Yesterday was such a day of two halves, to mangle a cliché, that I ended up not feeling like writing about it at all. It certainly started well, in that I slept marvellously well, the best for months. In fact, I didn’t wake up until the radio switched off at quarter past eight. And then I had my weekly school meeting with the Head, went to the supermarket – I haven’t been there for weeks, haven’t needed to as I buy most food from small shops – butcher, baker, greengrocer etc, so it was more a pleasure than a chore. And I was nicely tired, felt as if I was on the home straight work-wise, so thought I’d have a good lunch, spend the afternoon finishing work, then take a long weekend off. I went to the petshop for Ben’s food, spotted some lovely Fenland dirty celery, the root still on, on the market for a bargain £1.20 – so went and bought several things from Tim too (checking he didn’t have such quality celery himself while I was there) because the local shops need the custom more than the weekly market does. I did go to Matt on the market for fish though, because he’s been there for years and I really fancied some oysters.
It only took 20 minutes or so to open half a dozen oysters, and I only gashed my hand once, so I reckoned I’d done pretty well. I ate them with brown bread and butter, being the Walrus at heart, with a glass of white wine and then sat by the fire for a few minutes before starting work again.
This was when it fell apart, because I found myself entertaining a friend, which I thought would be for an hour at most (this was not arranged in advance, I didn’t know it was going to happen) and I had her for over four hours. She has Alzheimer’s and is not very capable, so I couldn’t leave her to her own devices while I got on with things. It would not have been so bad if I’d known at the start it was going to take so long, but it was landed on me and Russell and her husband didn’t let me know they’d been delayed. By the time I finally delivered her home and came back again, it was time to cook dinner and then I just sat feeling a bit stunned for a couple of hours, before dealing with a dismaying array of emails – the number, not the subject matter, though some of them were a touch nit-picking – and then lurched off to bed.
However, it can’t be said that the afternoon was as bad as it might have been. My friend went outside, wondering where her husband was, so I followed as soon as I realised (I’d been emptying and restacking the dishwasher), not realising she’d left the outside door open. Ben ran out, so I hoped for the best and didn’t fuss him. I’d been going to leave it a few more days before risking it, but he was great. I succeeded in getting him to come to me and sit, patted him and let him go again, he was pretty biddable if not completely obedient and when I finally wanted him to come, I let him see the lead and he didn’t run away. If I try tricking him, he won’t trust me next time, he has to be willingly obedient.
And dinner was good, I made soup from some of the celery and then a little number with scallops and bacon. We’re still ploughing through the apple I cooked a few days ago, but I’d run out of steam by then and simply served stewed apple and custard.
Usually, when I sleep well one night, it scuppers me for the next, but I wasn’t too tired to read in bed – I’ve read in bed my entire life until the last few years, when I’ve not felt able to – and then I slept all night again. In fact, Sam brought Rupert to spend the day with us and we were both still in bed when he arrived – though he was a bit early. We dressed and shot downstairs rapidly. And the dogs have played outside and Ben is still fine, coming back of his own accord.
Today, I’ve also been to Norwich for lunch with Ronan and before that I finished nearly all the work that didn’t get done yesterday. Just a form to fill in to Barclaycard, relating to the card fraud of three weeks ago and a couple of minor school items, then I’ll be done. On the way home from Norwich, I stopped to buy some winter pansies and a few other plants, so the frostbitten busy lizzies will go tomorrow and be replaced.