Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Traffic Calming, A Trapped Painter, and a Poet

A strange day today. I was back at work after my all too short holiday. I left my wife to cope with the chaos around our house, and not just a tornado of a four-year-old.

Firstly, signs had appeared on our street a few days ago warning us that we couldn’t park from Wednesday onwards for a week. The traffic-calming bumps were to be dug up and new bumps put in their place. There seemed no reason for this, as the present bumps are fine. However, any cars parked where they shouldn’t be would be towed away, so we had to comply. Most of the street was covered with signs, but my wife managed to find a parking space about 8-minutes-walk away last night. Today, no work took place. Indeed most of the No Parking signs disappeared, except for a fifty metre area outside our house. So we’ll wait to see if anyone turns up to drill the street away tomorrow. It will be interesting to see what happens as our next-door neighbours haven’t moved their car. Maybe they know something we don’t!

Secondly, we are having our window-frames, outside doors, and guttering painted, which means we have to leave windows and doors open despite the chill winter temperatures. Today, the painter was on the roof, painting the window-frames at the front of the house. My wife was with our daughter at the back. She heard a thumping noise, but ignored it. About half an hour later, the doorbell rang. A frail, elderly man told my wife that someone was stuck on the roof. The winds had blown the painter’s ladder off the wall and he had been stuck up there for 30 minutes, shouting to passers-by, who had all ignored him! Neither the old man nor my wife could lift the ladder, so my wife opened a window, which only opened a quarter of the way, and the painter managed to lever himself from the roof through the gap into safety.

I read a few poems by Jane Hirshfield earlier this evening. I know she is famous in the USA, but she was published for the first time in the UK only last year. The poems I read were really good, and it’s made me want to read more.


Cailleach said...

The poor man! Could have been worse though, he could have been trapped up there longer!

Aisha said...

Just to endorse your view on Hirshfield: she is fantastic. By paying attention, she makes a shining universe out of small things.

Rob Mackenzie said...

The painter is still painting away today - brrrrr...

Aisha, I've got hold of more Hirshfield. It's terrific. What she writes seems so simple, but it goes very deep. It's really hard to write well like that and she does it again and again.