Z is a wrinkled old retainer

When looking at myself in the mirror, I’ve been quite disappointed by what I’ve seen for the past few days.  I looked pale and not particularly well – I usually take the rough with the smooth as far as my appearance is concerned, but I was actually drawn to apply concealer and blusher, which hardly ever happens.  My make-up, though applied daily, is minimal.  Well, three items are applied and it takes a minute or two.  However, this morning, I looked – well, I looked as if I’d had a good night’s sleep, which I had.  Even now, at the end of the day, I look better than I have the last few mornings.  I was awake for a couple of hours in the night, mind you, and woke several times, but I was in bed for eleven hours altogether and must have slept for eight, and that’s such a rarity nowadays.

Today, I moved back into the study, having had my computer in the drawing room all winter.  It’s been too cold in here and it’s silly to heat this whole big house for two of us.  We have four living rooms, five bedrooms as well as the rest – and now we have the annexe too, of course.  Mind you, I’m going to use it.  I’ll have my piano in there, I’ve moved some books already and I’ve offered the Sage this room (it’ll be a wonder if he uses it, but if he doesn’t then words will be said, as it’s a lovely room and I’m being quite remarkably nice) and will have a study through there.  We’re paying council tax for the place, so might as well use it..

We have had a Broadband upgrade, so should have speedy and good internet from now on.  I’ve trotted all over the house with my phone and got a connection everywhere, which we didn’t have before, even with a booster.  It’s only one bar in most places mind you, but it does work (bar in connectivity terms, please understand).

The BT chap was very nice.  He is ex-Army and has lived in Germany for 18 years, which he loved – in between secondments to various wars, of course.  Imagine a wry face there, dear hearts.  We had a really interesting chat while he worked.

And tomorrow, the house will be cleaned – woo-hoo!  It’s so absurdly tidy, by my standards, that I could give it a quick go-through in a couple of hours, never mind two women at the same time.  I’ll be out, having been invited to a St George’s Day lunch at the Norfolk Club by my friend Betty.  Betty is in her nineties and is a darling.  She has many ailments and isn’t daunted by any of them.  Anyway, I suggested to the Sage that I make a note of what I want them to do – not that I’ll write much, I want them to clean the house and they know that already.  But there are a few things that a non-cleaning member of the family won’t understand.

I did my once-in-a-while turnout of bottles for the village bottle bank.  I also bagged up all those clothes of my mother’s because there’s a clothing bin there too, in support of Scope.  Jolly good, saves me going to charity shops, because there were several binbags-full.  When we were loading them into the car, I said hang on, where are those two bags of bottles (8 in each, but not all booze, darlings, and it’s been a while anyway and I needn’t say what length of a while) I left by the door?  He showed me.  Alongside the several other bags that I’d left for him to take to the bottle bank and he hadn’t bothered, that’s where.  Honestly, it’s such an uphill struggle, I feel like Sisyphus (ah, Saki lovers, remember the Envy of Sisyphus, because it goes quite nicely uphill if you push it?).  Anyway, all safely crashed or fhwoomped home, out of my hair.  I admit to having reserved a few garments to see if they fit/suit me, mind you.  Wicked waste makes woeful want, as Aunt Abbie put it (if anyone has read those Dane Chandos books, we are practically sisters.  Or brother and sister.  Whatevs.).

You see, darlings, how jolly I am when I’ve had enough sleep?  Of course, the downside is that I’ll hardly sleep for a week because I’m not deprived enough.  But it’s been a good feeling.

The rest of the good feeling is opening up the house for the summer.  North and East wings, marvellous.  

13 comments on “Z is a wrinkled old retainer

  1. Roses

    Good to hear you’ve had a satisfying tidy up, ready for proper clean tomorrow. And even better to hear about super-fast broadband.

    Yes, I know what you mean about the ravages of sleepless nights on the face. My skin takes on a lovely tinge of grey when I’m stressed. I bless the gods of foundation and concealer.

  2. Z

    It’s got to be better than what we had. And Lena (Elle’s actual name, now she’s gone home there doesn’t seem much point in a nom de blog) is proper jealous, having been in despair at our dreadful connection.

    Fingers crossed – just better will do for me!

    It only hurts when I laugh, or try to use it. The Sage has been walking Ben today, but I’ll have to give it a go before bed tonight.

    1. Z

      No, St David is the patron saint of Wales, St George of England. St Andrew is Scotland, but they go for Burns Night in a big way instead. 23rd April is also supposed to be the day when Shakespeare was born – and died, though not in the same year…

  3. Rog

    Reminds me of the indominatable Viv Stanshall who created a fictional Country house where his Butler was called Scrotum.

    (He was the wrinkled old retainer)

  4. savannah

    *sigh* i feel so massively inefficient and lazy, sugar, after reading all of your accomplishments! BUT, also, inspired to start tackling this place in anticipation of summer visits. xoxoxo

  5. Mike and Ann

    I think Sir Bruin has a point re Patron Saint. I’ve always thought Saint Edmund should be in with a chance. He was done in by the Danes up near you Z, in Hoxne traditionally.

  6. Z

    I remember that too, Rog and Sir B. Although, being the wrinkled old retainer of the family, I’m a bit dismayed at the name being applied to me.

    All beds are made up ready for visitors, Savannah, I like the hospitable feeling that gives me!

    I rather like the thought of a foreign saint who seems to have done nothing religious but killed a mythical animal to rescue a laydee and never visited England. It seems so quirkily – well – English! But St Edmund should be the one really. Or St Alban, perhaps.

  7. Z

    It’s not fair, John, you still get put in the spam folder more often than not. I’m sorry, I rescue you as soon as I can.


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