Monthly Archives: November 2015


Darlings, I am a bad blogger.  Or rather, I am, too often, an absent blogger.  I started writing last night and then just went to bed instead.

I’m starting, cautiously, on the house-hunting route on my own account.  Through a friend of a friend of a friend of Weeza (I’ve only exaggerated slightly), I’ve heard about a house just where I might like, and am going to see it at the weekend.  It’s not on the market yet, but will be sometime next year.  Having said that, I’m nowhere near ready to sell up myself, yet, but if I find somewhere I love, it would certainly spur me on.  I’m not honestly counting on it, though.  But we’ll see.

On another subject entirely, I read in the paper yesterday about an employer who was taken to court because a woman who’d gone to work for him found that he’d put comments on the appearance of interviewees on his notes, which clearly were a strong influence on whom he appointed.  They were personal to the point of considerable sexism and he was found guilty.  But it reminded me of an occasion when I was interviewing someone when her appearance did put me off – not that it was the reason she wasn’t appointed.

It was a senior post and a major promotion for both candidates.  One of them came in an elegant trouser suit that I’m sure was bought for the occasion.  The other arrived in a skirt suit, much washed, with a wavy hem beneath which you could see the lining.  For the post, it wasn’t professional enough.  I don’t think the other interviewers picked up on it, it wasn’t mentioned at all in our later deliberations, but I was pretty astonished.  Wouldn’t you wear your best professional attire for an important interview?  I had, and I wasn’t applying for the job.

At the High School (this was not an interview there), there is a dress code – that is, professional, smart clothes.  No tattoos on show and not distracting amounts of cleavage (especially from the men, clearly).  In short, a ‘good example’ of suitable working clothes for the students.  And if the bloke I mentioned at the start had kept his comments to that sort of thing, I don’t suppose it would have been a problem.  Mind you, I wouldn’t write anything like that down anyway.  When we were interviewing a potential librarian, I couldn’t help admiring her shoes, but I didn’t make a note of them.  I just quietly coveted them for myself.

A handbag?

We have agreed it puts me one up on the Queen.

i set off yesterday morning, less than half an hour late – indeed, two minutes earlier than my revised departure schedule allowed – and had driven for twenty minutes when I wanted something out of my handbag.  And then I realised I hadn’t put it in the car.  I’d put in a suitcase, a brown paper bag and my boots, but nothing else.

Darlings, I have let go and I am hardly, barely, a self-control freak at all.  I kept driving.  Pfft, I thought. There’s nothing in there that I need, not as long as other people pay for everything for the entire weekend.  And so it will come to pass.

Tomorrow, I’m going to see Zig again and on Sunday I’m meeting Wink for lunch – or rather, we are, for Zig has her daughter in her spare room so lovely Tim is returning the favour of a couple of weeks ago and giving me shelter for a few nights.  And paying for the privilege, as it happens.

He said I’m like the Queen, not carrying any money.  I pointed out that I go rather further.  She carries a handbag, at least.

Z eats an omelette

I turned on the old Z charm this evening and had the chap on the other end of the phone chortling in appreciative amusement.  Nice to know I can still entertain, once in a while.

The day started early because I didn’t really sleep, which meant I was ready for a nap by 3 this afternoon.  I didn’t take one, though.  I confidently expect to sleep soundly tonight instead.  First engagement was the Remembrance Day assembly at school, then straight into two meetings, then home for a couple of hours and back again for another meeting.  I’m not even working hardest of the governors now, not by some way.  I’m winding right down, ready for retirement next summer.

After my extravagant scallops on Monday, I went for the simple option tonight and had a lovely masala omelette, with red onion, red chilli and the last of the tomatoes from the greenhouse, with some mushrooms and a few chips.  My friend Jan phoned just as I’d put it all on the plate.  I couldn’t tell her, she’d have been hurt, so I ate very quietly.

The man who bought the contents of outbuildings has been shifting stuff again, thank goodness, and I remembered that I’d meant to mention the weights from the long case clocks, all three of them, which Russell removed for, I’m sure, perfectly good reasons and then forgot where he put them (several years previously, that is, his memory wasn’t bad normally).  I’ve pretty well run out of places to look in the house and haven’t turned them up in outbuildings either, so I phoned Tony to say, if he came across them, it’d be a great relief to me.  And that reminded me of my mother’s Dutch wall clock with the painted dial that I’m very fond of, but which has been lying on its back ever since it was removed from the annexe.  So I finally did what I should have done ages ago, and have asked our good blog friend Mike to come and sort it out for me.  He and Ann are coming to lunch next Friday, which makes me very happy.

I just have to decide where the clock is to hang.

Z looks at an empty bottle

Not a lot has taken place this evening.  Roses and I dined together.  ‘Nuff said, darlings.  We had a splendid time, anyway.

