My wife is away this week, which is just as well. She told me she’d divorce me if I wrote about her again, so unless you tell her, she won’t know. Her mind is occupied at present with setting up a dog hotel, having read about it. There is no room for any other topic.
Whatever she is reading at any given time sets the entire tone for our life together.
Before the dog hotel manual she was reading a book by a feminist writer – her go-to source of literature – with the ominous title Re-educated and the even more threatening sub-title: How I changed my job, my home, my husband and my hair.
Apparently Ms Lucy Kellaway has recently changed age, too, and is now approaching 60.
In her book she recounts how one very supportive friend told her not to worry, as from 60 to 75 you are ‘young old,’ but over 75 you are ‘old old.’
As I am on the cusp of decrepitude, according to that formula, I took in these words of wisdom without saying anything that might make my situation worse than it is already.
Meanwhile, an eminent Monaco dentist told me that my teeth are in such poor shape and need so much work that it’s not worth the investment at this stage in my life.
On Tuesday we went to bed in the dark, of course, and when I woke up my wife was wearing a T-shirt with a slogan on it. As the winter light filtered slowly through the shutters and the glow off the Mediterranean lit our bedroom with still-feeble January sunshine, I made out the wording. “Au Revoir.”
Anyway, I am determined to soldier on with my plans for green vegetable self-sufficiency, not a very likely prospect as we don’t have a garden to speak of, just two small paved courtyards and a very fertile lemon tree. But I do have an appetite for impossible tasks.
I’ve decided to cannibalise discarded pallets left lying around Beausoleil to make seed trays in which I will plant lettuces and tomatoes as soon as March, if I live long enough.
So please don’t be too surprised if you see an aged staggering pensioner with a crowbar hanging around the market where Monte-Carlo meets France. I mean no harm.