Monthly Archives: January 2013


Thanks to those who commented yesterday – I’ll try to explain further, though if I’m vague in any respect it’ll be because I’m not at liberty to say more – this may be a personal blog but it’s on the public internet.

Regarding the woman who’s decided to back out – she was all enthusiasm a few months ago, but she says she didn’t know what was entailed and it’s more commitment than she feels able to take on and, in addition, she’s only been a member of the society for a year and there’s a lot she doesn’t know.  I can’t really argue with that: it was more work than I’d expected too, and the Chairman, who took over a year after I joined the committee, says the same thing, and we had a lot of experience in the society.

I agreed to do it in the first instance because I’d been on the committee of my local society for eight years, first as secretary, briefly as programme secretary, then as chairman.  I didn’t want to stay on and take on another job, four years as chairman was a lot of work but I loved that committee and I rather wanted to stay involved in the society.  In addition, I know how dispiriting it is to ask a lot of people and be turned down so I’ll help out if I reasonably can.

I haven’t made the best fist of the job, actually, or I didn’t to start with.  I am the secretary of the Area committee, which is the go-between of the National society and twenty-five individual societies in Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire.  That means I was dealing with Head Office, twenty-five chairmen,  requests to make some changes in the bi-annual meetings, a pretty well unworkable report form that the chairmen had to send in and those two meetings a year which take two months to prepare for.  I discovered that I’m better keeping my hand in all the time rather than leap in twice a year and then have too much work.  The previous secretary was marvellous and she had restructured a lot of the work, including eliminating almost all paper in favour of emailing, which made life far easier.  However, her way of doing things wasn’t mine and it took a while for me to find my feet. Now, the report form has been simplified and made easier to fill in yet more informative, changes in the structure of the meetings (implemented by the chairman) have been well received, I’ve got to know people and, though I was vastly embarrassed at the number of mistakes I made to begin with – and that enabled people to be kind to me: I’m not above using sympathy – things are going very well now.  If they were not, I’d be reluctant to hand on a mess to someone else, but as it is we’ve got a smoothly running operation – and the AGM is at the end of March.  I shall make all the preparations, take the minutes and do any follow-up work afterwards and would then like to hand it on.

Doing the job for another year wouldn’t be any huge hardship though I don’t want to, but the chairman is also due to retire next year and it’s obviously not a brilliant idea for the chairman and secretary to start together – it helps if one or the other has some experience.  In fact, that isn’t a great problem this time round.  The vice-chairman resigned suddenly last summer for family reasons and the person who’s taken over is very knowledgeable and will soon pick up the job – however, we risk creating a difficulty for the future.  Also, a three year commitment is meant to ensure that no one gets landed with the job long-term.

My disappointment is not so much that I don’t have a replacement yet as that I thought I did.  There’s plenty of time to look and a couple of committee members with a lot of contacts are doing just that.  In addition, I’ll write to all chairmen and ask them if they know anyone who might be willing – advertise, as JaneRowena suggests.

On the other hand, I can’t let them down.  We’re all volunteers, we’re all busy and we all pull together and help.  It’s the way I work and not necessarily because I’m unable to say no – I often say no, I’ve said no to two long-term commitments in the last six weeks – though I’m inclined to look for a way to help out if I can.  This is a society I’ve belonged to for something like twenty-four years and I like it very much.  I’m not a dogsbody but I have a sense of responsibility.  If I felt I were not up to the job, if I were ill or the Sage asked me to stop, that would be a different matter, though I’d still try not to leave them in the soup.  They’re my friends, I don’t want to let them down.  We had a constructive meeting yesterday and a convivial lunch, everyone (including the lady who’s backed out) was lovely.  And AQ, you’re right, I’d be quite happy, if necessary, to help out someone who needed time to find their feet – though actually it’s more a matter of being reasonably organised (not my forte, I’m efficient but disorganised by nature) than anything else.

