At 10 AM the sun was so bright and inviting I had to walk into town to find a treat (any excuse to be out in the sunshine). By 10:15, before I’d put my shoes on, the sky had clouded over. Hoping it would clear, I was soon out the door leaving my umbrella leaning against the wall. They say middle age makes women become invisible, but you couldn’t miss me in my red knit hat and red sweater! I was wearing a jean skirt…the black tights and shoes were an unfortunate choice. I looked like a Christmas fairy (in England it’s often a fairy they put on the top of the Christmas tree) a fat Christmas fairy who was too heavy for the sleigh so Santa left her behind. I’ve been craving red the last year or two, but I’m now craving golds and golden browns which means in a year’s time (when I’m craving pink or some other colour I can’t find) the clothing stores will be full of brown clothes and shoes because this is my life.
Having made it into town, I ended up at my favorite charity shop where I miraculously found a cute waist length plum suede coat that fit (OK it’s actually slightly big but that’s good because I can wear sweaters underneath it) and it only cost £13. This is like finding someone selling 24 carat gold for $5 a gram! You assume the seller has been over imbibing a mind altering substance and you buy and hope he won’t remember what you look like so he can’t come after you. Clutching my treasure, I had a quick look at the classics shelf which they’d moved down near the bottom so you have to practically stand on your head to read the titles, and saw The Poems of Catullus was still there. Catullus was an middle-upper class B.C. Roman who like many of his contemporaries spent a lot of his time drinking, eating and bedding whoever took his fancy, but at some point he fell in love with this woman named Clodia (who he often refers to as Lesbia). I’d read a few of his love poems in other books and thought they were lovely. Well it turns out most of his poems are slightly obscene, but I like how he constructs his poems and there’s something in his directness that transports you back two thousand years. Waiting in line to pay I found myself right next to the cheap paperback shelves and there at my eye level were not one, but three Georgette Heyer’s I’d never read. They were all .50 pence each. Bargain! I added them to Catullus and dumped them all on the counter. As if to top it off, the gray skies parted and I enjoyed sunlight all the way home. Lovely! I thought I’d share three of Catullus’ poems I particularly like. They’re all short!