Two Kinds Of Jam
|The Jam Store Cupboard At Rosehill|
Farmer Landlord makes contact by phone; he has missed the latest smoke alarm episode. He is calling, from a wedding in Wiltshire, to see has anyone stopped by to look at the broken electric boiler.
While he is on the phone, apologetic for the alarm, and the long list of problems to address which he tries not to think about, I press for news on the mortgage foreclosure. Salt meets badly patched wound.
This is a wincing silence.
Followed by a rush of ‘Well, I haven’t done much about it, I must get to see the bank;’ followed by the truth; ‘I don’t want to sell,’ ending with the admission, ‘I think the bank will force me to sell.’
I tell him we are now starting to look for alternative accommodation, but there aren’t many rentals that will take pets. He has a brainwave that a cousin of a cousin has a farmhouse lying empty, not too far away, he will make a call and see.
Mr and me take breakfast outside.
‘Somewhere with a garden,’ he says,’ and a big shed.’
We are working on a wish list. He says we should go to the beach, and he’s right.
The sand has blown inland, built a sand ramp down from the car park wall. Dog plunges through puddles and into the sea. I’m not too far behind. The waves are mildly cold, the rock pools soothingly warm. Perfect weather for barefoot with a light windstopper coat; I am excellently dressed.
Driving back we spy properties we could live in. We debunk the myth that art and honesty only thrive with poverty by spending imaginary fortunes in inspirationally creative ways. I say I have enough source material for rags, it will be safe to move on to riches. It will, in fact, be new territory to discover.
If you want facts and figures, I can reveal (from the BBC website, so can be regarded as acceptably true) that my current earnings are 27% of the UK average wage, and 56% of the world average.
I have been far poorer than this.
I do not forget the day I opened my food cupboard and cried because I had two kinds of jam: I was thinking, two kinds of jam means you are rich.
Back at Rosehill, I google map the empty farmhouse. There are sheds, big sheds, and a garden. I don’t set my heart on it, I’m eccentric, not (necessarily) foolish, but… I like the look of it. Plenty of space for storing my jam.
|Wanted: slighty bonkers rural property, must love dogs|