Yesterday was another day of catching up with household tasks. Most significantly, I trimmed the front garden, which had become an overgrown urban jungle. I've had it on my radar for a while but Mrs. Kravitz mentioned it to me last week, so I figured I'd better do something about it. Technically, according to our lease, the front garden is the responsibility of the landlord. But rather than dealing with the management company to try to arrange a trim -- which could take weeks or months -- I decided to go the easier, faster route and do it myself. I filled two yard waste bags with clippings from the shrubs and honestly, the garden still looks like I barely touched it. But it will do.
I also cleaned all the kitchen counters and cabinets, which I've been meaning to do for ages. It's the kind of thing Dave will never notice but those countertops were bugging me, especially in the corners and under the microwave, that kind of thing. You could eat off them now! (Oh, wait.)
In a sign of the times, I got an e-mail from the coronavirus testing center where I went in April to get a PCR before traveling to Florida. Remember that whole drama? Well, anyway, the e-mail said the center is closing due to falling demand for Covid tests. I guess those days are more or less behind us.
I also read a New Yorker article about the Queen that originally ran back in 2002. It was in an anthology issue of previously published pieces focused on celebrity, and although the article (by Martin Amis) was excellent, the thing that most stood out for me was the revelation that Prince Edward was known in some circles, before his marriage, as "Dockyard Doris." (Edward was long rumored to be gay but I don't think anyone has any solid evidence that was ever true.) Anyway, I got a good laugh out of that. I'm still laughing about it, honestly. Probably inappropriate to relate that tidbit on the day of the Queen's funeral, but there you have it.
(There was a London drag queen who performed as Dockyard Doris in the '80s and '90s. More about him here. I'm not sure whether Prince Edward's nickname inspired him or vice versa.)
In early afternoon I took Olga to the cemetery. See that cross at left in the top photo? It's one of the most unusual grave markers in the whole cemetery. Where all the others are granite, this cross -- with its twining ivy vine -- is made of iron.
While walking around and trying to avoid a large scary-looking doberman, we heard and eventually located...
...the turaco! Yes, it's still there. I hadn't heard it since the spring and hadn't seen it for a year, so I was glad it showed up again. It was sharing the tree with a bunch of pigeons, which made me happy. I've been concerned about the turaco's social opportunities, given that it's an exotic with no companions of its own species. At least it has friends.
It seemed quite relaxed, preening in the tree as we watched. You can barely see a hint of the bright red feathers on the underside of its wings. My ultimate dream is to get a photo of the turaco in flight, to capture those red wings, but so far the bird has not cooperated. I have seen it fly, though, and it is a stunning sight.
I came home to the sound of more power tools upstairs. Home sweet home.
Oh, by request, here's a photo of the blue bowl I found in the skip while walking the dog Saturday morning. (A skip, for my American readers, is basically a dumpster, though shallower and more open and thus easier to scout for treasures.) Not bad, eh? It's wide and shallow and perfect for holding produce on our newly scrubbed kitchen counter.
And here's the rhinestone button, which I suppose is really more of a pearl-toned button with rhinestone accents. If you want to be super-picky. (Anna Wintour I am not.) As I said yesterday, it's in my bowl of found objets on our dining room windowsill.
It's very Dockyard Doris, come to think of it.