Tuesday, June 27
I went to bed last night and checked my phone just before I closed my eyes to go to sleep. I noticed that the clock said 23:45. This morning I woke up suddenly and noticed that the clock said 10:15. I had managed to sleep for ten and a half hours. I had switched both electric fires off before going to bed and the house felt freezing when I got up. I decided that that might have something to do with it.
I fed the cat who went out briefly into the hurricane-style wind and then came racing back in. I had breakfast and took the dishes to the so-called summer kitchen, and then went to wash. Before I could do that I had to work out what had gone wrong last night when I washed and brushed my teeth. Actually I knew what had gone wrong: the water had not gone down the drain. I didn’t know why this had happened or, more accurately, not happened.
It took almost two hours to find out. I tried exploring the end of the outlet pipe with my fingers and found what looked like wood that something had chewed, gnawed or pulled into small pieces. I tried pouring water down but it still refused to go down. In the end I found an old fishing rod with no reel and no line. I found that I could push this slowly into the outlet pipe and withdraw it, and that each time it brought more of the chopped wood with it. Eventually, having pushed the rod in as far as I dare, I had amassed a considerable amount of this substance, which seemed to have clogged into a single mass some distance down the pipe. I cleaned the fishing rod and poured water down. It disappeared, albeit slowly. A few more goes with the fishing rod later, and a small bowl of water disappeared with a satisfying gurgling sound. I poured a bucket of water into the drain and it too disappeared. I finally poured a five gallon drum of water down at a continuous pace and watched out the window at the other end of the pipe. The water came out and into a ditch at the same rate I poured. Problem solved, I think.
The wind continued to blow at a ferocious rate so I decided to do some indoor cleaning. I brushed the house and then turned my attention to Naa’s hut, where flies and spiders had spent the winter dying in crowds. I spent another two hours or so doing this, because dead insects and dust had got everywhere and I had to move every piece of furniture in the place. The fact that every time I left to throw some rubbish away the wind blew me back made the task that much more interesting.
Having done this, and checked the weather forecast (which seems to change drastically every hour or so, to the extent that it hardly counts as a forecast at all) I decided to perform the same task on the summer kitchen. This only took an hour or so because it has an open front and no door. Nothing banged in my face or hit me in the head while I bent down.
At just after four thirty the summer kitchen stands there, as clean as I can make it. I have moved everything out, it has got blown away and retrieved, and now I have put everything back in place. Or at least back in a place. The sun has come out while I did this, but the wind remains as stormy as ever. Sunshine has sulked indoors for the last couple of hours to the extent that he has fallen asleep on the bed.
I will go to collect the daily paper from the mailbox and then watch the penultimate episode of Doctor Who. It will do a lot of things very quickly, many of them unexpected; and I will find Michelle Gomez better than ever as Missy. Steven Moffat has a lot of good lines for Missy in which, for her own amusement, she confuses everyone by claiming that the Doctor actually has Doctor Who as his real name.
I will glance at the Guardian review of the episode and discover, to my delight, that other people besides me think that Missy would make a great Doctor. Some people, who claim inside information, even think that this will actually happen. It would certainly explain some of the more unexpected narrative twists.
At 17:50, as I have finished this burst of culture, the heavens will open and I will feel glad that I opted not to paint the terrace floor today.