Sunday, 3 February 2008

up the hill

It was my birthday. I thought I should do something to mark the occasion; Suzanne joined me, and we went over to the Black Mountains and climbed the Sugarloaf. It was cold and clear; we could see way south to the other side of the Bristol Channel.

A snow storm came rolling across the mountains to the north; it reminded me of one of those films made by volcano chasers, the ones who end up dead. I reassured myself that snow may be cold, but at lest it's not toxic. And so I took a few pictures of it instead of running away. And we drank our coffee and ate chocolate, as you do.

Me at fifty. I saw this and thought, "I'm turning into my grandma..."

This hasn't happened to me before. Oh well. I sometimes see echoes of family in my daughter's face, as transient presences. Now I see it in me too. I feel less individual all of a sudden, and conscious that there aren't that many people in front of me on the family conveyor belt, these days.

We dropped down into Abergavenny for lunch, and wandered around the market. There was a french bread stall, with a chap with a french accent behind it. I bought a nice-looking pain au levain, because I like to see how other people's bread compares to mine. I bought the loaf in french. He sold it to me in english. "Surly bugger," I thought. Suzanne suggested that it wasn't surliness but a lack of real frenchness on the part of the baker.

It was a good loaf, though. We ate it with cheese and salami and stuff, and drank the champagne that was sitting, a courier delivery, in the porch on our return home. Thank you, Richard. It was a happy birthday.