September 20th, 2003

2020 lack of vision

beads in the attic and bushman's salt on the potatos (visiting Annie)

There is important Catholic business to be done so we must this evening go and rest beneath the saints' eyes at Annie's. Her landlords are the local landowners and the house is cluttered with their antiques and guests trailing stories of dolphins and porpoises she has never seen hemself. Annie wants to make jewellery; rosaries of glittering white local marble, bead pieces like the ones she learned to make back in South Africa, but using the colours and stories of the islands. Selkies and heroes and saints in blues and greys and velvety purples. But necessity has left her pregnant, running a bed-and-breakfast and doing admin for the Island's touring theatre group. Not altogether incompatible with her jeweller's dreams, but she gets so tired ...

Annies loves Jesus and has pictures of Him all over her walls, along with sundry virgins and scary-looking saints. She keeps a few buddhas in the hall for the balanced look. I compliment an exciting-looking chandelier and she frowns at the candles and red glass teardrops. "I had my friend in to get the feng shui sorted out yesterday," she says. Hm, yes, it is perfectly placed to disrupt the vital energy drain that is the price for the vast and glorious view from the front window, now she comes to mention it.

She regales us with tales of her visitors. She's the theatre B&B but it seems that actors don't make for good stories; all of hers are about families and children who piss in the beds and her mad bat-botherer who kept telling her the species of everything. Bonnie, Annie's accident-prone dog, currently with a bandaged paw and a head cone and looking a lot like an advert designed to squeeze money out of sentimental donkey-huggers, blunders around a bit, and stumbles into Annie's chaise longue. "I have another in the next room," she says, "My landlord had them just lying around in his garage."
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    the creak and tick of an old house