Solipsism and Me

Idle reports from an idle fellow

Normality looms

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On Monday we made marmalade. This is an important annual event in my house, not to be avoided. Lilette bought 2 kilos of oranges at the weekend, but we didn’t have time to do anything with them until Sunday evening, when I boiled them up. On Monday morning, despite the lure of the outside sunshine, I dutifully sat down in the kitchen and chopped them up: a slow and messy process but quite relaxing when accompanied by the sound of the Quartet. As all marmalade afficionados know, the rest of the process has a certain inevitability about it: you need to find enough jars, hopefully with appropriate tops, remember to get some jam pot covers, wash them, bake them dry, boil up the orange soup again, try to extract some more pectin from the pips and pulp, find the right amount of sugar, ensure that it is dissolved before it starts boiling, and eventually start testing for the elusive wrinkle, which in my case this year appeared about the same time as the jam started to darken alarmingly. Then there’s just the logistical problem of getting it out of the pan and into the jars without too much spillage, sealing and labelling the jars, and clearing the sticky decks. A little tiring when you’re hopping around the kitchen in a purple carapace, but worth the effort, even it did mean Monday’s walk (1.09 km) was short and delayed more than somewhat. I lunched at Meltz on a panini and coffee and risked a walk through Jericho and over the canal bridge, returning more than a little pooped.

Tuesday I decided to keep up the momentum with the longest walk yet (2.38 km) This involved some more pottering about through Jericho and a pause for refreshment in Cafe Rouge. Being in that part of town around noon meant naturally enough that lots of people I would normally expect to exchange no more than a grunt or a glance with, stopped, looked uncertainly at my accompanying sticks, and needed to be informed about my dramatic progress, Exciting though this touch of reality was, it pales into insignificance compared with the excitement of catching a bus: I waited five minutes for a 30 second ride (and I suppose I have to reduce my total kilometrage for this walk by 0.5), but it was worth it if only for the experience of being offered a seat.

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Written by Lou

February 5, 2008 at 20:57

Posted in Biographical

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