Monthly Archives: April 2009

The Sage is so polite

I was cooking dinner and he came to chat to me. “Am I interrupting?” he asked, because the radio was on. I have complained, sometimes, that people do not think that the radio matters. If you’re watching television, they wait for a break before speaking, but they tune out the radio and talk over it and I’ve often missed something I wanted to listen to.

On this occasion, it was just background conversation, so I assured him I was happy to listen to him. He chattered away happily, about the sale of course, and after a while, grating cheese into a sauce, I dropped the grater. Into the sauce. “Sorry,” he said, “That was my fault, I distracted you.”

Of course, it wasn’t his fault at all, I was merely clumsy.

I have packed, apart from books. I seem to have a shortlist of 6. I’m wondering if this is enough, or perhaps too many. I have also to pack my camera, but at least I have charged the battery. I need to take photos tomorrow, for the advertisement for our July sale. Apparently, the deadline is Monday. The photo is to be of a tea caddy. Vitally, it has its original cover. That doubles, at least, its value.

The Sage is already planning the October sale too. He is very happy.

Z should Bustle About, but doesn’t

It’s another lovely day. In typical Norfolk fashion, we say we need rain, although we love to have the sun. Every time I go out at this time of the year I take a conscious pleasure in the hedgerows. The blackthorn, which I think must be my favourite hedgerow tree (fabulous white blossom on leaf-free branches and sloes in the autumn as a bonus) is starting to fade, and the hawthorn is in fresh pale green leaf, which will be followed in a few days by (the clue is in the name) the maytree blossom. Cowslips along the A140, magnolias in gardens, lilac just coming out. I’m not sure why I thought it was a good idea to go on holiday just now. Only for a week though. I trust there won’t be a sharp frost to catch the wisteria on the front of the house.

I’m eating chocolate and drinking wine. The first is v bad, the second is fine. Indeed, I was awfully pleased when the Sage accepted a glass too. Ro said “isn’t it a bit early?” “Not for lunch,” I explained, waving my smoked salmon sandwich at him. Then the Sage offered us chocolates (after the salmon). Ro refused, bemused. I think we’ve reverted to an alarming immaturity compared to him.

I’ve got a lot to do. I can’t take it seriously. Yesterday took it out of us. The Sage is gently dozing in the chair next but one to mine. The chair next to mine has three days-worth of newspapers on it that we haven’t had time to read yet.

I’m also reading Camus, L’étranger. I last read it in 1972, when I was about to take French A level. I have to admit, it’s using a fair bit of concentration. I’m too lazy to look up the words I don’t know, which is slightly disjointing to the story, although one can work most of it out. My French is rubbish.

Nearly half a granny

The sale was successful and exciting. At one point, when Weeza and I were taking bids from two people on the phone and a third was bidding in the saleroom, the Sage momentarily lost his voice and Ro had to give him some water. it was all very splendid. My bidder won, hah!

I drove Ro to work, as he was going to come to Lowestoft by train from Norwich. We left just before 7.30, he was in the office by 8 and I arrived to fetch Weeza and Zerlina in time for breakfast. It’s Zerlina’s second auction, we indoctrinate them young so that they can be put to work as soon as the start of the sale and bedtime don’t coincide. She was enchanting, and much admired. She smiles constantly, demonstrates crawling and standing on tiptoes (on all fours) and as long as she receives interesting food at regular intervals (now she is crawling, she’s constantly hungry) she is happy. Weeza took her to be weighed and measured this week. She is tall and slim – much less chubby than any of the rest of the family as babies, although she does have little rolls of chub at the top of her thighs, under her chin and the back of her neck, and she’s not thin. She’s grown much taller – I think Weeza said 77cm which is, as Weeza pointed out, “nearly half a Granny.”

To Stop Z’s Coffin’?

…as the undertaker might say to the chemist.

I woke up coughing at 6 o’clock this morning. I reached out for the glass of water placed prudently on the bedside table. I aimed it towards my mouth. Pity I was still lying on my side.

Anyway, when I actually woke properly to get up, I heard the cuckoo. I suppose everyone else has heard it for the past three weeks, but I haven’t.

It is, of course, obligatory to use the definite article in reference to the cuckoo. I don’t know why.

