31 May 2010
Working through the Bank Holiday weekend (and ‘most every other weekend that’s come my way since it started to look anything like spring outdoors) is almost palatable when it rains, or when all the wind comes round off the Atlantic to hit Southampton from two different directions at once.
When the sun comes out, a full weekend’s work means missing out on what’s probably one of less than a dozen weekends where I can take the rug down to the park and sit there with a good book all afternoon.
I’m fond of this rug. It replaces a much-loved tartan one from my parents’ house that went out on picnics, open-air concerts, and Saturday excursions to expand our minds. (I only pulled a few tassels out of my parents’ one to find out how far down the colour went.) I’m more fond of the rug than several disappointing books I’ve read on top of it.
I googled my surname when I ordered the new rug to find out whether there was a tartan that I ought to buy. There wasn’t, in any sense except the tenuous. I can’t say I was completely disappointed. It’s all invented tradition anyway, of course, but some of them have ended up in drained-out greens and pinks. They look like a nineties clubbing outfit that has spun in a washing machine drum ever since.
Fortunately, there are royal tartans appropriate for use by every subject of the Queen. The monarch’s our clan chief, you understand. (To those of you reading this blog from republics based on reason: I apologise. It’s a bizarre place, when you scratch it about a bit.) I can’t imagine there’d ever be a situation of an English picnicker harassed in a park for sitting on a tartan some Scots considered didn’t belong to her. Actually, I can imagine. It’s just the sort of little detail of social chaos that nibbles at me several times a day.
They posted the rug the length of the United Kingdom, including a transfer through Southampton sorting office, within 48 hours. That’s actually the most impressive thing about it.
Even so, with summertimes like these, I only get to use it as a blanket.