Apparently today is Father’s Day. If I should hear from any of my children I would be flabbergasted – I’ve pretty much managed to keep my whereabouts a well-guarded secret. I suppose there may be some out there I don’t know about, who may even now be hunting me down. It’s something I’ve learned to live with, and is of little consequence.

Melissa telephoned to tell me it’s Father’s Day. She and I had no issue, thank the Lord.

Tuesday, June 18th

Didn’t sleep well. I heard rooks making an awful racket at what I think was around 5. It’s of little or no consequence but today was rather sleepy as a consequence. Went for a walk with Winnie after breakfast to wake myself up but it didn’t really work, and I stayed grumpily slow all day. I’m not sure anyone noticed, as I’m often slowly grumpy, even on a good day.

Apropos of not much – apart from some stuff I just read in a little magazine I’m glad I didn’t actually buy – I think if you write prose as a poet it should be tight and interesting in every word if you expect the work to be regarded as a prose poem. Don’t be flabby. Also, of course, the whole thing needs to be interesting in the first place. And also, if anyone reads this, it’s a diary. Vladimir Nabokov regarded the diary as “the lowest form of literature”.  This can be flabby. I’m not even really trying.

Melissa telephoned. I was eating seedless grapes.

Thursday, June 20th

The weather appears to be warming up a little. It’s about bloody time. I’m eager to break in my new bikini. I often think I should go and live in a hot country, but I don’t know which one I would choose. I like heat, and even when in a heatwave the nights are too warm and humid for comfort I enjoy complaining about it. I suppose it’s of little consequence, and I’m rambling because, truth be told, nothing in the least interesting happened today, as an example of which I give you, dear Diary, the fact that Jethro asked me if he can give the carriage a fresh coat of paint and spruce it up a bit. I don’t call that interesting, because I don’t care, as long as he doesn’t make it too garish. He says it’ll be racing green. That’s tasteful, albeit paradoxical for a carriage that’s never driven at anything much above a leisurely canter.

I tried looking at Octavia’s poems – I’ve been putting it off and putting it off – but the contrast between the sunshine outdoors and the grim tedium of reading poor writing and some mindless political hogwash (“O Rishi Sunak, don’t get the sack! You can be trusted to get the country back on track”) was too much – and I abandoned them to go outside and get some decent weather into my soul. (I do have a soul, contrary to popular opinion.)

Cook has asked for a few days off to go and see her brother, who’s having an ingrown toenail removed (probably from his head). She says he’s a bit of a wimp and wants nursing. (Shooting, more like . . . ) I’ve acceded to her request. I’m not a bad employer. I have a heart, sort of.

Melissa telephoned. For the life of me I can’t remember what she said.

Friday, June 21st

Cook is going away tomorrow, and says she’s stocked the freezer, and she’s also shown me how to use the new range. It’s the same as the old range as far as that goes, and I know how to use it. It’s not brain science.

I had a very strange letter from a poet I shall not name here in case anyone reads this diary after I end it all, but he wrote to say he wasn’t happy that I knew where he lived. He seems to think I might bother him there, like some kind of stalker. As it happens, I didn’t know where he lived until receiving this letter, which included his address in the top right hand corner of the paper, as convention dictates. What an idiot.

Melissa telephoned. She tells me it’s Jane Russell’s birthday, or would be if she was still alive, and she knows I’m an admirer. You bet! And it’s not often Melissa tells me something even a little bit interesting. Of course, I don’t know if she’s right, and I can’t be bothered to find out.

Sunday, June 23rd

Went to The Empty Arms for Sunday lunch, because Cook is away. It was alright, but there’s nothing quite like home cooking (from a kitchen you just spent a fortune on). Awkwardly, Octavia was there, and I was forced to explain that I hadn’t had time to give her poems the care and attention they deserved because I’d been tied up on estate business and financial affairs. I think I pulled it off; I’m a pretty good fibber.

I appear to be doing very little these days that’s worthy of entering into a diary. Some days it feels like I might as well make stuff up just to hoodwink myself (and anyone who reads this) into believing I lead an active and interesting life. The truth is I rather enjoy laziness, reading a few books, writing a little bit when I feel like it, and walking the dog. My social life, such as it is, always seems only to add complications inasmuch as I’m supposed to be interested in what’s happening in other people’s lives. I’m not, frankly, and I’m tired of pretending I am.

Melissa telephoned, but I just let it ring.




James Henderson (Gentleman)





This entry was posted on in homepage and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.