memoirs, art and fragments by Thomas Milner

As good as it gets

Spring has come around again and the country has responded generously to the challenge; warm sun gleaming on the new green leaves of the orange trees in the garden, the sound of a distant lawn-mower, blue skies (the Stairway to Heaven is always blue in this season), all these awaken a feeling of hope and joie de vivre in me.


Today as usual after lunch I paint for an hour then go for a quick lurch on my frame around the dining room and up and down the City Road, in and out the Eagle,  that’s the way the something goes, pop goes the weasel. After Tea (rather confusingly called Lanche in Portuguese) I go up in the lift to my favourite place in the Home, the large deserted terrace on the 2nd floor. This terrace is a rather splendid place, itself the outside extension of an enormous empty room, (like the venue for a party or religious event which somehow never seems to happen, as if the great Architect in the sky, feeling sorry for me, has granted me a private kingdom).  In five years I have never seen it used. There I sit in splendid isolation, the panoramic view spread out before me, the sea glittering on the horizon, a distant buzzard patrolling the immense sky, sunning myself with my cap pulled firmly down over my sunglasses, feeling the warm breeze coming in off the ocean and indulging in some of my favourite daydreams. Lord of all I survey, I feel total contentment for an hour. I love it up here. This is as good as it gets.

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