Up in the Peaks

Charlotte gave me her bed, and she’s on the sofa. I’m thrilled about it. It’s really comfy. I get it too – I like to give people my bed so I have the run of the flat.

I’m writing to you from this comfy peaceful bed. I have chamomile tea and I’m warm from a hot shower. She’s washed my clothes and she just asked me if I want a hot water bottle. The answer is always yes. She washed my clothes because, as you are all very much aware, I’m an idiot. I grabbed a change of clothes and a washbag and left it on my sofa. You would think, considering my lifestyle and the infrequency with which I sleep in my own bed that I would be able to autopilot that sort of thing. Not so. It isn’t helped by my complete lack of neurosis and thus the fact that I’m okay in the same socks as yesterday. I wasn’t too bothered when I realised, but Charlotte offered to wash them for me. Now I’ll get nice clean socks and pants tomorrow. An excellent result all round.

I’m here to deliver a painting. I’m here for a catch-up. Charlotte is my cousin outlaw. She has caught on through diligent observation of my daily words that I frequently drive things all over the place for financial remuneration, and that I do it in a big car. It’s an alignment of her needs and my habits and availability.

Dawson’s Auction House is out in Maidenhead. That’s where I had to pick it up. It’s a big painting. I went there armed with bubble wrap. Just as I was approaching I recognised the road I was on. It’s just round the corner from Taplow Court, the UK headquarters of the Sgi – the Nichiren Buddhists. I pulled off the main road thinking I would have a little chant to set me up for the day. They’ve got this beautiful country house, with horse mushrooms in the lawns at this time of year. But the whole place is STILL closed for Covid. No chanting for me, so I did it in my car through the gate.

Then I grabbed the picture, covered it in bubble wrap, and wound my way up here to the peaks. It’s now leaning against the stairwell, still wrapped for protection. Mission accomplished.

This evening we walked up Eccles Pike, just as the sun was setting. A few dogwalkers, but mostly just owls and sheep. The half moon was bright, catching the falling sun and remembering it for us, occasionally mobbed by clouds. We leapt over fences and charged through sheepshit. Various ungulates scrutinised us as we covered the ground. The farmer has a pit where he gathers his horseshit and lets the locals take it away for free as manure.

The air is better up here. I’m happy to be out of London even if just for a night. Good to catch up with Charlotte and now I’m gonna sleep like a log, snuggled up with my hot water bottle and the peace and quiet up here.

Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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