Z sources Salt

I am indebted to Simon for sending me to this site. For a moment, I was enthused, since the extremely-South-Norfolk – so far to the south that my postal address includes the word ‘Suffolk’ – area isn’t so far marked. But then I realised that this is not exactly a Norfolk (however ‘n’good) blog. Once, I was offered a place among religious bloggers, once women’s and once British. But, though I touch on all these things, I don’t think I have a theme at all. It’s just a ramble through my life as I portray it at the moment I sit here and write.

But what really put me off was the notion that I should write specific posts, and call them ‘BlogNor09’. I’m sorry, I can’t. It feels like selling myself in some obscure way, and not even to an attractive title.

Nonetheless, I wish them well, especially since JonnyB is already linked as a contributor. Even though, and this is something that quite annoys me, they only put one post to a page. I like to browse a bit, to read past posts, even if I’ve already seen them. If I have to click to ‘older posts’ and then wait for the single post to load (that is one thing to mention about rural Norfolk; that Broadband becomes ever slower) I can’t be bothered. I’ll go to the feedreader and read them all together.

Anyway, dinner is cooking. Roast Norfolk chicken, roast Norfolk potatoes, Norfolk asparagus, Norfolk purple sprouting broccoli. We’ll draw a veil over the sweet potatoes, the shallots and garlic, and the salt is from Essex. The wine, as it happens, is not particularly delicious, but was really quite cheap, and comes from Chile.

Tomorrow, it is our auction, of 18th century Suffolk china. From Lowestoft, indeed, which is itself only 5 miles from Norfolk.


Small pleasure of the day – setting off the warning speed light in Bridge Street as I sailed down the hill on my bike. It’s a 20mph limit, but still made me smile.

Big pleasure of the day – Weeza and Dilly persuaded me that I could take time off to go to the park with them and the children. It was lovely in the sunshine, we had a picnic and, since no one else was there so that I could be looked upon with disapproval for going on the children’s play equipment, I had a lovely swing. Weeza took my picture to prove it.

Slight bummer of the day – it was the church AGM, and I had to write a report. This catches me out every year; I forget. I remembered this year, but only did it this afternoon (I’d have done it earlier if I hadn’t gone to the park…). However, it sounded awfully impressive.

Extra pleasure of the day – Friend Daphne is here and it’s lovely to see her. She lives near Canterbury – it’s a bit more than 3 hours drive away, just a bit too much for a casual lunchtime visit. We’ve all our various commitments so don’t see each other as often as we’d like. She and the Sage have known each other for over 50 years, since she moved here from India, where her father had been an army Colonel.

It appears that Z, asking for help, is irresistible

It’s been a good day, it seems. Today’s lecture was excellent, and it was a pleasure to deliver the vote of thanks although, since I’m not ever so au fait with most of the Scottish Colourists (better with the Glasgow Boys, less again with the Glasgow Girls who are superb) I was really speaking off the cuff from knowledge gleaned during an hour’s lecture.

Anyhoo, before the lecture, in my introduction’n’notices (yes darlings, I do that too) I asked if anyone might be interested in being the next Treasurer? I said that Nick, the present incumbent, declares that it’s the easiest job on the committee and a particular doddle if you can do it on an Excel spreadsheet (I swear, I nearly offered to do the job myself) and I was able to add, truthfully, that it’s the friendliest and most purposeful committee I’ve ever been on. Nevertheless, I was surprised and pleased when a chap rang up this evening who is considering putting himself forward for the job. I’ve asked Nick to contact him to tell him what’s entailed, and my fingers are crossed.

So, I had a couple of hours of purposeful shopping to put in. In that time, I bought a few bits and pieces (such as paper hankies in those little travel packs) and, more necessarily, 4 pairs of shoes, 1 handbag, 1 pair of trousers, 1 skirt and 1 top. 4 pairs of shoes might seem a bit of a lot, but I don’t remember buying any at all last year, and quite a few of my shoes are fairly unwearable now because they are too high or too low heeled. I put my little lift in each right shoe and they all seem fine. One is an impressively purposeful pair of (look, excuse the vagueness, I don’t buy this sort of thing normally) the sort of walking boots that look like trainers. I’m not a trainer girl, I’m a high heel girl at heart, but I’m going to do a lot of walking next week and I’m a reformed (that is, no longer stupid) character these days.

