It's a bummer when you come down with a seasonal, or increasingly, unseasonal virus.
Exhausted and bed-bound for several days, I tried to complete the book that I had started reading prior to my malaise. Henry James, Portrait of a Lady, is a riveting, textually-dense narrative about an American, Isabel Archer, and her relationship with men, money and compromised self-worth. I picked the book up as background research into the year 1881. This is mid-James and so the sentence structure and syntax isn't too overwhelming. However, the noise from next door, the scraping of walls and the ripping out of fabric, is proving a distraction to the prose.
The house next to mine has just been purchased. It had been vacant for approximately four years. Now the new owners, brothers it transpires, are going to bring it up to speed with all the neat terrace property in the area. The Irish ladies who used to live in the house have now sadly passed beyond human care. I fondly remember their friendly nosiness, precise routines for shopping and church going. The green family car. Not forgetting those enormous knickers and corsets that used to hang in the back garden; I have a snap-shot of this somewhere in my archive. Here are some images of their mattress and carpets being recycled. A portrait of furniture and fixtures from the twentieth century.