Some things take strange shapes

It’s funny the things which matter, and funny the people who don’t. What mattered most to me today was that the mog of gingeryness enjoyed his first foray into the outside world, and came back.

He mewed quite considerably when he was finally allowed a resistance-free catflap, and I can only imagine that this was due to the singular lack of anything which wasn’t decking … yes, readers, I live in a house which is replete with decking. More than replete. Luckily, being a mog, he has a strange ability to appear atop six foot walls. And to make friend with the neighbours through the simple expedient of appearing somewhat downbeat and distressed. Ginge is a bad cat … I wish the same tactics worked for me.

As ginge explores his new world, so do I. I may give off the odd plaintive mew, but fundamentally I’m already ‘in’…

A new house is always a strange experience, because you necessarily bump into things that you’ve carried around for ever and yet keep in boxes. Newspapers from the 30s. A Shakespeare nodding doll given to me by a class five years ago. A box full of wine.

Last night, I drank the last bottle of my really, really good wine. This was a 1995 Chateau Figeac, Premier Grand Cru Classé. That translates as very, very nice indeed. I was a little worried that it may have bitten the big one as it’s not been kept in ideal circumstances … the last bottle I opened (which was for christmas 2010) was undrinkable. I left it where it was … I got a text two days later ‘give it two days :)’. This bottle I opened at lunchtime, decanted it, and by dinner … well, it really was something special. It shared the table with foie gras and fine, fine fillet steak …

This wine was part of horde of claret my father had put aside for his dotage, a dotage he never experienced. In one of the few decent conversations we ever had, when he was in the grip of the leukaemia which killed him, he confided that one of the things which really pissed him off (other than the imminent death business), was the fact that he’d got all this wine. ‘Drink it’, said I. It’s a little young, he said … but went on to explain that the main issue was that he couldn’t stand the taste. The disease or the chemo meant it made him gag. This was adding insult to injury.

So. It is perhaps fitting that it was drunk amongst friends, in my new house … a house which is already becoming a home for me and my recalcitrant cat.

The past is carried with us wherever we go. It just takes strange shapes.