To move on to other points, yes Mig, I can be very firm.  Zig, that’s a good point about commitment.  Tim, xxx. Zain, you’re very perceptive and you gave some very good advice, though I don’t suffer from guilt as much as you think and I’m quite happy to accept my limitations.  Roses, tantrum, such as it was, is over.  Wine cures most ills, thank you.  Blue Witch, it’s not so much that I need to be relied on or needed as that I need outside interests.  Housework (boring) and gardening (solitary) are not enough to engage me, or are you saying that I need a hobby?  Honestly, I’d rather do something interesting and useful that engages me with people.  As for the Sage, yes,  I give him a great deal of my time.  But we’ve worked from home together for many years and we both need outside stimulation too.  We’re terribly dull as Darby and Joan and neither of us enjoys it.  Beryl, my tiredness in this instance was because of all Elle and I did in London, and we didn’t sleep well, partly because of sleeping bags, noises outside and being cold (I sussed out the heating next morning, I’d accidentally turned it off instead of on a timer).  I’ve slept badly for the last couple of years, but that’s another matter, it’s stress that’s nothing to do with work.  I’ll need a new hip, but not for a while yet, honestly I’m too young to retire.  What would I do?

Having said all that, I realised that I have neglected my spare time interests too much in the last three or four years, which is why I’ve booked all those concerts at the Aldeburgh Festival, why I’ve already set things in motion for this year’s blog party and why I’m going to have a dog (no, I haven’t done anything about it.  Be patient, it’ll happen when the moment arises).  I haven’t been to enough exhibitions recently, something I enjoy very much and although I’m not planning the sort of holidays I took last year, I hope to manage a few short breaks.  Wink mentioned something in April when she was last here, she’s coming for the weekend and we’ll compare diaries.  And the children are all delightful and I want to make sure we see plenty of them – this is a brilliant house for children and a good meeting place because it’s big enough for everyone, and we’re consciously trying to build up memories of fun times with Granny and Grandpa.

The seven year b…..let’s not use that sort of word, eh?

A little grumble, if you will indulge me darlings.

Having been awake for hours as is normal for me, though the reason was mostly that my hip hurts – it results from the London trip, it’ll be better in a few days, though it’s odd that it doesn’t hurt to do things but it does to relax, I decided finally to get up at around 6.30.  Inevitably, that firm resolution sent me to sleep, so it was just as well that I was mostly ready.  Ready for a 10.30 meeting? – oh no, I’m not daft, I was aiming for 10 o’clock to allow for earlycomers…who arrived at 9.45.  But I was nearly ready and it mostly meant that I forgot to soak the rice, which didn’t really matter.

The meeting was fine, I had most sensibly taken the computer and printer through to the dining room (the joy of a Mac, a desktop computer is so portable) and so could type the minutes even more conveniently than on the iPad, and look up any information from past meetings as well.  And I whizzed out a couple of times to do things in the kitchen and there was only a 15 minute break between the end of the meeting and the serving of lunch, and the food was well received.  Although one man, the early arrival, and a third party to whom they gave a lift, had been driven by his wife who, though invited in, sat in her car and ate the food she’d brought with her.  I was a bit bemused, but apparently she is wary of finding surprises in food.  That’s quite understandable, if only I’d known I’d have catered to her preferences, but I think there must be more to it than that because she wouldn’t even come in for the pears and the cheese, so maybe she has an issue with eating in front of people too, or with more than a couple of people at a time.  But I did feel lacking in the hostess department, she was a nice woman and I didn’t like to think of her sitting alone in the car, and I thought I’d considered nearly everything in the unwarned food preference line.

But things took a more dismal turn when I sat down with my plate of food, to discover the woman who’s to take over me as Secretary after the meeting in March, in deep conversation with the Chairman. Who was to take over.  In short, she’s backed out.  She’s daunted and feels out of her depth.  No, I dunno either.  If I can do it, someone who’s done this sort of thing for a living could – but she had made her mind up.

Not that I tried to change it, I accept that sort of thing and work around it.  It’s rare for me to back out once I’ve agreed to something, I’m really quite resolute, whatever the pressure.  But if the other party changes their mind, I don’t expect to talk them round so don’t try.

But I have to say, I feel very sorry for myself this evening.  I enjoy the job, it’s not that, but I’ll have done my three years, I’ve found it quite a lot of work and, worse, the work comes at the times of the year when I’m most busy with other things.  I’d underestimated that when I agreed.  I don’t blame her, she’s under no obligation and it’s very sensible to call a halt before the start rather than once it really causes problems – but I’m struggling not to feel let down, though I have no right to feel that.

