The converted cow shed where I've lived for the past 10 year is beginning to look a bit empty. Most of the furniture has been given away, most of the books likewise. The cassettes and the tape deck have made it to the tip. I kept the obscure Pakistani and Sudanese tapes, I couldn't throw them away. They are in a box that my parents took to their house along with old family photographs (I'd become the archivist). The only tape that I have replaced as a CD is Lee Morgan's Sidewinder, it is playing as I write. It was just about my oldest and favourite tape, a bootleg from my best friend at school taken from her dad's extensive Jazz collection. My parents never went near the stuff, but my friend's dad was determined his daughter and her friends would like Jazz... it worked on me.
The children at school were fractious, grumpy and determined not to work in the summer heat till I played it whilst they did some practical work. What is it with Jazz and hot weather?
Not long now till I depart from here. I am already wondering if I'll return. I'm planning a retirement in some remote mountain village with a few hens and goats for company and a nearby monastery to see to my spiritual needs. I'm sure hens appreciate Jazz on a summer's day, goats will probably prefer Bruckner. And yes, I know it makes God laugh to tell Him our plans, but I'm laughing too.