Bob and (S)Cratchitt

Today my study is cold. I have lit a candle to give myself a smidgen of warmth and I feel quite Dickensian.

We sometimes have power cuts so there are always plenty of candles about. The electricity supply is more reliable now than it used to be, but we’d never rely on it as our only source of fuel. Even when the lights are on I burn candles however, usually in the bathroom. This started several years ago when life was a bit fraught; I hoped that it would be soothing. Perhaps it helped; in any case, the number of candles became a useful gauge of my stress levels. The candlesticks round the bath increased as I tried harder to calm down, but some nights I didn’t light them all. At peak times, I lit as many as five. Now I have two there, but usually light only one.

But if spring doesn’t arrive soon there will be a cluster of candelabra around the computer.

Last night Second Son came into the bathroom as I reclined, soothed by the glow of two candles and the warmth of the bath, reading Barry Humphries’ autobiography. ‘You can stop worrying’ he announced. ‘I’ve searched for an hour and I’ve found my passport.’

I had mentioned it earlier in the evening but he sounded relaxed – ‘it’s in my bedroom, no problem, I’ll look it out.’

Pity he didn’t find his driving licence or my daily contact lenses while he was about it. The licence will cost £19 to replace and I have a pack of 30 single-use lenses somewhere. I had left them for several weeks on the bedside table in the spare bedroom before deciding that was a silly place and I put them somewhere else, but I don’t remember where and I’ve checked the usual places. They are so useful on holiday as you don’t have to bother to take cleansing stuff.

It’s a good job I don’t mind 2nd Son walking into the bathroom when I’m using it as we will be sharing a bedroom in Venice in a week’s time. Not sure how he will cope though.

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