Having been quite annoyed a couple of times about inconsistencies and stupidities described in the paperwork of today’s governors’ meeting, which was nothing to do with the school and related to diktats from the government or the local authority, I cheered myself up markedly on the way back to the carpark with my muttering of “The left tit doesn’t know what the right tit is doing.”
This morning I picked all the squashes, because a frost is forecast for tonight. There were over a hundred last year and sixty-four this, which is much what I’d expected from the cold and alternately too wet and too dry spring and summer. A few of them were very small, so I chose three of the smallest, all different varieties, to roast for dinner tonight, with coriander seeds and whole garlic cloves. They accompanied cauliflower cheese – I ate a lot last week and rather craved something simple.
It was slightly odd, being the third party in a holiday, but my sister Wink and her chap Bod made me very welcome and I hardly ever felt like a gooseberry. There was a slightly alarming over-acquaintance the first night in fact, as Bod had booked a cabin, which had two beds and a sofa-bed. I sort of thought we’d not get properly undressed and discreetly just lie down for a rest, but no, they both blithely undressed. I sighed and did too, being heartily glad I’d actually brought a nightdress as I usually don’t wear one. I pretended very hard not to be embarrassed.
I tended to wake early in the mornings, as I was going to bed much earlier than usual, so I was always ready when Bod tapped on my door on the way down to breakfast. After a few days he remarked on the fact that each night he went to bed with one woman and the next morning he came down with another…the staff seemed to take it with no more than a raised eyebrow…
It was a family-run hotel on the outskirts of Azay-le-Rideau, newly done up, very comfortable, and the food was very good. The waiter seemed quite lugubrious for the first day or two, but he unbent considerably as the week went on and – look, does this surprise you one bit? – started to tease me rotten.
We went out each day and arrived back in the early evening, to bathe and change for dinner, either at the hotel or in town. I don’t know what came over me, but I took the opportunity for a protracted sleep too. Honestly, I never slept less than half an hour, and up to an hour and a half. Then I’d sleep another six or seven hours at night. Occasionally, I dropped of in the back of the car too. I was quite a quiet companion, as for the rest of the time I was gazing dreamily out of the window or reading one of the nine books I took.