Respite Care

Saturday 2nd September 2023

The usual Norman retreat was delayed this year on account of Kelm Driver expecting a baby and that having to be diarised. At last Laura Malcolm was able to say: ‘We are a Grandmother.’ The child is a small Inca God, fierce but fair. Your head might get lopped off at a moment’s notice but at least you can be sure that you deserved it. No clothes are worn by this person.

I told Kelm that any future babies are to be born at a more convenient time, like in the winter.

Old folk don’t want their routines disturbed. We climbed into our gravity loungers on the lawn, gasping after the delay, and moved little for the next week. Except for the Laird, of course. He’d brought a full-height barbecue furnace, as well as projecting equipment and numerous computers for his lecture (the wires, my dear!) – all packed into the Toerag which has now achieved half a million miles or thereabouts, mostly conveying vital solar panel opportunities to the people of the near West.

The lecture was billed as a roam through language but really it’s more than likely the Laird knows the origins of every single word in English. What a vast vista of knowledge, whirling forth without notes – but with slides. What’s more there was a musical interlude of masterful irrelevance, where the Laird sang a song by somebody called Jake Thackeray who was apparently unhinged.

The lecture was given on the Sunday and afterwards there was a fete champetre. Thirteen lunched. Roland Malbuoys de Rollup was rolling up in the bushes, self-exiled. Hall is more and more a ringer for Grace Monaco, with the same translucence of one who might apply for the Sainthood. Grace Monaco, if you remember, was rejected by the Vatican on account of having followed fashion too much. Some thought Roland de Rollup might be finished. When asked about his children he said he believed they were at university.

Some old prosecco was found for the evenings. Laura Malcolm said prosecco is a soft drink. Sooner rather than later prosecco was served at luncheon as well to enable a more comfortable afternoon in the gravity loungers. One day Moira MacMatron was in turquoise in the morning but by evening had a lemon gown. She described how she had once been massaged in Funchal by man masseur who seemed to think she should reveal her upper lady parts. There was no further outrage mercifully.

Moira’s vet left a voicemail saying her pug’s test results were in: please ring back. Poor Moira writhed in agony for 24 hours before she could get through. I consoled: ‘You can always get another.’ Laura Malcolm’s dislike of the pug is well-known. As it happened the tests were deliriously all right.

In the loungers matrons wondered what homes to put their menfolk in. There must be a specialist unit for old Red Top heroes, ideal for Beamish O’Halloran. You’d think it would be in the Reigate area, but who knows? In the kitchen Laura Malcolm was manipulating a collapsed suction bag… what was it? I was struck as if across the head that it was a disused catheter. But it wasn’t. It was the interior of a wine box. Earlier Matt Driver, that great mogul who is still an important world-taste shaper, had tried to get a wine box ‘going’. You have to pull the tap out from its little storage hutch. In his thoroughness, Matt Driver dismantled the wine box almost completely with no real progress in the matter of the tap. The next day he was to be seen putting it back together again with the same glaring concentration that made him what he afterwards became.

Otherwise Matt Driver was glaring in his shed. After several days, its shelves had been nuked, or emptied. The shed is to be knocked down as the chateau fragment extends eastwards or it might be westwards, with a new kitchen wing.

The Laird launched a drone. It couldn’t reach as far as Paris for stealing things from the Hermes shop, worst luck. ¬†Filming was its main function. Sound of Music style aerial shots of the whole Norman desmesne were produced, with the residence looking incredibly billionairesque, I thought.

The Men’s team lost the Quiz as always, although not as badly as in previous years. How much longer will there be men and women, anyway? Tempers flared a little less. Laura Malcolm handbagged the Quizmaster quite a bit, although the Laird seems to stand up to these assaults very well. But just a few bars of an ABBA song and he’s in floods. What a man!

I thought the Winning Women could sing a song, to the tune of ‘Take back your mink…’ from ‘Guys and Dolls’ but with different words: ‘Zip up your minge… and only unzip for some other man…’ That bit scanned but I couldn’t think of any other words to fit..

We went to look at the hornets’ nest. Hall and Roland Malbuoys de Rollup were brought back for a dinner. Laura Malcolm had made a guacamole with his corn chips. This meant holding the bowl while guests tried to scoop. ‘I’m bored with this,’ she said, snatching away the guac. At least Roland Malbuoys de Rollup was back from the brink of extinction. ‘Have you heard of furry parties?’ he enquired. He said his son had told him. Likely story. People foregather got up as children’s soft toys which is so exciting informal congress breaks out.

How we roared.

The Norman Scene: loungers Reign Supreme

The Norman Scene: loungers Reign Supreme

Posted Monday, September 4, 2023 under Adrian Edge day by day.

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