2014 Beaujolais is here, but I waited too long (or they didn’t order as much as last year) because there were only a few bottles left. Last year there was plenty, and it was cheaper:
The kerosene truck roams around the neighborhood often now that it’s cold; its loudspeakered chanting children’s song alerting customers to its presence is becoming a bit irritating.
Nagai Kafu’s birthday. From Coming Down with a Cold:
“The calls of the noodle and bean peddlers and the bell of the dumpling man told him that night in the backstreet was drawing on. He sat down again. Then, just as he had picked up the Calendar of Plum Blossoms and was trying to interest himself in the lover’s banter, he heard the rickshaw man’s voice at the front door. Musukichi was back, remarkably early. ‘Let’s have dinner right away, Masa,’ she shrilled, and her footstep was on the stairs.
“The man did as the Utuzawa ballad tells us is the practice of men kept waiting: he pretended to be asleep, but in a fashion somehow insinuating. Masukichi came to the head of the stairs and took off her shawl. ‘See how early I am,’ she said in a small voice, falling against his shoulder. He shivered as the ice-cold kimono touched his cheek, and took her hand. ‘Now you really do have a fever.’
“‘Don’t scold me. I’m sorry.’ There was something winning about the apology. She went on softly, in a cajoling tone: ‘And I didn’t have a sip to drink. I know I shouldn’t. I always get around them, that’s how careful I am. I have a little and then go off to the toilet and paint myself a little redder and come back and pretend to be drunk.’ ‘I’ve never said, have I, that you drink when you don’t have to? Well, get out of those clothes, and we’ll have something warm to eat and off you go to bed.’
“‘What time is it? You must be starved.’ She glanced up at the clock. Still leaning against him she slipped off her her cloak and started to loosen her obi. ‘Just past nine. I’m fairly early.’ ‘if you want to see a doctor, maybe you ought to send Masa out right away.’ She thought for a minute. ‘It’s just a tiny cold, and I still have some medicine from last time.’ The smell of fish chowder drifted up from below. ‘Isn’t that nice of Masa — my favorite dish.’ … To judge from the sound of knife against trencher, she would be slicing vegetables. They looked at each other in silence and smiled.”