The dam was officially finished yesterday evening, around six: I happened to wander down in the final stages, and offered to be a Duchess of Redonda and lay the last stone – then it was a matter of wiring up to the attic tossing obsolete cushions and winter curtains to right and left in search of a hat I was sure I had seen up there somewhere – the hat emerged (navy straw) and was hastily decorated with geraniums for that Duchess look. By the time I got down there with the mortar and trowel, the Gamekeeper and Dr Biswell had been joined both by Miss T and her parents, and by the Greatest Living Renaissance Scholar, so I laid the stone and declared the Dam open on behalf of the Republic of Burnside, and everybody clapped. The GLRS took a picture. Today, alas, the dam is leaking again, but I’m sure a solution will be found. Everyone is staying calm.
The GLRS left today, as did his entourage, Ganimedino (who was rather a feature of the blog in its first summer, which he spent here) and his friend the Italian Epigrapher. After we had waved everyone goodbye, the Gamekeeper wandered in to confer about concrete. Suddenly he said, with utter simplicity, ‘where did they all sleep? You’ve only got two spare rooms.’ I gave him an oldfashioned look, and said, ‘****, you are a big boy now.’ But he continued to look puzzled, and so I added, ‘at some point in the course of the afternoon, I predict that the penny will drop with a deafening clatter.’ Sometimes due to his general sophistication in many areas of life, one forgets that the Gamekeeper has been rather simply brought up.
On a completely different tack, there is news on the Extreme Gardening front: I have successfully germinated a strelitzia nicolai, which in the fullness of time, will grow some 30 feet high. Something to look forward to.
Also on a different tack — we seldom mention the real world on the blog, but did anyone else notice the Guardian story which ran under the heading, ‘The bigamist who awoke from surgery to face wrath of three wives?’ He’d cunningly arranged for them to visit at staggered hours before going under the knife but the hospital, predictably, screwed up and the three Mrs Reeds arrived simultaneously. It must have been like an oldfashioned farce. You really do have to laugh.