Lovely family day yesterday, they stayed late – that is, they left around 7.30, whereupon I went and unpacked the dishwasher for the third time that day and cooked scrambled eggs for supper.
Pugsley played the piano for quite some time and I was rather impressed, though I didn’t say anything to him. It’s quite likely that making a fuss would put him off, he’s like his father in that respect. But he got a repeating tune with his right hand and various rather wayward chords with his left and he has a good sense of rhythm. Later, Squiffany was playing, with similarly confident inventiveness.
This morning, I played it too, to practise today’s hymns for church. Having been in the church rooms all winter, we’re back in the church itself, so I was playing the organ rather than the clarinet. I do like playing the piano so much more than the organ, which is an unsubtle beast. Services are now at 9.30 rather than 11.00, which I helped to instigate before Christmas (though I’d wanted to make it 10 o’clock) so the whole morning isn’t lost, but I didn’t have time for breakfast. By the time I’d fetched the newspaper from town, the piano restorer/tuner arrived to fetch my old piano (which has been in the annexe) so I helped him. Then I went and picked the tortoises’ food and was just going to go in for some breakfast when R accidentally let Ben out. He ran joyously onto the field – now, I’d love to let him run where he wants, but he has no road sense and will go down the drive if he sees someone on the road, and we’ve partridges and pheasants ready to lay eggs and I can’t risk it. So I went indoors for his lead and some biscuits and then went to look for him. One of the heifers on the field looked quite displeased and started to follow him. He was pretty good, it didn’t take too long for me to catch him (and shout at the heifer, one has to be quite assertive with cows sometimes) – but then I went to feed the tortoises and it was midday by the time I finally cooked breakfast (bacon, new-laid egg, tomato and fried bread, darlings, it was delicious) and sat down with the paper. And it wasn’t at all easy to read and it finally dawned on me that I was getting a migraine. I usually just ignore it, but this time I took a couple of Migraleve and then ignored it (it’s still there, a weary prickle behind my left eye and in the temple, but I’ll give it no encouragement). So an earlier breakfast would probably have been a good idea, especially since I stumbled coming down the back stairs, bashed my back hard and was lucky not to plummet.
I remembered that, in the list of tortoise-friendly foods, there was ground elder and it’s well above ground now. If I ever leave this place, my next garden will not have ground elder. I also picked some plantain from the verge by the drive. They love dandelion, both leaves and flowers, but it’s apparently not too good for them as it’s a diuretic and they can become dehydrated – I’m not sure if this is a real risk or a theoretical one, but anyway, they also love cucumber which you’re not supposed to give them too often because it’s so watery and provides little nutrition. I’ve had what seems to me to be a brainwave – if, whenever we give dandelion, we also give a piece of cucumber, presumably the latter will counteract the former’s dehydrating effect.
I’m thinking of subscribing to Netflix. Television is largely dire and, even when there is anything on, I generally forget to watch it. But I desperately need to unwind in the evenings and not to work on the computer after dinner and I seem incapable nowadays of watching something just for the sake of it, if a book or television doesn’t engage me, I lose patience and turn off. Anyone got any views on Netflix or the alternatives, please?