Author Archives: Z

The proverbial top

I’m not sure, now I’m thinking of it, how or why one sleeps like a top, but it doesn’t really matter. I can look it up. Anyway, I did. I dozed off several times during the ballet last night – it was a live streaming from the Royal Opera House, I didn’t visibly (to the dancers, anyway) fall asleep – and then came home and slept again. Now, it’s Wink’s turn. Our friend Lawrie, whose golden wedding party we went to last September, is coming to stay for a couple of nights. His daughter was due to come, early this afternoon, to care for her mother, who has Alzheimer’s and can’t be left, but she was delayed, so he left late and was massively delayed on the M25, poor man. Now 10pm and he hasn’t arrived yet. Wink is catching a few zzzs until he arrives and I’ve come through here to blog.

Otherwise, it’s been quiet at the Zedery. I biked in to buy Wink’s birthday card and then went to the library. I tend to choose randomly, because I’m not paying for it, so might as well hope for a joyous surprise. I’ve a book about appealing places to visit in Britain, a Hunger Games book, a Paul Auster (I thought I’d read all of his, but not ‘Invisible’), ‘Confessions of a Bookseller,’ which is by a chap with a second-hand bookshop, a Lindsay Davis, Roman detective story – I kept up with all of hers for years but have let fiction slide -, a factual book about ancient Rome, another detective story, by Anthony Horowitz and ‘How to Live Like Your Cat,’ translated from French and I guess it’s lightly self-help-ish, but I’ll find out. I can dip in and out of any of them, which is what my frazzled brain wants at present. I’m also part way through reading ‘A Carpet Ride to Khiva’ by the fabulous (I spent a few hours in his company, trust me) Chris Aslan Alexander and an Elly Griffiths (clearly, I like detective stories). I used to read serious stuff and now, mostly, I don’t. I like books to be well written, but I don’t necessarily want to think too much. Maybe that’ll change again, but I’m quite old, so maybe not.

In the meantime, it’s now quarter past ten, so I do hope that Lawrie arrives soon. He’s got a family funeral to go to tomorrow and he hasn’t had any dinner. We’d expected a nice chatty evening together, so it’s a pity.

Home again again

I’ve been house/teen sitting for Weeza and Phil, but got home yesterday.

Big achievement of the day was emailing my solicitor and explaining the situation. I’ll phone the office by the end of the week to make an appointment to see him. It’ll be expensive, but the matter is big enough to ride with that.

Otherwise, it’s all right. Grandchildren are lovely and great company for the week. We are all, the whole family (14 of us) meeting on Sunday for a family lunch on Wink’s birthday. Wink and I have booked various London jollies and I’m planning a trip to the caravan at the beginning of May, hopefully with Rose.

Our very dear friend Lawrie, the closest we have to a brother, is coming this week (for a family funeral, so he’ll stay here for a couple of nights. His lovely wife has Alzheimer’s, so her daughter (not his biological daughter but they love each other as much as if she is) is coming to stay, so it’s a break for him, knowing Lynn is all right. We went to their golden wedding celebration last September, which was a fabulous celebration. Though she may not remember 5 minutes ago, she could sing all the old songs that their son performed and I sang along with her – not something I’d do with anyone else, now I don’t have Lovely Tim.

The cloakroom door still doesn’t close fully and, when the porch door is shut and the sun is shining, it’s decidedly humid in there. But there doesn’t seem to be an active leak any more, so it’s just the wood drying out and I’ll continue to be patient. Next thing to do is to empty the cloakroom, which has two cupboards and two big bookcases, then choose and order new wallpaper. Then get the papering and painting done and get new carpet. Then address the bathroom. Joy. Not. But it’s just stuff, it’ll be okay.

I feel as if I’m as much on top of things as I can be – and I slept well last night, which can’t be overstated. I biked into town and walked round the village, so I’m not without hope of some Healthy Sleep tonight.

