Saturday 2 March 2013
The weather is sunny and dry. At 10:55 I go to visit cousin Naomi. She tells me that she has just received a gas-bill for £368 plus change.
Naomi talks about three cats (Cinnamon, Mog and Charcoal) that she and her parents used to own. All of the cats originally belonged to other people. The first two belonged to a neighbour who remarried, and whose new husband did not like cats. One of those two cats developed an ear tumour, and it was very difficult to get him to take his medication. One of the cats at first didn’t like fish until he saw another cat eating some — and then he decided that he did like it.
I drive to Sandbank Shoals, and bring back fish and chips for Naomi and myself. On the car radio, I hear that Prokofiev died on the same day as Stalin, 5 March 1953. I mention this to Naomi, and find that she already knew it.
Naomi learnt Russian from a programme on BBC2. She gives three examples of Russian surnames for which most people whose first language is English put the stress on the wrong syllable.
Naomi has read all of Dickens’ novels and Christmas Books. Her favourite novel by Dickens is Dombey and Son. She doesn’t much like Barnaby Rudge or The Old Curiosity Shop — and she repeats what Oscar Wilde said about the latter book. She rates Dickens below Shakespeare, because he “cannot do tragedy”.
Naomi’s friend Jen is overweight, and Jen’s husband Davey is both overweight and a Type 2 diabetic. He can eat a packet of biscuits at a sitting.
By about 14:30 I am back at the Old Man’s house. An hour later I hear Charlie and Karl next door; they have gone by about 17:00. Twenty minutes after that, from my bedroom, I see Mr CJ taking in the washing which has been out on the CJs’ line since my return from Naomi’s.