My family is always pleased if I think of a few things to put on a wishlist, as they say they never know what to get me, so I did – and then they had splendid ideas of their own. It seemed a pity to waste the effort, so I bought most of the things I’d thought of for myself anyway. Which means I have rather a pile-up of books to read now, amongst other things. I have read three books in the last couple of weeks, but I used to read twice as many as that in a week, back in the days when that was the sort of thing I did, so it’s hardly anything to boast of.
I’d promised to buy LT a new camera but he hadn’t finished researching what he wanted in time for the Day so it finally arrived today. I had an email first thing this morning to say it would be delivered by Royal Mail and needed to be signed for. By 11 o’clock, we’d forgotten about that, until we drove down the road and spotted the postman’s van, with him just loading all the letters for that road into his trolley. We went home to wait for him and did various odd jobs, but in the end I went out by myself. It was only to the butcher and greengrocer.
Seville oranges are in, which is quite early (and they’re quite small) so I’ve bought enough for two batches, to begin with. And I came home and made celery soup for lunch and an oxtail stew for dinner. In fact, that was going to be for tomorrow but Ro and Dora – and Rufus, of course – are coming for lunch tomorrow so we’ll cook tonight’s roast chicken then. Nice to be able to offer a choice when children say they can come over at little notice. They’ll pick up more veggies, though.
LT bought me a new satnav, so i’ve been setting that up, rather belatedly, though I haven’t really been anywhere. I’ve a very old one and otherwise use my phone, as my car doesn’t have one built in, but the phone leaves something to be desired. Apple Maps are really inaccurate and Google Maps are useless at giving directions. I also, while sitting in the car, cleaned the front inside windscreen. At this time of the year when the sun is so low, a smeary windscreen doesn’t half impair vision and, though I’d cleaned dust off, I hadn’t realised that it was still smeary. They’re really not easy to do, sloping away from you with the steering wheel in the way. And I washed the lights and number plates – actually cleaning the car itself isn’t likely to happen any time soon, frankly – so I felt frightfully self-righteous.
One of the things we’ve discovered about each other – there are still many things to learn, I’m sure – is that neither minds getting lost: that is, neither of us gets annoyed when the other gets lost. We reckon it’s just par for the course. I’ve always been pretty effective at it, anyway. And there was a time, about a year and a half ago, when Apple Maps got a pub so wrong that it took us about ten miles in the wrong direction and there was nothing at all where it said our destination was. LT took it philosophically and we found another pub, and I resolved never to rely on that map again but, at least, always double check. I do have that inclination anyway, I have to admit. Belt and braces, at the least. A length of bailer twine at hand, just in case, is usually a good idea.
I was reading, yesterday, about some vicar who has decided to fine brides and grooms who arrive late for their wedding. They will have to pay an extra £100 deposit and, if they’re more than ten minutes late, they lose it and it’s shared between the bellringers, organist and choir members who’ve had to wait. It doesn’t seem quite in the spirit of the thing, it’s an emotional and stressful enough day without having that extra cause for twitchiness, but I’ve become extremely punctual as I’ve got older. Not for something casual that doesn’t matter, but for appointments – as relaxed and well planned as our wedding was, I had timed it all precisely and had to seriously pretend not to be uptight when LT and I were the only ones ready to leave at 12.25. I chivvied a bit, I confess. And then we left. And everyone followed!