It’s April already

I’ve been home a week and it feels like a lot longer, as a lot has gone wrong. From a matter so serious that I have to contact my solicitor, to a flood in the house, to my sister’s car trouble, to Easter Saturday in A&E because a family member was suddenly taken ill. I wasn’t really in a position to blog through any of this. The holiday feels as if it happened weeks ago, if at all. It was lovely though, so I hope I’ll manage to reminisce, but tomorrow I’m off to Weeza’s house to stay with Perdita and Gus, because Weeza and Phil are off on holiday for the week, to celebrate W’s birthday on Thursday.

This is just to tell you I’m alive. If I haven’t been missed, fair enough. I haven’t read blogs for a while myself. And I’m off to bed soon – my body clock is so confused that I have no idea of the time and sleep and eat when I think of it.

Z’s drinking cocktails

Today’s is a concoction of white rum, passion fruit, lime juice and peach schnapps.
I might manage to upload some photos at some time, but internet isn’t marvellous and I haven’t come on holiday to look at my phone, on the whole, so I’m not reading or writing here much. I am, however, sleeping very well. I don’t think I can credit the cocktails as much as the relaxed St Lucia ambience, which is fabulous.

Z on the move

I think I remembered everything. I fed the sourdough starter, laid the fire in the big dining room, because Wink is hosting a meeting in my big dining room on Tuesday and, obviously, packed all I intended to. My only small hiccup was finding it hard to work out how to get to the hotel. I could see it but was on the wrong level and, even when I wasn’t, I had to walk away, Looking Glass style. So I was ready for a meal, a shower and now I’m in bed. And ready to go to sleep.

Z needs more books…

Having just realised that I only packed 2 books – though I’ve dozens on Kindle, I’m not that fond of reading on Kindle – I’ve panic-packed several more; fortunately in my hand luggage, so I’m sure I’ll be more rational in the morning and will see what I’m actually likely to read. Fairly light reading, on the whole, I don’t feel the need to concentrate much.

I really have got everything now, I think. The only thing left to do is check in to the airline at noon on Saturday. A few more things to put in my case, but I can shove it all in hand luggage and sort it out at the hotel on Saturday night.

I had a hygienist appointment this morning. D and I have become friendly over the past few years but she’s retiring in July, so I’ll need to swap to a new person. We chatted more this morning than we ever have – conversation isn’t that easy when one person has their mouth wide open. Then, Wink and I went into Norwich so I could get a few last-minute extras and after that we called on Rose, who is suffering badly from labyrinthitis. We’ve both had it and sympathise greatly. Her ear/nose/throat area aren’t in great shape anyway, so it’s quite bad for her. I’ve encouraged her to get sorted out before hay fever season kicks in, which could have been more tactfully put, but Rose and I can say anything without offence.

She reminded me about mosquito spray and also recommended heavy duty anti-histamine cream, so I went into Boots in town (drove home, then biked in, because I’m a virtuous Z). Boots in town has gone tits up. It’s pathetic. I don’t know if it’s just there, I know that there’s a major shortage of prescription meds anyway (getting worse all the time) and a shortage of pharmacists too, but a shop that used to have at least 5 members of staff at all times, when it was independently owned and now has 3 at most, only 1 front of house, acknowledging that it is always a fortnight in arrears for making up prescriptions and, if you want to wait, it’ll be over an hour and has a ten minute queue, isn’t doing well. If I’d had an alternative, I’d have left. When the pharmacist isn’t on duty, the whole shop shuts. I know that there are some items that can’t be sold if a pharmacist isn’t on site, but regular stuff can be sold, but that doesn’t matter to Boots. They just shut. My sister is going to get her prescription meds online in future.

I’ll read for a bit and then go to sleep. Must read more books…

Z is almost ready

I’ve packed my suitcase, which was at least a day earlier than I usually do and I’ll probably regret it, wondering if some particular thing is in it or else needing something – though the latter isn’t likely, as nearly all the clothes I’ve packed are new ones and all the toiletries are duplicates and the shoes are sandals, which I’m certainly not wearing here at present. It was cold and windy enough to stop me cycling into town, which was lazy of me, I suppose, but just about justifiable.

I’ve got a hygienist appointment in Norwich tomorrow morning, then I need a couple of things in the city centre. I might call on Rose on the way home, if she’s well enough. Poor Rose had an attack of labyrinthitis, a couple of weeks ago and isn’t over it yet. It can take a few days or a really long time, or anything in between – I’ve known all those situations.

