I wonder how long it will take me to have done nothing much and not feel guilty about it? This morning it was up late as we had no ins and out in the guest house, a few emails then a bit of reading. The current book is non-fiction, The Cello Suites by Eric Siblin, a pop critic for a Canadian newspaper, who is equally in love with the world of Bach. I’d always wondered how to write about music in a way that doesn’t alienate people who don’t know the music, and this man can do it in spadefuls. Wonderful writing.
One of the things that we northern Europeans take a while to get used to here is fish. Now, I can remember when the UK high streets had fishmongers, but, alas, no more. In Portugal the fish counters in any supermarket are bigger than the meat counters and I stand fixated by the sight of great flounders, eels and rays that were dragged from the depths that morning. Around Carvoeiro they catch mostly lulas (little squid) and you can see the boats out every night, shining their lights into the sea to attract the them. Fresh, they are exquisite. Non-fresh they are rubbery and hideous. Anyway, something made me want to make spahetti alle vongole, so I went and got a bag full of clams and a few other ingredients. Result: success even though I burnt the garlic a bit.
Celeste was here, as she is most days. She had her hair done even though she said she thought it might be a waste of money if she dies on the operating table next month; you have to admire that kind of economic fatalism. Anyway, she looked like a million dollars, so money well spent. We could all fall under a bus tomorrow (though public transport here is like UK, so little chance of that) so let’s live for the moment. That brings me back to my great achievement for the day, cooking a meal on spec just because I fancied the taste of shellfish, garlic and olive oil. I can’t remember the last time that I could actually spare the minutes to simply concoct a meal for the sheer fun of it. Perhaps that’s what retirement is; time to do insignificant things and find them satisfying. I wonder when I’ll stop feeling guilty about it?