Thursday, 8 May 2008


Suddenly summer has arrived. As always, its arrival leaves me sick and headachey for a couple of days. I need time to adjust to the sudden warmth and sunlight.

There are disasters and follies elsewhere - madness and crime at home and abroad. Meanwhile politicians court us with promises of discipline and punishment - for others, not us. We are supposed to believe that criminals are other people, out on the edge of society - not real human beings who rejoice and suffer. I wonder if there is anyone my age who hasn't committed a crime, or at least an infringement of local by-laws.

Summer is often a time for breaking laws and breaching boundaries. It's the 40th anniversary of the "evenements" in Paris with all the confused hope for a better world that they offered. The collected graffiti of those days in French or English gives a glimpse of heady optimism. It's hard to grasp that now - or the recent repression and colonial wars that must have informed the rebellion.

At home, simple boundaries are broken. People move from their kitchens and living rooms to balconies and gardens. The barbecue season has commenced. Perhaps I should buy a barbecue and grill veggie burgers and haloumi kebabs. Cooking, reading and work can be done out of doors, though not until I've mowed the lawn and clipped the hedge. Eventually there will be contacts with neighbours.

Meanwhile insects and spiders have begun to invade the house. I marvel at their fragility and perseverance as I try to evict them. Spiders are easy to manage. If necessary I can cup them in my hands before moving them outdoors. But I've seen three wasps this week - two in the bathroom. I caught the first two, imprisoning each in a tooth mug before sliding paper underneath. Then I released them in the garden.

The third wasp buzzed around the lampshade on the landing by the hatch that leads to the loft. It stayed out of reach and I needed to get to work. I don't think three wasps means a nest. I hope not.

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