So I’m back in England, living the full-time rural dream. I started my new job on Monday, which means I spend a lot of time in the car commuting now. Most of the ride I’m like James Herriot driving through picture postcard country lanes to that zippy music of the opening credits of “All Creatures Great and Small.” Only my car is a little more air-tight, which is handy since it was 24 degrees yesterday. It’s so cold I have crafted a special outfit for evenings around our drafty cottage (note to self: learn to build a fire). It consists of my black imitation Ugg boots, pale pink Chinese silk pajama pants, crusty oatmeal jumper with protruding long sleeve orange t-shirt, topped with a glen plaid LL Bean bathrobe. I look like a hobo who’s stolen a Russian dancer costume from a cut-rate production of The Nutcracker. It’s probably good for our marriage that husband isn’t going to be here much during the week.
Back to the commute. This morning I was getting a bit bored with Radio 4, England’s NPR, so I decided to throw caution to the wind and give Lenny’s Christmas gift, Laura Nyro’s Eli and the Thirteenth Confession a spin. Now I know it’s not nice to speak ill of a lady who died of cancer, but Laura has not dated well. It reminded me of The Carpenters on amphetamines, all full of exhortations to “get happy!” or “come on down to the stoned soul picnic,” which is apparently replete with moonshine and sassafras. Plus a generous dollop of flutes and tambourines. I took Lenny’s advice and skipped the bonus tracks.