Written 16 June, 2020
The day begins well T, our new neighbour, writes an email to invite anyone who needs a new kitchen bench, long, broad, stainless steel, to bring their boat and pick it up from his house. IGG’s marble stand was wonderful in the crisis, but it’s too small. We never have anywhere to chop food, or stack dishes. It’ll be great as a stand for the BBQ. I say yes, and it’s arranged.
I run down and ask DY to help me carry it, for GG with his one arm, isn’t able to carry. Dy can’t, he’s got an appointment in Berowra. He sets off in his canoe and we motor over to T’s, GG and I. Suddenly Dy’s canoe does a u turn; his motor has packed up. He’ll help us, he sings out as he steers to meet us. We offer him our boat to get to his appointment. And we happen to have a 2 stroke motor spare under the house. That treasure trove here, the under- the- house trove because it’s so hard to throw things away and impossible to sell them on E Bay.
T’s kitchen bench is remarkably handsome, like the ones you see in house and garden magazines. The sort of thing you see in other people’s houses, never your own. I help Dy carry it up about 20 steps, then he gets exasperated with me, tips it on its end and carries it up himself.
I thought you were a ballerina, he says.
Only a tango dancer.
We install the new bench in place, and carry out the marble stand to the deck and I don’t like to admit that I hurt the muscles in my arm. Oh well, they’ll get better.
I liked GG’s handiwork on that, very rustic, he says, I watch him leave in our boat, cutting through the sheen on the water, and I clean up the deck for the first time in years, to show off GG’s marble stand.
Then things start to go wrong. Our solar panels are too big for the pontoon- so they can’t be moved there after all. There goes that idea. Now we’re back to cutting down the trees on our neighbour’s block, getting their permission, paying for it. Then K rings- she’s angry about being weaned, though she doesn’t say that. We can’t talk it over. Only door slamming and phone cut offs. How could you do this to me?She’s weaned herself off us many times before, but must again. GG and I talk about staying here longer than two nights. Perhaps till Sunday. i ring my dear friend R, old Marg’s daughter, and she says it’d be good for both of them. She visits her mother every day despite her own family and full -time job, and she’ll tell me if it sours.
You sure it’s not too long?
Oh, if you stayed away six months, it’d be a problem.
And then, as i dither, GG falls sick, shivering, sniffling, sleepy and with diarrhoea.
Please God, not the virus.