What it is, darlings, and excuse me getting a bit personal here for a minute, I have always wanted to be reliable, to be the one you can come to for help or lean on when things are tough.  And yet I am ready to show my vulnerable side, to describe what I’ve found hard and say that sometimes I don’t know how to cope either, but I try to put a brave face on it, because I’m not a capable know-it-all at all and I’d hate to be thought that and I’d be upset if I thought anyone would find me intimidating – and if you’ve met me, you’ll know that I’m resourceful but inept and really – I hope – quite gentle.  I don’t know, maybe this is complete wishful thinking.  I try to be kind, but not everyone finds me so.  And I’m afraid that I am not that bothered if someone doesn’t like me.  I’m a lot more ‘take it or leave it’ than I used to be.

Anyway.  Enough of introspection.  It’s no big deal really, it’s just that a box that had been ticked has been unticked;  I’m sure we’ll find someone else, but I’m feeling a bit of a need to be looked after tonight in a way that isn’t going to happen (though the Sage has just gone to put the kettle on, which has to be a Good Thing).

It’s just tiredness, however.  Better tomorrow.  And at least I had a use for my seven year post title.  

Z sneaks in a blog post

That was embarrassing.  In ‘replying to all’ from my phone, I accidentally sent the message before it was finished.  So I did it again, with cheery apology – and sodding did it again.  I seemed to have an extra finger, or maybe it was my ham fist, that took over at an inopportune moment.

I’ve cooked far too much food, two meat dishes that will feed at least 20 in total and two vegetable ones, ditto – each contains a bean or a … no, hang on, one contains chickpeas and the other haricot beans, and could be counted as a main course for a vegetarian, though none of our guests has mentioned being vegetarian, let alone vegan, which one dish is because – I can’t help it.  I avoid nuts, dairy foods, wheat, anything that people are likely to be allergic to, in as many dishes as possible, which does limit me a bit (though there’s quite a wide variety too because it’s boring otherwise) but, I think, gives people who make the choice or have no option but to avoid certain foods scope to choose a decent range of dishes that lets them fit in and only mention it if they want to.

I lost interest a bit by the time it came to the next course and have poached pears in red wine and – oh, darlings, judge me harshly if you must – I have bought biscuits to go with them.  Very nice biscuits of the French and Italian persuasion, but … bought.  And there’s cheese.  Obv.

Damn.  I suppose I should have thought about biscuits to go with coffee before the meeting.  I’ll have to check out the cupboard.  I don’t eat them normally, so supplies are a bit random.

Anyhoo, moving on…

Year 10 Music today, which I enjoyed very much.  A lovely class, quite a small one – that is, few in number, about a dozen (one of two Year 10 Music groups).  I was observing in a governorish way rather than helping, but was able to give some advice (YES!!!!) on how to use the Cubase computer programme when needed – one pair couldn’t remember how to import a vocal track on to their music one.  I knew.  Hah.

I have no business being here, I should be working and will be shortly.  I have slipped behind, there are three outstanding jobs, two of them important and one late, though not desperately.  But I’m a leetle bit tired tonight and I think I’ve ground to a halt, so if it isn’t emailable, it isn’t happening.  Which sounds tougher than it is, because most of it is emailable, though stuff has to be looked up first.

When I’m like this, I prob shouldn’t blog.  I think I could do with a drink before long.

Z blows out the candles

Today, dear readers, is the seventh anniversary of this blog.  I usually ignore this date, but it seems to hold some sort of significance this time round, though I haven’t tried to work out why.  Maybe it simply seems a long time in a way that six years didn’t – I like odd numbers, perhaps that’s it.  I was terribly tempted to call this post The Seven Year Bitch but, since that would be singularly out of kilter with the way I write – this is a happy place, darlings, nine times out of ten (I do hope there are no statisticians out there: this is a figure of speech not a counted-up accurate figure) and I learned from a friend’s mistake years ago and rarely if ever (hah! Statisticians, hah! What you going to do with that, then?) bitch about anyone.  Indeed, sometimes I have a rant, and then delete it.  There’s a lot to be said for politeness – I’ll have to think of something else instead.
This weekend, Elle and I went to London.  I have a new tenant moving in on Monday and the problem of water dripping through the kitchen ceiling from the balcony has finally been solved – this was proved during heavy rain last night – and part of the ceiling was replastered.  I needed to paint the kitchen ceiling and re-seal around the bath, as the seal had become discoloured and mould had crept underneath.  However, as the new tenant wanted to move in ASAP, she didn’t mind that I didn’t have time to repaint (nor could I afford the jaw-dropping quote to get it done), so Elle and I could afford to take Saturday off.  We walked a lot though, worked hard today and we’re both pretty tired.  We’ve had a great time and I’ll miss her so much when she leaves – I know I go on about this a lot, but it’s only three more weeks and she’ll spend the next week with a friend, so I feel her slipping away already. 
I’m always the same, though, I worry and fret in advance.  Some amount of missing her, that I feel so keenly now, I won’t have to go through again – well, so I try to convince myself, but actually I don’t believe it’s true in this instance.  However, what I do have is a jolly busy fortnight coming up so I have to apologise again for visiting you and posting spasmodically.  After the middle of February, things should return to normal.

