I'm on holiday. And yesterday morning we went to Tauranga, to sort a few things out for Jenny's son. Actually, that's what Jenny went for. I went to go to the Mount, and do obscene things in the surf.
The first obscenity was, of course, shedding the shirt.Once the babes, bimboes, bimbettes, and Bruces had fled in horror, dazzled by the pure white light being reflected from the Al-abaster body, I flung myself at the ocean.
The resulting tsunami knocked several surfers off their boards. But the bliss of it! It's been far too long since I hit a salty and wavey body of water. The surf was running at around a metre, and in 45 minutes I managed to catch exactly two waves. Count 'em, and weep.
Yep. I, who used to wobble about reasonably convincingly on a 165 centimetre bright green Bob Davies surfboard, have even lost the ability to bodysurf. Crap!
The memories were faulty in other ways, too. I find I've lost the ability to look at the surf and tell immediately whether the tide's coming in or going out. And I was telling Jenny about the blowhole. Everyone knows about the blowhole at the Mount. But f*&% me! I couldn't, with any confidence, point to where it was!
So I made a decision. When I retire (ho ho ho!) it will be on the coast, and probably at Katikati or Waihi. Close enough to the Mount and Whangamata for an old fart to reconnect with one of the few truly enjoyable activities of his teenage years. Yep: perving. No, no, no... I meant doing great things with a terrific right hand break.
Reading: "Stalingrad", Anthony Bevors, or whatever his name is. I'm on a bit of a WWII jag at the moment, it seems. I've learnt two things. No, three. One: Adolf is a moderisation of the Hunnish name Wolf. Hence naming his little mountain holiday bungalow "the Wolf's Lair". Two: the brave, but foolish, Polish cavalry charge against the Cherman tanks wasn't the last cavalry charge of any war. The Russian Cossacks made many a cavalry charge in 1941, often with surprisingly succesful results. Three: The Americans didn't actually win the war. They helped. And good on them.
LISTENING TO: Ray Davies, "Other People's Lives". Fourth or seventh listening, and it's ridiculously good.
LAST MOVIE WATCHED: Pelham 123, the remake, with Travolta and me. Denzel, I mean. I still find it disconcerting watching Denzel on screen. He just looks so uncannily like me... and, in this movie, he's wearing spectacles! Travolta does a good job of portraying someone with cockroaches crawling around inside the cranium. I enjoyed it: a better than fair BDAF.
Four months ago, Timothy Copthorne, Augustine's flame-haired son of just 17 winters, had shipped out for France.
“I've some mail from Arthur, August. Will you tell Amy?”
“Straight away. She's of no bloody use to me as she is. She's just a mope, that girl. I'm at my wits' end, Jayne, and Mrs Copthorne's taken ill again.”
“Do you want me to send the Doctor up?”
“No, no. I think she'll be all right. Just the weakness again. You know.” The miracle was that Katherine Copthorne was still alive. She'd never been a strong woman, and giving birth to Amy had nearly killed her. When the couple had gone away fro a two-year trip to England and Europe and returned with young Timothy, the town had been astonished. Katherine had, since then, spent half her time in her sick-bed.
The blessing was that both Amy and Timothy took after their father: strong, long of limb, and as healthy as one of Jayne's Clydesdales.
Twenty minutes after making the call, Jayne saw the Copthorne horse-trap enter the square. In the meantime, Jayne had sorted the mail, and sent the boy out to deliver it, keeping a further four letters under the counter. Those ones she'd deliver herself – they had been written by boys whose photographs had featured in Jayne's shop-window.