Did you hear about the dyslexic devil-worshipper? – Sold his soul to Santa!!
Base Camp 68
I seem to have developed a tradition of referring to houses where I once lived by just their street number. Thus, I have lived at “73”, “260” & “68” in recent years.
“68” was my address, south of the river, when I worked in London. For 9 years, 68 echoed to the laughter & tears that are part of everyday life.
Fast-forward to the present. Our winter quarters in Lapland are in the Vormsele Community Centre. It is a big, wooden, former school-house that has a proper catering kitchen & restaurant (mainly closed until summer) a function room, sauna and a wood-fired bakery in an adjacent building. The bakery is in regular use as the ladies of the village bake their “tunbrot” in big batches. There is also a weaving-room next to our flat and, just across the landing, is the former school gymnasium, still with ropes, wall-bars etc in place. We use the gym as an office, exercise room, and storage facility. The computer is in there too and, as I type this, I can see the big river – now almost totally frozen over – about 50 yards away.
The flat and the gym are on the first floor, and the east facing windows of the flat overlook a little wooden cottage. The cottage has a car-port, a small garden and two robust sheds. By its front door is the number “68”. It did have a “For Sale” sign too, but we bought the cottage on 11th November.
We paid very little for its sitting room, bedroom, bathroom and kitchen plus the car-port and two robust sheds. In January, a firm are going to install a wood-burning stove in the sitting-room and in the spring we will have a “garden room” (posh shed, really) built as an office/guest room.
Now, the more astute amongst you will be thinking “No fixed Abode? – bought a house? – incompatible!.” Well we’re justifying it by calling it our base-camp. It will be somewhere to store furniture, books, seasonal clothing, camping gear etc and, in the long run, it will be cheaper than renting somewhere. Plus, it is in a beautiful spot ….
Unlike the Lawson-Saatchi-Grillos who are in a rather ugly spot these days. I’ve only read about the trial on the BBC & Guardian websites and it’s interesting to see that, after the verdict, “team Nigella” are out in force with a snow-job (or is that a bad choice of words?) portraying the domestic goddess as a victim. I can go along with her victim status up to a point. She certainly had a rough deal with John Diamond’s appalling death, which he chronicled in a Sunday Times diary, and her marriage to Charles Saatchi doesn’t seem to have been great. But with 50 million income from book-sales she did have the wherewithal to walk away, surely?
Where the hagiographies really trouble me though is that they ignore the logic leading to the verdict.
The Grillo sisters were found “not guilty”. The main plank of their defence (the only plank, from my limited reading of the case) was that they were allowed to use the credit-cards as they wished because they didn’t shop Nigella Lawson for taking drugs. The jury believed them.
But (leaving aside any whiff of blackmail) she, Nigella, stood in Court and swore that the Grillo sisters were lying. According to the jury, they were not lying. So who was?
There are only so many times that one can describe the beauty & tranquillity of a snowy Lapland. So, to avoid boring both you and me I shall intersperse those “twee but true” posts with a series of 3 or 4 articles under the banner “Man of Mystery”. They are about my father and his curious relationship with the world.
Writing the posts has been a bit of a cathartic exercise, and I would really appreciate feedback – positive or negative.
have a super Christmas and a peaceful New Year.