Z’s Life sentence

Absurdly, spam comments are now being published, even though John G’s, with no links and a Blogger account, are being sent to the spam folder.  I’m going to be away for the weekend, darlings, so I’ll turn on WV, with apologies.

You know I wrote the other day about Martin Gardner’s mathematical problems, published in Scientific American back in the 60s and early 70s?  That is, that’s when I used to read them, first my father’s comment and then, after his death in 1970, my own.  I stopped taking the magazine in the end because I understood so little of it, though either it’s become more accessible to the ignorant or else I’ve learned more since then than I used to know, judging by the occasions I browse through the school library copy.  Anyway – yes, there is a point, I just take a while getting there … when I looked up his Wiki entry, I was taken right back to the days of the schoolgirl Z.  Flexagons, tangrams, polyonimoes and – the Game of Life.

Do check it out here and then come back to me.

I spent hours on this.  I actually used graph paper, filled in a design and worked out what would happen – reproducing, spreading out, dying out or becoming static or repetitive.  I can’t remember how long my interest lasted, I’ve no idea whether it was weeks or months, though I know I went back to it periodically, but I do have the clearest memories of drawing it, adding the next generation or crossing out the dying one, drawing it again and I found it fascinating.  In Wiki, it says that it’s interesting for computer scientists, physicists, biologists, biochemists, economists, mathematicians, philosophers, generative scientists and others.  I’m none of those named, so must be one of ‘others’.  Later in the article, it mentions the computer game Populous ll, which I spent much time on some years ago, when I was in my forties (yes, I had a misspent middle age).  Now I see why I liked that so much too.  But the patience (and time on my hands) I must have had, this solemn child with her sheets of graph paper and a pen.

One other thing – my name, of course, is Greek for ‘life.’  Ooh, spooky.

Z gives notice

I haven’t had time to read your blogs for a few days – I catch up with a few once in a while, but I’m sorry you’re not seeing me about much. It should be a two-way street and if you take the trouble to visit me, I want to return the kindness, but unread posts are up in the hundreds again. It’s not going to get less busy for the next three weeks or so and I may well not get around to blogging some days either.  It’s a combination of several things: school, NADFAS, the London flat, Lena’s family visiting and the Sage’s business are the main things – I usually keep going throughout but I’m flagging a bit and, for once, the ‘blade will have to go lower in my priorities, much as I enjoy blogging and reliably as it helps me to wind down.  Apart from all the rest, I’ve a friend who has got some family problems and I’d like to have time to write to her frequently in the hope of giving some long-distance support.  I may, of course, write most days as usual, but if I’m not about, don’t think there’s anything amiss.

Today, for example, I had a mental list of things to do (writing it down just means that I’m in danger of forgetting – I write down appointments, in detail, but not what I have to do day-to-day) which fell to pieces when the post arrived.  Later, I had a long phone call that took the rest of the morning.  Then, I realised that one of the to-dos was a bit more complex than I’d thought, so I sent an email and haven’t had a reply yet.  I did do the essentials and – well, loves, am I a woman to miss a deadline?  I’m on track, but not without difficulty.

I’ve often mused on my stupidity in not taking a proper job, where either I could take some control or else would just receive a salary and leave it behind in the evening.  But I didn’t, and there’s no point in reflecting on the wrong decision made 20 years ago.  Not that I can always resist the temptation, but I do try.  And it’s not that things aren’t interesting, in a good way.  I enjoy my work, but it’s a bit disjointed and I can’t do anything about that.

Z lunches

More snow in the night, but the roads had been cleared by the time I left home just after 7.30.  We’d had a frightful night’s sleep, or rather lack of it, we both tossed and turned and, in the rare moments one of us slept we twitched, rolled over taking the bedclothes, kicked, you name it.  The bed looked in a right pickle when I left it and some major bedmaking will be required before we can sleep in it tonight.

