It’s the Sage’s turn to visit the Dark Metropolis tomorrow. He has, as ever, bought timed train tickets to enable to conduct his affairs in the least possible time, and it was only to please me, for I have been too often delayed by public transport, that he allowed an extra half hour which he confidently expects to spend cooling his heels on Liverpool Street Station. I usually work out train times at off-peak rates so that I can spend the most time for the least money, because there’s always another museum or gallery or bookshop to visit, but he is rather less frivolous than I and is rarely side-tracked.
So I will be home alone – for the morning at any rate. There is much to do, but also many distractions.
I made some particularly tasty game soup this evening, which I served with cheese scones. “Cheese scones and cheese? enquired Ro, evidently thinking his mothers exuberance had got some way out of hand. I explained that there was so little cheese in the scones, so that I could explain away to myself the eating of one, that I felt I had shortchanged him and his father, so he forgave me the gastronomic tautology.
I spent a busy hour on Saturday Christmas shopping courtesy of the internet. I am going to Norwich on Wednesday to meet my sister-in-law for lunch and exchange presents, and have a couple of errands to run there. The rest I will buy in Yagnub. I cannot make a fuss about shopping, although I haven’t any idea what to get for the Sage this year. The truth is that he’s impossible to plan to buy for as the things that most of us think of as treats leave him more polite than ecstatic. All manly suggestions assume that every chap is a very large child or one who is fanatical about sport, or possibly alcohol, and the Sage is none of these. He is indifferent to music, reads to gain information and doesn’t care for gadgets. He prefers old things to new, and particularly likes items he has had for years and is used to (he has never become entirely used to me, because I am mercurial and enigmatic, but then he wouldn’t wish to become Dull). Someone complimented him on the suit he was wearing a couple of weeks back – he had had it made more than twenty years ago, which makes it one of his newer items of clothing. It still fits of course, but so does his Old Boys’ Blazer, which, with his Old School Tie still gets hauled out for the occasional reunion, and he bought that back in the fifties. The nineteen fifties, that is.