I’ve got an early meeting tomorrow, sadly, so I need to get some sleep and drum some sense into myself tonight.  Maybe if I printed out the agenda, at least.  Though even that isn’t as straightforward as it looks, because my ‘documents’ and ‘downloads’ folders are all screwed up – that is, they used to be in the order of items added, but when I copied them across from my old computer, they didn’t necessarily come in that order and now there’s no rhyme nor reason and I have to search for stuff.  But there we are, these things are matters to work around, not insurmountable problems and I have found them and printed them and it’s not anything more than a first world problem and a minor one at that.

The first thing tomorrow is the Remembrance Day assembly, so I will have to wear Serious Clothes.  I can do that.  I dress appropriate, when need be,

I need to be out of the house, teeth in and smile painted on, by 8.30 tomorrow and, since I fell asleep after the alarm and woke at disgraceful o’clock today, I prolly should be in bed by now.  Tomorrow, I might have something to tell you about – don’t count on it, darlings.  I truly don’t know myself.


One thing that is really lovely about my grandchildren is that they never bicker – that is, siblings might sometimes, but the cousins never do.  They all get on really well – as do the adults.  Al and Dilly came early to shift more wood onto the bonfire, using Al’s truck.  Al was sure it would take ages to get going, as the wood was quite wet, but it burned fiercely quite quickly.  It was old wood and there was no sap at all, the wet was superficial.  The fireworks were very good and plentiful; we got hungry before the end and went indoors to eat – we meant to set off the last ones afterwards but didn’t get round to it – they’re colourful rather than noisy, so we can do it another time when we’re feeling jolly, without upsetting the neighbours.

As always on this day, I listened with sadness and much reflection to the list of men from this village who were killed in the first world war.  I always write about it, my apologies for labouring the point, but this is a very small village and twenty-five men were killed.  It shocks me afresh every year.

When I was a child, I read a book, Period Piece – A Cambridge Childhood, by Gwen Raverat and she described how, in her Edwardian childhood, her brothers had German friends who came to visit regularly.  And in the summer of 1914, they had to leave early because they were called back, as war seemed imminent.  Gwen’s mother said to them, she was sure it would all blow over and they would be able to come back soon.  One of the young men said, “You don’t understand, Mrs Darwin*.  We want war.”  And yet, they were friends and indeed, Germany and Britain were, essentially, friends.  Beyond my understanding.

The other quote from the same book that I remember (of course, I may be quite wrong) is on the lines that “When I was a child, the peaches were kept for the grown-ups.  Now, I am grown up myself, they are given to the children.”

*Gwen’s maiden name, with thanks to Jan for helping me.

Jan also reminded me of the splendid line “The parent is always wrong” – she was probably the first person to use it, but by no means the last.

I really must search out my copy of the book, I know I have it somewhere.

Z buys fireworks

Food is always the priority, it rained on and off and I couldn’t be bothered with the bonfire.  I have, however, practised the hymns for the Remembrance Sunday service tomorrow, including the National Anthem.  This isn’t hard to play, but took me by surprise the first time – which was many years ago – because I forgot about it.

I used to go along to the service, which was held in the open air, in Lowestoft.  It must have been the Sunday rather than Remembrance Day itself, because I’d have been at school during the week.  My father and, after his death, my mother, were town councillors and it was a civic thing, so I was hauled along.  It was quite moving, in fact, I didn’t mind.

I’ve taken the easy food option, with chicken and sausages, salad, bread and oven chips, with profiteroles and pavlova to follow.  I’ve also got marshmallows in case anyone feels like toasting them.  The weather is due to be better, apparently – really, it could hardly have been a wetter autumn unless it had actually flooded.

I finally got around to buying batteries for the new cat flap and Eloise has been through it, so it has, presumably, learned her microchip.  I’m not sure if she has been through again to set it – only because I haven’t looked – but it should have solved the problem of awful tabby RasPutin.  One doesn’t see him for a bit, then he’s back again.  I saw him a couple of days ago, growled at him and he backed off.  The kittens are getting big, the two black boys being stockier than their tabby brother.  He’s still the friendliest and boldest of the four, but now three of them cluster round my legs as I go across the field to feed them.  The fourth jumps over the fence and joins us at the last.  All of them start eating as soon as I put the food out, though, rather than hang back until I’ve moved away.

Update on Ziggi – she has had her first chemotherapy session and is waiting to see how it affects her.  I’ll be popping down to see her at the weekend, so will give her everyone’s love.

Pass the Word

That all went well.  It just happened.  I’ve had to sign in to a few things of course, such as Spotify, but that was fine.  The only thing that caused me some difficulty was when i wanted to buy Microsoft Office, because I had to sign in via a Hotmail account and I don’t use them any more.  I used to have three and Russell had one, but there was a time when I found them quite unwieldy and so turned to gmail instead.  Two of the accounts had lapsed but I have emails redirected from the other two, so they continue.  Unfortunately, I can’t remember the password for Russell’s email and that was the one they were directing me to use.  I tried the last password I remembered for it, but that wasn’t it and there seemed to be no way I could find of resetting it without having it already.  I was still logged in on my old computer, but surely there’s a way?  Anyway, I was running out of time as I was due to go out to lunch.  So I made sure I knew the password to my account and was able to change to that.  After that it was straightforward, of course, but it was silly.

