

Rose and I caught up with each other’s (should that be others’? Tell me, grammar people) news yesterday. She is joining my lunch club for, quirkily, afternoon tea next week. It really is a pleasure to be gently sociable again, though I haven’t honestly missed much. Except friendship. It’s been less easy to be relaxedly friendly for the last year and – what, four months? It really is the small things. Also with masks, the shared smile with a stranger has vanished. We try to smile with our eyes but we don’t know if it’s gone through. Rather like P*nk T*ff*n’s meal this evening, we weren’t entirely sure, at 7.24, if it was going to turn up.

Really looking forward to seeing Mike and ZoĆ« tomorrow. They should been our first overnight guests but, as it is, they come second to Rufus. I’ll take any vaccination they offer me, I just want to be gently (second use of the word) normal without worrying that I’ll infect and possibly kill anyone. I’m less bothered about myself, for whatever reason.

I went into town this afternoon. Last time I drove, I’d been listening to downloaded programmes on my phone, but I hadn’t plugged it in this time and the default (largely because it was what I found that was acceptable – I do not like my present car phone set-up) is ClassicFM. It was playing Mozart clarinet quintet. I used to play that. I used to play it all through and I wasn’t bad. I grieve that I let my ability go and I don’t know if I’ll ever play that well again. I’ll try but I’m over twenty years older and I don’t know if I can pull myself up again. I realise that I hope for some sort of a breakthrough, simply by virtue of buying a better clarinet and I also know that I’m deluding myself. But hope is a start. If I can hold on to that, the work may feel worthwhile.

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