Sunday, 24 November 2019

Porridge


                                                                               Winter photograph



Dear Reader,


I read this piece by Jane Austen this week written on 6th November, 1813.  I thought you too might enjoy it.

'I had long wanted to see Dr. Britten, and his wife amuses me very much with her affected refinement and elegance.  Miss Lee I found very conversible; she admires Crabbe as she ought. She is at an age of reason, ten years older than myself at least. She was at the famous Ball at Chilham Castle, so of course you remember her.  By the bye, as I must leave off being young, I find many Douceours in being a sort of Chaperon for I am put on the Sofa near the fire and can drink as much wine as I like.  We had Music in the Event, Fanny and Miss Wild played. and Mr. James Wildman sat close by and listened, or pretended to listen'.
                                                                     
What is the Age of Reason?   I wonder if I have got there at 79.

                                                                                *

In the last two weeks I have been having dizzy spells especially in bed at night if I turn my head quickly. Apparently it is quite common and called vertigo.  There is not much to be done about it except exercises which make a dizzy fit come on.  So I am not doing them and just hope it will go
away soon.

                                                                               *


Porridge

The kitchen maid
plunges thin white arms
into the heavy cast-iron pot,
scours the glutinous porridge
from its insides.
She imagines her mistress
out in her carriage
on pleasure calls,
wearing lilac silk,
freshwater pearls around her neck,
her hands, idle white, in her lap.
She weeps.

The housewife scours the saucepan,
eases the porridge from its sides,
brushes the sticky mess into the sink.
She imagines her husband
taking the train, office-bound,
making important telephone calls,
lunching with partners Lucy and George
in the Italian bistro, discussing deals,
drinking white wine, laughing, living.
She weeps.

                                                                                *

With best wishes, Patricia

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