On the road
I've been enjoying the Bob Dylan bonanza on BBC, especially live film of performances of familiar studio-recorded songs. Not because I worship the man (though I continue to admire him), but because those songs have formed a soundtrack to my life from childhood. My parents were young, beatnik folkies in 1964, carrying me (a small fat baby) from flat to flat and job to job, when they started collecting Bob's recordings. An amusement of ageing is to contrast my diffuse amnesia for recent events against a curiously conserved ability to singalong, word-perfect, to early Dylan songs from the 60s and 70s, lodged in some separate and durable, hard-recorded memory bank.
Like Jack and Bob, I'll be taking to the road shortly, and away for 10 days in the western US states. While the trip won't be all duty, I hope, the main reason is the death of my dear one's brother, Matt. Keeled over with a ruptured aorta, alone in his flat aged 45 yrs. Let that be a lesson to us all to live each day as it comes. There may be practical help needed (which I can be good at) with clearing Matt's flat, seeking financial paperwork, finalising affairs and ensuring his 13 yr old daughter gets any assets. There's been a truly black comedy of family dispute ongoing in the background since Matt died, concerning the ownership and fate of his ashes. You couldn't make up some of tragicomic dialogue and behaviour that's gone on in that family over a 5-lb bag of carbon, though Matt's wishes to his best friend were to be laid to rest in Arizona. So the other lesson is to make sure you have a will, especially if you're a parent.
Ashes or not, the plan is to dedicate a memorial bench for him at the local Greek orthodox monastery where he meditated and gave tours when off work. He'd been working to establish a new college in his small Arizona town, with its 5 prisons and not much else, and a population economically dependent on the incarceration industry. No wonder the brother loved the monastery, with its adobe architecture, expansive desert views, shady courtyard and icon-enriched, cool, open interior.
It's been gales and rainstorms the last few days in Edinburgh, and the gas fire's back on in these autumn evenings. The maples were starting to turn in the Botanics when DoDo and I visited at the weekend. It feels odd and quite probably sinful to be packing summer dresses and sandals to accomodate the current 80F weather in San Diego and 100F in Arizona. I'll also be smuggling over a specially-requested order of 'See You Jimmy' hats for dear one's barfly companions at the sleazy blues hangout where we met. They're easily amused by tack and kitsch.
Today's Indie soduku scores:
Quick 16 mins
Advanced 22 mins, distracted by Judge Judy
Acknowledgement: Mum, bless her, for saving me the superduper sudoku CD from Sat's Indie.