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I am twice undone

A strange day. Twice fearful of discovery in moments undone.

Firstly, on my walk to Sainsbury’s, I am instantly and unexpectedly reduced to tears by the ending of a BBC Radio 3 version of The Merchant of Venice on Sounds – Andrew Scott’s Shylock suddenly whispering words from the Creed in my ear-pods.

Those familiar words, unexpectedly and so movingly added. Surely this was not in the play when I studied it at school? I had been enjoying the fact I could remember most of the well-known quotes earlier in the production – just 43 years after learning them. Not bad I thought.

Horribly moving, though beautiful too. I have re-listened in the privacy of my own home, partly because I wanted to be sure I had not made it up once I had checked the script did not contain this. I had actually not enjoyed some of the updating included in this particular version – sound effects of coffee-shops and office buildings from 2008 which I didn’t really think added anything (but who am I to say?)

So anyway, I was unexpectedly weeping, on an urban street where I might bump into anyone. Weirdly, I was passing by the house of a fellow churchgoer from when our sons were both choristers. For six years, we together endured the vicar’s Sunday evening cautionary sermons, regularly plunging us into pre-Monday gloom, but that period – coupled with glorious earlier times in my college chapel when I tried harder to believe in it all – has left me with some comfort from the ritual and words of the old-style church services. So, it was a shock to be reminded in such an intimate way on the way to the shops.

Fortunately, I think my undoing in this way went unobserved and the tears were under control before I arrived at Sainsburys.

Later, back at home and fully recovered – I was up a step-ladder, both hands occupied with brush and paint. To my horror I realised that my painting trousers were revealing, through the un-curtained window, rather more of my backside than is desirable these days. No doubt because the more desirable part has melted away over these midlife years and no longer holds up my jeans.

There was no immediate remedy until I had finished my task. Lord knows whether any of the neighbours was unfortunate enough to witness this particular undoing.

Can I avoid repeating such embarrassing events?

Well, I can avoid mooning at the world out of the bedroom window by the use of a sensible belt. I have already adopted this precaution for today’s painting.

I’m not sure I’m ready to renounce all Andrew Scott material though!

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