Furbelow

I walked back home from work, as I’ve been doing most Wednesdays after the pause for thought booking. She is such a sweetie. A lay preacher, who is almost skittish in her seeming shyness, her face pinking up as she speaks. I find it delicious. I asked what her subject was today. Boris, she said. I took the other way home through the University’s main entrance and down Penglais Hill. There were two rabbits on one of the lawns, one was black. They appeared to be a pair, eating close to each other, companionable. The campus grounds are awash with them. They suddenly burst out from under bushes when you least expect it, before scurrying away, their scuts bobbing up and down behind them. The sun came out and shone on my back. The traffic at that time in the morning was minimal. I could see a mist over the sea. This is a good life, I thought to myself. Perhaps not what I’d expected for myself, but it is rich. I am loved, cared for, I have enough and there is work for me to do. I am learning to write. It is enough, that. I need to always be learning. Always. And my marriage is a good thing, a wonderful thing. What a gift, eh?

I like the words that come to me during our crossword sessions at the table. De rigeur was one yesterday. Neither of us were sure about whether it meant the fashionable thing to do or the opposite. He was right in the end. I like to encounter words that I don’t know. It reminds me of the time when reading was a new thing. That deciphering of strange words, like images, like pictures, new to the tongue and mind. Cupidity was another one from yesterday. It means greed, apparently. I had come across it before. Not what you’d think. Is it specifically about greed for food, perhaps? And then later, one of the nuns, the posh, head-girl-ish nun in Midwife used the word furbelow. Yummy. It means trimmings, the edge of a petticoat.

It was excruciating, I had to grip the bed to manage the pain. She is good. She continues regardless of my tensing up. So Scandinavian. We call her The Brute. She told me of the baby seagull that she was feeding dogfood. ¬†Go and have a look, she said. It was trapped in the space between the roofs, outside one of her salon’s windows. I could hear it calling. They aren’t helicopters, she said, they can’t fly upwards. Had they fallen out of the nest? For there had been siblings. They had died from starvation, hence the dog food for this one. I felt guilty, she said. I should have fed them. It turns out he (assuming he is a he) ate their remains. It made me feel a little queasy. Will his wings get stronger, will he fly his way out? Poor love. I hung a prawn on a piece of string, she said, hoping to encourage him to fly up to it. It didn’t work. His calls of distress echoed through the salon as she pummelled my poor body.

Time to work. A misty-ness has descended but it is still warm. The sea is a line of blue. I am blessed. Truly.