Thursday, May 7, 2020
Gin & Tonic with Miss Sweden
When I was walking down a mostly empty Charing Cross Road on Monday, I passed a shop window filled with cufflinks. Check these out!
You can tell which ones I'm focusing on:
HOW FANTASTIC ARE THOSE?! Judging by the shape and color of the bottles, they're even my brands, Gordon's gin and Schweppes tonic.
There are many practical reasons why I didn't buy them. First, of course, the shop wasn't open. Second, I only own one shirt that requires cufflinks and it's got colorful stripes, which these wouldn't match. And third, they were something like £39, which is insane.
But they are great.
In other news, it looks like I probably will be returning to work next week, for just two weeks. I'll be doing stuff in our still-closed library to get it ready for summer book checkouts. Basically, I'll be checking in any returned materials, getting them back on the shelves, and doing our annual inventory to find out what's gone missing over the course of the school year. The library won't be open yet so I won't really be dealing with people -- just stuff. My co-worker will then come in the last two weeks of school to do actual checkouts for parents and students who visit campus. (This all assumes that the government announces a loosening of our lockdown restrictions, which is anticipated on Sunday. Our school won't reopen for classes until the fall.)
See that big red lupine on our old patio table? I picked it up at Waitrose on Tuesday. Beautiful, isn't it? It's a variety called Beefeater. The red lupine we had last year doesn't seem to have survived the winter, so I was happy to get this one -- and then pose it next to our laundry for a photo. Ha!
Apropos of nothing, I was thinking yesterday about a woman who briefly rented a house across the lake from us when I was growing up in Florida. She was a statuesque blond who we used to call Miss Sweden -- or was it Miss Norway? -- and she allegedly really was a former Scandinavian beauty queen. She used to sunbathe on her dock, drift around in filmy blouses and once came to our door looking for a missing cockatoo. (This sounds like a dream situation for an adolescent boy, but it did nothing for me, which should have told me something.)
Anyway, she wasn't around for very long and the memories are so hazy that I'm honestly not sure how accurate they are, but I wonder who that woman was. This all happened in the late '70s, and she wasn't very old. I looked at a list of former Miss Swedens but the names mean nothing to me, and as I said, she could have actually been Norwegian or Danish. Maybe she wasn't really a beauty queen at all. That could have been a neighborhood rumor. When you're a kid you take everything you hear at face value.
Anyway, we lived in a fairly insular area, and having such an exotic person in our midst, with an international pedigree, made a big impression on me. It's a mystery that will probably never be solved!