And so I felt tired and dispirited this morning, not helped by the need to clear the car of snow, which took quite some time with a broom before I could even tackle the windows, and it seemed a jolly good idea to cheer myself up with a hot bacon sandwich on the train.  They’re not mean with the bacon, I’ll say that for them, and I ended up eating the rashers and leaving the bread.

This evening, Elle says that she and her friend are planning a joint party – Elle’s leaving party and Em’s birthday – next month and they’ve been trying to find a suitable venue, without much success.  Of course, they’re welcome to use the bungalow again, I’ve said, so they’re very pleased.

Lunch was at Simpson’s in the Strand and I arrived first, so spent a little while in the National Gallery before going to waylay Wink outside Charing Cross station – and I missed her, so she got there first after all.  I was reminded, as I looked on the other side of the road, of the time I was, for some reason, in London on my own when I was about 17 and my mother needed me to run an errand for her at her bank.  I could hardly, at that age, have felt grander, sitting in a taxi and asking the driver to take me to Coutts (440, Strand, if I remember right) and please would he wait?  But then, on my way out I wondered if I’d recognise him because I had the worst memory for faces (and names) of anyone in the world ever – but it was easy of course, because I hadn’t paid him and he made jolly sure he recognised me.  It was about my pinnacle of grandeur I’m afraid, I’ve steadily come down in the world ever since.

It was a ‘literary lunch’ we went to – my birthday present from my sister – and we had a very good time, not least because everyone was so friendly.  Neighbours chatted to each other – Barbara and Shirley were opposite us, Richard was on my right and we met a delightful man beforehand, though didn’t exchange names, who lives near Guildford and enjoys the theatre but not the cinema.  Richard and his wife are expecting their first baby and he’s slightly apprehensive about it, though looking forward to being a father.  He’s 41, though looked a lot younger.  Barbara and Shirley live in Newbury.  There you see, I can remember casual conversations with people, and their names.  Usually, that’s Wink’s speciality and I’m hopeless.  Or I used to be.  I’ve worked on it over the years.  I’ve even got better at remembering faces.  

Hip hip hip hooray

Yes, it’s the third anniversary of the operation that gave me a shiny new hip and means that, when I walk, people have to scurry to keep up again instead of politely dawdling while I limp some way behind.  So, an update – not that there’s a lot to say.  I can feel it sometimes, especially if I’ve been standing for a long time, either in the hip itself or deep in my femur where there’s a porcelain spike.  I wouldn’t call it a pain, just that I can feel it.

The other hip has deteriorated in the past year and it’s interesting to notice the difference between the two.  I didn’t get pain in the hip itself first time round, it hurt in other parts of the leg – I knew it was a hip problem because I’d been treated for bursitis, which I now think was a pre-arthritic condition, but this time the only place that does hurt is the hip itself.  It rarely twinges while I’m walking or standing, though sometimes, if I’ve been standing for a long time or carrying things a lot, it hurts afterwards for up to a week, but I’m more likely to feel it when I’ve been sitting for some time, especially in a car, or in bed.  I’m not sure if it wakes me, nor if it keeps me awake because I spend so much of the nights awake anyway, but it seems odd that it hurts when I’m relaxed and comfortable in bed.  I should add that it doesn’t hurt too much, I’m not inclined to take any painkillers for example.   What is good that I am not hindered at all when I walk or even run and I haven’t started to limp yet, and I can still wear heels.  I only occasionally get out the stilettos, though.

Because this one isn’t going quite the same way as the last one did, and I wonder if the fact I weigh a couple of stone less than I did five years ago makes a difference there, I can’t tell how long it’s likely to be before I need another operation.  A couple of years ago, I said three to five years.  I’d still say that, probably.  So I can forget about it, most of the time, for quite a while yet.

We had several inches of snow last evening and during the night.  It took a while to sweep it off the car, though snow is a lot easier to clear away than ice, of course.  The school buses weren’t running so there was no option but to close the school, but actually – whoops – it seems that when a new boiler was installed recently, something wasn’t lagged correctly and we had a burst pipe and therefore no heating, so we couldn’t have opened anyway.  Elle has gone to spend the day and the night with a friend, because I’m due to go out first thing tomorrow and she’d have had to walk two miles in the snow to school – not impossible of course, but better avoided.  The Sage and I had to drive to Lowestoft, which was okay, though the roads haven’t been cleared as well as the other day and it’s reassuring to be driving a Landrover in these conditions.  The sixth form centre was open for those taking exams, so I dropped in to cheer on the staff who’d come in, especially the caretakers who were working hard to clear the grounds.

