I was just leaving the church when the Sage hurried in looking flustered – almost unheard of, I’m the overexcitable one of the family. I’d left him in charge of lunch, and he (taking this gratifyingly seriously) wanted me to know that he had to desert his post as Big Pinkie had got out again. I gave him a bunch of grapes for her, left over from Harvest Festival, and went home.
I was on foot because, getting my bike out for me (the Sage is unbelievably polite and does this sort of thing all the time. In winter, he not only fetches my coat but warms it in front of the fire for me too), it was found to have a flat rear tyre. I suggested phoning Phil to ask him to bring his foot-pump, as it’s a lot more effective than my bicycle pump. Phil said he’d bring his repair kit and mend the tyre too, which was awfully nice of him.
Anyway, I spent half an hour in fully-efficient mode, which I do well if rarely. I put the potatoes in to roast, cut up and par-boiled the parsnips, prepared the Yorkshire pudding batter, washed and prepared the carrots and the romanesco (it’s a pale green cross between cauliflower and broccoli), took the meat out of the oven, put the Yorkshire pudding in, put the parsnips in, got all the drinks ready, laid the table and cleaned up the kitchen. Those who normally see the way I move find this sort of thing quite scary and have been known to assume I’m panicking. But of course it’s just another manifestation of extreme laziness. Gives me time to lounge around before and afterwards.
After lunch the Sage took some carrots out to the cows. Pinkie was waiting at the gate and when Scarlet (newly and proudly named) saw us she came hurrying up. A handsome female running at full tilt is an impressive sight. They took the food eagerly, rasping my fingers with their tongues. The Sage said he’d go up to the farm and fetch them some hay – in fact, when he arrived there the farmer’s wife was just getting in her car with half a bale in the boot for them. The girls were very appreciative.
Phil mended the puncture. I was very appreciative too.