A good thing about becoming old and cynical is that one turns the jaundiced eye on oneself. I realised, on the way home from Weeza’s house, that I’d turned the subject of our conversation to the question of sleeping at the flat because, in truth, I wanted to be talked out of it.
I also worked out why I’d needed to be talked out of it, rather than taking the simple common-sense view that it’d be better not to. I said the other day that I’m too cheap, but I’m not mean really. If Al and Dilly were coming, I’d be more than happy to take them out for dinner and not spare the price (having booked the restaurant of my choice, hem hem) and that’s just as one-off a spending experience as paying for a hotel room. So, it had to be because it would be spending the money on me. True, there is a slightly puritanical streak in me, but I was not entirely convinced. I think, you know, that it’s partly because I’m so fond of the flat and I rather wanted to stay there. Anyway, it’s not on. I haven’t booked anywhere yet, but hey, it’s only Wednesday.
Weeza did talk tough to me. I’m okay with straight talking and few things give me offence. When I’m given what-for, my usual reaction is no longer defensive but, usually, to ponder whether the accusation is true. Then whether it’s levelled maliciously. Anyway, the whole thing went through with good humour and ended with hugs, kisses and a reiteration of the acknowledgment that Weeza is always right unless I overrule her, in which case I am.
This morning I went into the shop to let Al have a couple of hours off, but in fact we both stayed. He having taken a couple of days off meant that things weren’t quite up to his standard, so we did a lot of chucking out (he hates leaving the best produce in the back room while putting yesterday’s stuff on show, and that was the sorry state he discovered) and sorting. I took all the onions out of the rack, for instance, to get rid of the stray pieces of papery outer skin and check for soft ones. It needs to be done frequently – ideally, every time you top up. Afterwards, everything looked beautiful. New season English tomatoes are in and the price of celery (Spanish, at this time of the year) has suddenly dropped by a third. He’s not stocking sprouts any more, as the quality is going down, but sprouting broccoli is at its best.
Oh, last night I couldn’t sleep. I did to start off with, but woke up just before 2 o’clock and that was it until nearly 5. I turned on the light and read until I woke the Sage, when politeness dictated that I turned it off again (within ten minutes of finishing the book, frustratingly enough). He threw a loving arm and leg over me and went back to sleep. After half an hour, I surreptitiously turned on a torch and finished the book. This morning, of course, I overslept. Ro got up and dressed, but realised he didn’t feel at all well – dizzy, with a headache – phoned in sick and went back to bed. Squiffany was sick last night – fortunately, she called out and her father was able to bundle her to the loo in time. So we’re a bit of a plague-pit around here, in a minor sort of way. Well, very minor. Everyone’s fine again now, including Al who has completely recovered from his bee-stung bulges.