Oh, that reminds me – I went into the bakery and a man was in front of me buying a hot bacon roll.  The assistant knew him and they were chatting.  I was being served and didn’t listen for a while, until I caught him saying (he was evidently a plumber/heating engineer) “Yes, I cancelled my routine service appointments, but I’ve already had calls for four boilers, two burst pipes and a blocked toilet.”  Later, I was talking to my London plumber and he agreed, he’s been busy with emergencies too.

Oh, and I’ve got a new tenant – that is, it’s all agreed and I’ve signed my papers, she has yet to do so.  The good news is that she is moving in on Monday.  The less good news is that I’ve had to agree to buy a bed and sofa.  I’m afraid they’ll be rather basic ones.  It’s worth it to get someone in so quickly.  I suppose.  *sigh*  I’ve got a few jobs to do first, so I’ll go up at the weekend.  I’m also going to London tomorrow, weather permitting.  

Z is puZZled

Elle and I both resolved to finish our paperwork this afternoon and I set an alarm on my phone to give us a time goal to work towards.  Sometimes, an artificial deadline does work.  However, she received an email from her mum that distracted her: her French grandad had had chest pains and been taken to hospital.  So on to Skype to maman – it was not so bad, he’d been out in the garden cutting down a tree with a chainsaw (he’s 83) and his wife, unable to stop him, had gone out to help – seems they’re as bad as each other.  Later, he didn’t feel too well, the doctor was matter-of-fact about it but took a blood test which showed something was awry.  It doesn’t seem that too much harm has been done however and he’s waiting to hear if he needs further treatment – Elle phoned him later and they were laughing together, so she’s reassured.

This gave me time to catch up with my work which took longer than hers and we played various board games together.  Some of them hadn’t been played for a few years, which I discovered when I hauled them out of the cupboard covered with dust and cobwebs.

Thinking about it, I’ve never really grown up.  My mother never played games of any sort, not board or card games nor outside sports either.   She never took us to the beach or swimming pool, I never saw her run, nor my father.  They did take up archery for a while when I was a child but that was all.  My father liked card games, crosswords and mathematical puzzles – I was brought up on Martin Gardner’s maths problems in Scientific American and the puzzle books of Hubert Phillips and HE Dudeney.  I bet I can google them, let’s see … yes! Here and here.  Martin Gardner too, and he only died in 2010.  Oh, I’m totally thrilled, I must investigate further tomorrow.

These three were such a large part of my early life, I learned so much from them.  A peculiar and solitary child, I was quite happy covering pages with notes while I tried to work out how to solve maths and logic problems without much knowledge to make it possible without hours of dogged trial and error.  My school was rubbish at maths teaching and I had only the vaguest knowledge of how to apply what I’d been taught.  And looking at Gardner’s Wiki page reminds me of the time that my friend Lynn and I spent hours making flexagons.  I’d almost come to think that a hexahexaflexagon was a figment of my imaginagination.  Oh wow.  I first heard of MC Escher in Scientific American, too.

It’s too late at night now and I haven’t looked at the newspaper today yet.  I won’t skim through it now, I’ll leave it until another day.  Yet again, I sat down with little idea what to write about and a completely unexpected subject has come of it.  Blogging is splendid, really.  I love it.

Chilled Sage

No more snow, but jolly cold in the wind.  I didn’t go out much, though the Sage and I went in to town to do a bit of shopping at the greengrocer and bakery (I avoid supermarkets for fresh goods wherever possible).  He didn’t wear a coat because he’s peculiar.  I bought him a new coat as part of his C-word present and he says it’s lovely and warm, but I’ve only seen him wear it once.  Not that I’m that observant, of course.

Elle and I went to the cinema – I know! Will the excitement never stop? – this evening and picked up fish and chips on the way home.  The Sage had built up the fire for our return, which was very welcome.  I’ve never lived in a house where I couldn’t have a fire and I hope I never will.  I don’t care that it’s extra work, it’s worth it.  Also, you can make toast and roast chestnuts and laugh – well, chuckle a bit – in the face of power cuts.

I’ve got a load of work to do this weekend.  I should make a start really, innit?  The family came over this morning and I did some hoovering and then took time off.  Or I could have a glass of wine, what do you think?