I woke to the sound of the wind howling down the chimney and came downstairs to see the trees swaying perilously. I was glad there are none that are too close to the house and dodgy. We had a power cut, just when I was happily engaged in reading blogs. It didn’t last long, but I left it a while before turning anything back on as it gets boring – it always blacks out just before you were intending to save your work, doesn’t it?
I went into town, bought fish from the market – Matt said it had been the quitetest morning for trade that he could remember; I bought sea bass and mussels, so at least he took £9 he might not have otherwise. I fetched 4 lbs of Seville oranges and some vegetables from Al and then I picked up the meals on wheels box and delivered lunches to our customers. It was a good excuse to drive and not to cycle. I saw a few people pushing their bikes, but no one was riding, because it wouldn’t have been safe. At one stage, I don’t think it was safe to drive either.
Shortly afterwards, we had a hailstorm, and then the wind died down abruptly.
I’d had a WRVS newsletter in the post, addressed to me as ‘Project Manager’. This annoys me mightily – I’m not a Project Manager, I simply do the rota for a village Meals on Wheels delivery. I don’t want a silly title that doesn’t reflect the small job I do. When I started doing this, there was a small honorarium, which I accepted and put in a charity box – a few years later it was decided that my National Insurance number was required, it would be paid direct to my bank account and called a ‘wage’. I wrote to say I was a volunteer and not an employee and I haven’t accepted it since. The thought of taking it, having to mention it on my tax return and then filling in a gift aid form is just too annoying. And frankly, if I was doing it for the money, I’d not be paid enough. I’ll happily work for nothing, but not for money if it’s less than I’m worth.*
I had the mussels for lunch. I scrubbed them and left them to lounge bewildered in a bowl of water for a while. I looked for the bottle of nice Chablis that Ro and I had started a couple of nights ago, but I couldn’t find it and had to make do with the Argentinian Chardonnay in the fridge. Tilly hovered hopefully, until I explained that mussels are much like crab, in that they’d make her go ‘Roo, Roo’, honkily. Then she drifted over to the Sage. He thought she needed to go out, but I translated her bodylanguage for him. She was asking him to tell me to get out of her chair, because she wanted to lie down. As I explained, she writhed expressively – I was saying what she would say, if only she had opposable thumbs. She could do and say anything, she tells me, if only she had opposable thumbs.
This afternoon and evening, I’ve made my third and fourth batches of marmalade. That may be enough for the year – or I may have one more effort. I enjoy making marmalade. I haven’t been eating it on toast, but I do lick the spoon…
*’arrogant little tit’, you’re thinking? That’s quite an accurate description and I won’t argue.