In this heat it is necessary to have the window wide open for the sake of cool and also to dispel the odour of very ancient dog. My study is not large. Originally it was just going to be a small veranda but I decided that with the addition of windows it would make a good office but Sweeney has two favourite sleeping places in it, on a chair and beneath my desk. Too close for comfort. It really is quite incredible that she is still with us. If she’s laying stretched out her breathing is so shallow every now and again you have to look really close in order to make sure that is still the case and that, in a moment when your back was turned, she hadn’t quietly passed on to that great big kennel in the sky. In actual fact her grave was dug in September last year when I thought the end had come but we have decided that what happened then was she must have had a stroke. Now, apart from being smelly (despite baths) and being incontinent, deaf and practically blind, to our amazement she soldiers on and, because she has been such a wonderful pet for nigh on sixteen years, we put up with the minor inconveniences. She is the last of the animals, two cats and two dogs, brought out from England. Her nails desperately need cutting but she hates that so much and, because we’ve been expecting her to go for months, we keep putting it off rather than have her distraught. But if she carries on much longer, we really will have to do something about them.
But having the window wide open, and it is a large window, means that all sorts of flying noonoos: beetles, bees, flies, wasps, mosquitoes, butterflies, moths, you name it, take it as an invitation to fly in and then can’t find their way out so there is a bumping and a buzzing as they climb up or batter on panes of glass until it gets too much and I try and usher them out again. Even then the stupid things sometimes fly right back in. My desk becomes littered with casualties.
The other problem with the office is that it can get quite damp at night and it seems there is little we can do about it except keep the humidifier going all night. It is set at 30 and sometimes in winter when you switch it on it registers as high as 74 and in the morning has gone down to around 40. Gets down to the 30/31 in summer – like now. My goodness, going into the final week of June, half the year gone. Where? Anyway, to begin with we didn’t realise there was a problem until we discovered we had lost three or four lovely books to horrible mould, hence the purchase of the humidifier. The only rooms in this house where there are no books are the bathrooms. In here all the books are on theatre, film, play scripts, histories, theories (there are enough theories to satisfy any would be actor. producer, director, playwright). Next door in a larger space are oversize books on design. In the kitchen of course there are books on cookery. There is a library of books, books in my bedroom and books upstairs in the guest room. Shelves there are double stacked and guests sometimes leave their holiday reading behind which is fine for follow up guests who like that kind of thing but literarily years ago Douglas yelled “No more books!” And what happened? We keep getting new books.
A very happy birthday Dennis Wiercx.