It's sunny outside, I can see how dirty the kitchen windows are. I know it looks worse in winter with the sun coming in at a different angle (lower? higher?) and anyway, what do I care. I have neither the energy nor the willpower to clean windows.
Instead, there is R to watch. He is making jam. Since he retired from teaching science, the kitchen has slowly turned into one of his places of action. There now are a variety of fancy gadgets such as complicated mandolin slicers, variously shaped thermometers, frighteningly accurate scales, hot-water tongs, steaming baskets, grill attachments that look like spare car parts and research facility-grade timers. with alarm sounds you really need to get used to.
It's all very meticulous, weighing and stirring and putting a plate into the freezer. Wait. What's that for? Obviously, that's standard, how else could one determine whether the jam has set if not by putting a measured spoonful on a plate that has come straight out of the freezer. Anyway, with precision and detail, he ends up with a neat row of filled jars, now lidded and upside down on the window sill.
All I have to do is watch and praise. And while this is happening, we are listening to Sunday Miscellany, our Sunday morning radio program, the one we have been listening on and off wherever possible for the past 40+ years. R starts to grin while Conall Hamill reads his memory of finding out about David Bowie as a teenage boy sent to the summer camp to learn Irish. And we both cheer when he describes how his life was changed listening to the sacred mysteries of Hunky Dory every night for three weeks.
We have different memories of this song and where we were when we heard it first but we totally understand. And I'll never need make jam again, I know that much.
(You can listen to it here: https://www.rte.ie/radio/radio1/clips/22192988/)