Indeed, two parties today. Actually, I should have gone to a third, but something had to give. The first was a 90th birthday, the second an 80th birthday and the third was an ordination, but lots of people were going to that and I sent a card and an apology.
So, all in all a jolly day. It had started with Al ringing to ask if we’d got some cucumbers in the greenhouse, as he’d forgotten to order any. I was still in bed at that point, but dutifully went down and out and picked cucumbers, and globe artichokes while I was about it. Things improved after that, but it was actually too hot for me to want to hang around in the kitchen for the water to boil for tea and for toast to cook. So I had dry bread and water for breakfast. I know. Even this afternoon, I couldn’t face the kitchen so drank more water for tea. Caffeine deprivation is no problem however. I bear it manfully. Actually, when I went to make coffee last night I discovered I had run out, so inspected the cupboard carefully in the hope of finding a squirrelled-away packet of beans; what I found was a pack of spiced orange coffee that I’d acquired somehow a couple of years ago. I made a pot, and it was as disgusting as it sounds. I’ll be coffeeless for a couple of days.
Yesterday, I asked the Sage to pump up my bicycle tyres. Yes I know, I should do it myself. But I’m a weak and feeble woman, especially where my arms are concerned, and a man is so strong and masterful and enjoys helping, so I do him a favour by being grateful. The result is, of course, that I whiz around like a speedy person for days afterwards, as I’m not riding along on half-flat tyres. There was a race on today – the local cycle club is very keen, and the village bypass has a convenient straight 5 miles or so to the next roundabout, though this time they were cycling into Yagnub as well. I was overtaken by fit looking men – no women – wearing Lycra and those strange-shaped helmets, on bikes with a rear wheel without spokes but solid instead. I plodded along regardless. I don’t mind being overtaken, which is just as well.
Anyway, the parties. Very jolly. One is our opposite neighbour (we have fields all around, so each neighbour is quite a way away, but he’s nearest) and he’s lived locally all his life. I was glad I’d worn a skirt to show my slinky hips when I saw that one of the guests was my doctor, who ordered me to lose weight. I didn’t talk to him as it happened, though I had a chat with his wife. He is Town Reeve this year; a prestigious local appointment, rather like a Mayor (there is a Mayor too) but a more ancient office. The Sage’s father and two uncles were both, in the past, Town Reeves, though the Sage won’t be as he hasn’t ever had a business or lived in the town.
This evening’s party was for the elder brother of a lovely friend, who, with her husband, has been friends with the Sage for over 50 years. The men (birthday boy and his brother in law) used to shoot with the Sage at Bisley. A couple of people remembered my father and grandfather – it was a Lowestoft party. My grandfather died before I was born, in 1952, and my father died in January 1970, so it’s not often that someone comes to me and speaks affectionately of them. I was very moved, it was lovely. On the 10th of this month, it’s the 99th anniversary of my father’s birth.