The trousers, now that’s odd. I tried 3 pairs. The first was a size 12 and it fitted, but was more suited for someone younger, frankly. A bit too figure-hugging. The second, size 10, was fine. The third, size 10 again, was too small. I could barely do it up. The odd thing is that they were all the same make.

In the next shop, I cautiously (since it was a Petite range) took a size 10 and a size 12 skirt into the changing room. The 10 was fine. Especially if I diet strenuously for the next few days. Um, was Spaghetti Carbonara the best choice for dinner tonight? But…it’s so tasty……..

Another phone call this evening was from the church treasurer, whose official form doesn’t quite take into account the intricacies of our accounts (I’d explain, but your eyes are glazing already, so I’ll be kind). Anyway, all she needs to do is explain what she’s done and why to a Person of Authority. So could I call round tonight? – AGM tomorrow. Of course. Hm, what about my wine intake? Pfft, I’ll go on my bike. So that’ll be fine.

I’m off now. Have a most lovely evening, dear hearts, and I’ll see you tomorrow.

Post early, post often

I lost yesterday, in blogging terms – that is, the post I wrote was published at 5.30 this morning, although I wrote it last night (and then backdated it to before midnight). I don’t think this demonstrates obsessive behaviour, oh no indeed.

Ro didn’t do anything about the internet connection; he said it might fix itself. So I restarted both boxes again this morning and after about half an hour I gained a tentative connection.

Having been very tired the other evening and gone to bed early, I’ve been earlyish each night since – all that sea air on Sunday made me sleepy and I seemed to be following a pattern by then. However, last night I had a reminder of why it suits me better to go to bed after midnight. Having been tucked up in dreamland by 11, I was awake by 3 and haven’t slept since. Back to normal hours tonight, I think.


As I write, I have no internet connection, so I’m writing this in Word, ready for when Ro solves the problem, assuming it’s capable of solution by my Little Computer Wiz. I did what I could – I moved the monitor around a bit, I restarted, I restarted the hub, I restarted the computer again and them I asked Ro if his computer had internet. That is my limit. What I’ll do when he buys a home of his own is beyond me.

I have finally potted up all the tomatoes, peppers (sweet and hot) and aubergines, and sowed all the spring-sown seeds. I’ve also planted in bigger pots the first courgette plants. I am eyeing several dozen others with some anxiety, because if I don’t do them on Thursday they will have to wait at least ten days. Courgette plants (zucchini, if you prefer) grow a lot in ten days.

I’m doing well in some ways. I went to the chemist today and bought fresh supplies of make-up and similar dull but necessary things (I optimistically bought sunscreen, darlings!) in initial preparation for my hols. I really think I can manage with hand baggage, taking the barest liquid essentials in the clear plastic bag I’m disappointed to find I still need to take, plus two pairs of shoes, two skirts, two pairs of trousers, several teeshirts, a couple of tops for evenings and very little else. Well, knickers and similar unmentionables. Hotels always provide soap, shampoo and the rest, and I can wear a jacket. It’ll be fine, and there will be no waiting around dismally by the carousel while the final three items of baggage are loaded. Why is it that, however long you wait, something that isn’t yours always remains unclaimed?

Before then, I’ve a dispiriting amount of stuff to finish. I ducked out of a day-long thing at the school today – really, I was too busy and it was a ‘jolly good show, carry on chaps’ occasion if I’d gone, which isn’t really useful. Another governor, who would be useful, was going anyway.

That reminds me. I meant to send an email about Friday, when I usually go in to school for a music lesson, but I can’t. Nor can I send the email. Oh dear. I’ll have to drop in a note tomorrow if Ro can’t get the connection up. Which, since he doesn’t need it right now, he’s not attempting to do.

Hm. It’s odd, writing in the ‘wrong’ font and setting. I know that the good bloggers draft and hone, but I don’t. I write in Blogger, press ‘Publish’, read through to check for howlers – most of which I still miss – and that’s it. A friend keeps telling me to do back-ups, but I never have. It’s all trivial, really, and I’m quite happy for it to remain ephemeral, to be forgotten as quickly by you as it is by me.