24 December Thursday
The brother and sister have been spotted again. I have not seen them for months and months. Someone told me they had seen them but I had not seen them myself. They are no longer parking on the road into the village. The brother always stood leaning against his car in the tiny lay-by, smoking and saluting anyone who passed. His sister walked on the narrow stretch of road with her dog on about two inches of lead all the while holding a huge fat stick just above his head ready to whack him if he made a wrong move. It made me crazy to see them. I assumed the terrible choice of a place for walking a dog was just because the brother needed to be able to watch a bit of traffic while he waited for his sister. I thought that was why the location was chosen. Now the brother is parking way up the mountain on the New Line. He parks near The Boulders which is just about the only place to pull off. The sister walks along the road with the dog still held close to her body and still with the dreadful heavy cudgel hovering over his head. This spot cannot be chosen for waving at passers by. It could easily be an hour between passing vehicles up there. I still wonder why the sister does not take the dog to walk on the mountain instead of on the hard road. Today the brother was not outside smoking and waving. He was sitting inside the car smoking with the windows rolled up tight. That might just be because of today’s soaking drizzle.
23 December Wednesday
The remains of one dead bird near the compost heap. Feathers are scattered in a tidy circle from a central point. There is nothing left, not even any blood. Small white feathers are in the center and longer grey feathers make a secondary circle. It was a pigeon.
22 December Tuesday
I stopped by to see Bea. Her motor was parked very close to the house. There was an extension lead out the open window of the car and in through a window of the house. Bea came to the door and explained that she had taken the car to the car wash but she left the back windows open during the washing. She now has a heater going in the back seat to dry it all out. The heater was plugged in inside the house. She explained the situation by saying that of course the car had to be washed before Christmas. It is one of many things which are deemed essential to do before Christmas.
It is essential to have one’s hair cut before Christmas. It is essential to go to the hygenist and have one’s teeth cleaned before Christmas. It is essential to have the windows of the house washed, both inside and out, before Christmas. It is essential to go to and tidy around the graves of family members before Christmas because other family members might be visiting from far away and they will of course make a visit to the graves and so the graves must be looking good. The people who live in the area are sort of responsible for the upkeep of the graves or at least they are the people who will be blamed if the graves are found to be in disarray. Now I learn that going to the chiropodist and getting toenails clipped and any hard skin scraped off the feet is yet another job which must be done in anticipation of Christmas.
I would not have remembered this list nor its newest addition if Bea had not washed her car and left the windows open.
Source: Deemed Essential