bathing with books

An annoying morning trying to get travel insurance, went through all the hoops and then it said it couldn’t print out the policy because of unidentified error 99999. Hm. I don’t know if it has taken my money or not and emailed to ask. No reply as yet except a promise that an acknowledgement with a reference number has been emailed to me. It hasn’t. They were fine last year when I wanted a year-long world wide policy, but a modest week for two in Venice evidently doesn’t atract quite the same level of service.

No, I’m not going with my husband.

This afternoon I decided to take off, as assuredly I wouldn’t go in to the office, yesterday or today, if I had one. So I’ve listened to music and rewatched a film. The music, which is on now, is piano duets by Schubert played by Sviatoslav Richter and Benjamin Britten and I love it and play it often. BB’s father was my father’s dentist and young Ben practised upstairs, with the effect that the drill and the viola were uncomfortably linked in his mind. The film is Criminal, with Maggie Gyllenhaal et al, which I first saw on a plane to India and have since bought. Lightweight heist caper but I like it.

Shamed, I admit that I dropped a book in the bath the other night. I know, I know that I shouldn’t rest them on the edge while I undress but it doesn’t stop me. I am drying it out slowly and ironing it but it will join the half dozen other crinkly books that have been similarly abused over the years. Grandbaby is in love with books at present and brings them over to be read. Her favourite amonst mine is one called ‘Where is Bobo?’; Bobo being a knitted doll of unidentifiable sex or species who is the beloved toy of a toddler Sam. It’s a charming book but as I could only whisper yesterday, thrice was twice too many times.

Each of my children had a favourite baby book. Daughter’s was Smith the Lonely Hedgehog by Althea Braithwaite, Elder son’s was Fox in Socks by Dr Seuss (he must have been a little older perhaps?) and Younger son’s was Each Peach, Pear, Plum by Janet and Alan Ahlberg. I loved the Blackberry Farm books (can’t remember who wrote them and I’m too lazy to look) which were still in print when my children were small; I read Mrs Nibble to baby (breathily) only yesterday.

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