I have a morning off! I thought I’d be needed in the shop tomorrow, but Al says that, unless the weather improves markedly, Jean can manage on her own. A friend is coming to keep Dilly company in the afternoon, so Al can take over the shop. I can’t as I have an Important Meeting. Well, the meeting is important but my part in it isn’t and I’d have been willing to cry off if necessary.
We went to Gardening Club last night, in the next, and lovely, village. A most entertaining young man, Ben from Blacksmiths Cottage Nursery in south Norfolk, not far from Diss. ‘We’ were Al, Dilly, Pugsley and me; the Sage was at a picture exhibition and Ro was babysitting Squiffany. Everyone was enchanted to see the baby, who behaved beautifully. He squeaked for a minute, until he was fed, half-way through the evening and everyone looked at me, assuming that I’d made an unseemly noise. I grinned, mouthed a burp and excuse me. Well……… Anyway, he was, in due course, ceremoniously introduced as the Youngest Member so everyone (I trust) knew I had been joking. Joking, all right?
I haven’t mentioned the play I saw on Saturday. ‘A Voyage Round my Father’ by John Mortimer. It started as a book and a radio play I think, and was dramatised on television. BBC, natch. Laurence Olivier played the father, we think. This time, it was Derek Jacobi, who was excellent. It is a tragi-comedy in its truest sense, we laughed out loud but the underlying sadness of the situation was not far away and the final scene was almost unbearable. It was not until then that I even thought of ‘I Claudius’ by the way, just for an instant. Just in one phrase.
That was a marvellous series. Do you remember it? It was on BBC4 (or one of those extra numbers, whatever) very recently, and has been repeated over the years. Sian Phillips as Livia, BRIAN BLESSED as Augustus, John Hurt as Caligula, and half the acting fraternity and sorority of Great Britain, who were all just superb. I have it on DVD, about time I watched it again. And reread the books. They are in the downstairs loo, no excuse that I can’t find them. Maybe after War and Peace. Which is just so good. The battle of Borodino, oh goodness, painful to read. Still closing in on Moscow, but any day now. And Pierre’s wife is such a bad girl. But then I’ve loved Pierre all my life. Although, on rereading, he’d have had to be a bit more coherent. Really, well-meaning but not exactly sharp.
A customer just rang. A regular at our sales, who travels all the way from Northumberland. He was phoning to apologise that they can’t make it this year, as his wife has to have a major operation next week. Aren’t our clients lovely, bless him. I hope all goes well, they expect to make the next sale in May.
Another chap rang. He was a little miffed. His catalogue had arrived, but there was a mistake! The website gave the May sale details. I sympathised, said it hadn’t gone up until a few days after the catalogues were posted, but when had he checked it? Monday, he affirmed. Hm, last Monday week, I suspect. Anyway, I advised him to check again and ring back if there was a problem. Really, wouldn’t you look before you complained?
This bit is unashamedly taken from the comments, but I did write it ……… The lamb was extremely delicious and tender. More fatty, it must be said, than would be acceptable to a supermarket, but it does add flavour and you don’t have to eat it. Roast potatoes, cooked in the lamb fat which I had rendered down; locally grown, though not by me, cauliflower and beetroot, mushrooms from our field cooked with shallots, white wine and a dash of cream.
The last, probably, of the local raspberries. There may be a few more at the weekend, but the rain may spoil them. We ate most of them last night, but there are a few left.
No wonder I don’t lose those few pounds. Well, several, potentially, but it’s the first that are the hardest.