Tomorrow, I must turn my attention to the bonfire.  I haven’t built it yet – or rather, it was only started yesterday, for fear of hibernating hedgehogs settling down for the winter.  It’s so mild at present that I can’t imagine a hedgehog will snuggle in the next couple of days.  I have plenty more stuff to go on it, the only problem being that it’s been pretty wet recently and it may well be hard to light.  I’ll have to get a stash together under cover and not add it until the last.  I also must get fireworks and food.  Yvonne, from the shop Russell used to go to, has retired in the last year and I’ll have to see where has them.  It was always his job.

Russell’s family used to make much of Guy Fawkes night as it was also his father’s birthday and therefore an excuse for a party.  The same couldn’t be said for my family when I was a child.  An imperfectly-attached Catherine Wheel had chased my sister apparently and unnerved everyone.  Since magnificent professional displays were set off over Oulton Broad from the bottom of our garden, it never seemed to matter.  Though – with due safety precautions, of course – I rather like little, home firework parties.  They’re nice, old fashioned family pleasures.


Z transfers data

Apart from a strenuous fifteen minutes separating young cocks from hens this morning, I spent most of the day on school matters, for the first time in a few weeks.  All went fine at the three meetings, but I was tired out by the time I arrived home again and I still am.  I can hardly wait to go to bed.  I suppose it’s just a matter of having my eye off the ball for a bit, I had to concentrate on things I’ve let go recently.  Yet it felt fine while I was there – still, not too many months to go now before I finish.

I stupidly started to transfer everything from my old computer to my new one, forgetting I had work to do this evening.  I could do it on the iPad but it was all a bit more fiddly and there’s some info I can’t get at until tomorrow morning for a further document.  I really hope there isn’t a power cut tonight – no reason why there should be, except that we do get momentary cuts quite often, for no apparent reason.  The transfer will go on all night, but at least it was straightforward to set up and I won’t have to be humble and ask one of my children…I hope.  I will, however, get Ronan to be sure that the old one is wiped clean afterwards.

Eloise cat is becoming ever more affectionate and adorable.  She runs for the door when I approach it, wanting to go out with me, whether it’s in the garden or, presumably, to deter me from going out without her.  She’s always waiting at the door on my return, too – I presume she hears the car coming and it’s not that she’s been waiting there all the time.

Z goes shopping

I went to a lecture about Gaudí this morning, then came home to feed the animals, including myself, and headed off to Norwich, with credit card burning a hole in my pocket.  I was determined, darlings.

It was raining, as it seems to have done more often than not this year, so I went to park at one of the shopping malls and stayed there.  First, I headed for the Apple Store and I bought myself a lovely shiny new iMac.

One gets just the right amount of choice.  I knew I wanted a Mac, then there are two sizes and three specifications, six options in all.  I knew I wanted the smaller size, so then it was what I was willing to pay and how shiny I wanted the screen to be, largely.  I still have to transfer over whole lots of stuff, so at present I’ve two iMacs to go with the two iPads and, sad to say, two iPhones, though one of them sits there unusably.

I also bought new scanties, darlings, because I bought no new underwear at all last year and it only looks good for so long, a coat and a jumper.  I was all shopped out by then, though I do badly need shoes.  Last year, as I said, was a non-event in shopping terms, apart from the outfit that the Sage and I bought together for Ronan and Dora’s wedding.

I’ve got school stuff on again in the morning, and spent some time reading relevant papers this afternoon, though there are more to go through first thing.  Actually, there are three meetings back to back, starting at 11.30, so I have to get myself sorted out.  I’m not entirely sure what one of them is about, come to that, and will have to trawl through emails to find out.  Sooner I get this computer sorted out the better.  Though having a wireless keyboard is jolly nice.  And it’s so slender and light – the computer, that is.  Hard to know where they put the innards, really.


Well, hi, cobbers (what does that mean, I wonder?  CBATG, as Mike ‘Troubled Diva’ used to say.

But it has been a good day.  I’ve received all the money for the sale except for one item, by arrangement, I’ve paid out in full and given back unsold items, I’ve got more done in the garden and I’ve sent china by post.  I met a friend in Yagnub and had a lovely long chat and had another with friend Graham in NZ.  In short, things are good at the Zeddary.

Eloise caught her first mouse today – at least she killed it before bringing it in and playing with it.  I’ll let her explore the attics next.  I have every hope that she will keep the place mouse-free.  It’s not that there are lots, but this is the sort of house where you can’t stop creatures creeping in.

The tortoises have all stopped eating in the last few days.  Anastasia has vanished and may well be hibernating already and the other two are still basking under the heat lamp but are preparing to sleep.  The babies mustn’t sleep for more than a few weeks, but Edweena can deal with four months.

Haven’t finished dealing with emails, darlings.  Baksun.