All the same, the overcast skies and dripping rain spread a pall of sadness over the little house, with its simple bare rooms. There was nobody else looking over it except for a middle-aged woman wearing a mackintosh pixie hood and transparent rain boots over her shoes. She was carrying a shopping bag full of books, over which lay the brightly coloured packet of a 'frozen dinner for one.' Leonora could see the artistically delineated slices of beef with dark brown gravy, a little round Yorkshire pudding, two mounds of mashed potato and brilliantly green peas. Her first feeling was her usual one of contempt for anybody who could live in this way, then, perhaps because growing unhappiness had made her more sensitive, she saw the woman going home to a cosy solitude, her dinner heated up in twenty-five minutes with no bother of preparation, books to read while she ate it, and the memory of a visit to Keats' house to cherish.
February 4, 2016
Dinner for one
from The Sweet Dove Died, by Barbara Pym