Other than packing and not shopping – though I went into town, I couldn’t find what I wanted – I haven’t done much. I’ve got a mental list for tomorrow, especially applying for entry to St Lucia, which you have to do within 3 days of travelling there. I’ve checked into the hotel and they know that Rhonda will arrive first, so that’s okay. I need to transfer essentials from one handbag to the other, but I’m really pretty well done. Boarding pass to the plane is 24 hours in advance – I could have done it earlier, but they wanted £54 to reserve my seat and, presumably, it’d be the same on the way back and no. I’ll just sit and watch films and read, I don’t care enough for £108 on a £600-something ticket. I’m very good at ignoring everything going on around me or else being friendly enough to a pleasant neighbour.

Haven’t caught up on everything else I’m supposed to, but it can all wait, assuming the plane doesn’t crash and none of my family knows what on earth was in my mind. But the plane probably won’t crash.

Oh, I won a Premium Bond prize. £50. I’m tremendously excited. Well, a bit excited. Pleased.

Clean air action

Wink and Weeza noticed particularly in London that it was really quiet and really clean – that is, the air was clean. They said it was full of electric cars. Whilst acknowledging that electric cars don’t suit every situation, I love mine. I love just plugging it in and not having to fill it up. I love the quietness and the calm. I also love the acceleration.

Another friend has been in London too and she noticed the same, except that she put it down to the number of bikes. I’ll guess something of both. I’ve got back to cycling, just into town for shopping, after a break since i broke my foot last summer, so I’m feeling some satisfaction.

Otherwise, tired out and quite sad. it’s not even 8pm. I’m not doing well. At least, when I go on holiday on Sunday, my body clock will be completely confused, so I’ll believe it’s the time I tell it to be. When I get on the plane, I change my watch to the time of my destination. Although, since I’m going 5 hours back, I’ll be knackered by early afternoon.

Z sticks in a rut

Wink and Weeza had an excellent trip to London and are safely home. I made mushroom risotto for dinner. I didn’t get everything done this weekend that I might have, but who thought I would? I did make some progress and I’m not way behindhand. It was chilly and bleak today, I lit the fire and read all morning, which did me good.

In another couple of days, it will be two and a half years since Tim died and, though I am averse to noting anniversaries, I don’t seem to be able to help it. I think of him and of Russell all the time and feel so dismal. I don’t think I show it, in general, I behave cheerfully as normal, but I feel dreadful and seem to be stuck in a state of underlying distress. However, there’s no benefit in giving in to it, I plough onwards.

I am making plans, at least, which has to be a good sign. I need to do a lot of house decorating and I have a mind to move furniture about. I always used to shift the furniture – Russell never knew what he’d come home to. It seems a lot more effort now, but I have ideas. Al doesn’t know it yet, but I may call on him for help.

Our friend near Canterbury is coming to stay for the Easter weekend, which we’re very pleased about. Wink is going to stay with her for a couple of nights, but she’s going by train and then Daphne will drive her back. Most of the family will come for Sunday lunch, though Al and co will come on the Saturday or Monday as it’s a nephew’s 18th on the Sunday and there’s a family doo.

I’ve dropped the American family story for now, my heart isn’t really in anything. I’ll come back to it. After the 5th, it seems.

Marching out

The antiques society I go to on a Friday morning had, as its subject today, cut-outs. Silhouettes and so on. Most interesting were two 18th century ladies called Anna Maria Garthwaite and Mary Delany, but the work of others was also truly remarkable. Anna Garthwaite ended up as a designer for the Spitalfields silk making business. I quietly went on to Amazon while he was speaking, couldn’t find anything specifically about her but did find the book about Mary’s flower pictures, which I promptly ordered. She didn’t start making them until she was 72 years old and they’re amazing.

Afterwards, i went back into Norwich and bought t-shirts and some underwear. I’m pretty well sorted for my holiday – not ready, I still have to do various things online and pack, but I can do that in a couple of efficient bursts – I’ve bought or got out everything. Wink and Weeza are having this weekend in London, so I might manage to get my act together while I’m on my own (or I might not).