Friday, January 20, 2006

Endless rain and missing gingos

Water, water, everywhere. One dry day in the last month and already more than half of Brighton's annual rainfall has drenched Portland so far this year. Cycling through this deluge on a daily basis has, naturally enough, refocused my avarice on the purchase of a second car, but I can't see it happening as it looks like we're about to blow all our savings on...

a) turning our garage into a garage i.e. somewhere we can actually park the car rather than simply a garage sized hut lacking the appropriate aperture for a vehicle. This could run to ten large.

b) replacing the deck, which is on its last legs, simultaneously expunging the (ironically) dry rot from beneath the back of the house. This could also run to ten large.

c) offspring, or whatever the singular is - an offsprung perhaps. For those of you not yet in the loop, I'm procreating even as I write, with fatherhood looming nigh on the horizon circa July 1st. And even if you could fit a child seat in a Miata, it just wouldn't look right.

Considerably less expensive are the services of the man who has agreed to rid our home of those pesky squirrels. Humane traps to be laid in our attic in about a week or so... I'll keep you posted on progress. In the meantime here is the unexpurgated text of an email Rachel sent me at work this week. It's a great story as well as potentially fascinating insight into the very substance of our marriage -

"The craziest fing just happened. This guy from our block who I never met before named Michael came knocking on the door. He was frantic because he could not find his ginge! Apparently it is a big fat gingo who is not allowed outside. He and his room mates could not be finding him and they were getting frantic because they thought he may have escaped and gone fluffing. When they were looking for him outside, one of his room mates thought he saw the ginge go fluffing though our catflap! So, he looked for him in the basement and I looked around the house and there was no gingo to be found. Eventually I took his number and told him I would call when I found the ginge. He got home and his ficko was sitting right there on his bed! At first we thought maybe it was the ginge from across the street that fluffed in, but I think now it was probably just Conky his room mate saw fluffin through the cat flap."

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Back home again

It was at once wonderful to be back in England and, at the same time, almost dreamlike, the week passing in a slightly hazy, boozy and befuddled whir, a heady cocktail of insomnia, booze and nostalgia. It is not so much that I had forgotten how beautiful Lewes was, rather that I hadn't even noticed that it was before this Christmas; the perfect, individual, "chocolate box" houses, the castle, the cobbled street I used to live on, once so ordinary and now rather exotic and fairy-tale-esque. It was also slightly poignant to be reminded of all our amazing friends so distant, and yet also quite reassuring to know there is somewhere to return to - it makes it easier to leave, oddly.

Almost as soon as I'd turned the key in the lock back at Main Street I felt that I had stepped back through the wardrobe into reality. I fluffed Conker and Peanut, who were inordinately pleased to see us, and then proceeded directly to bed. It was then that I heard poor Conker yowling downstairs, clearly in a state of some distress. It seemed that with the lights off he had quite forgotten that we had returned (for he is not the brightest of creatures), and it was quite heartbreaking to imagine that this was how he had in fact spent the majority of the last week... thus I rose, plucked him from the kitchen floor and deposited him on our bed where he proceeded to purr away the next four hours before I had to return to work.

Ultimately, home is where your ginger is.