Today probably wasn’t the best time to have carpet laid in the passageway, but we managed and the men from possibly the loveliest local shop in the world were very good-natured when we needed to go past them. The drawing room door will have to come off and have another millimetre shaved off, though, it only just opens and shuts. I’m as ready as I can be for tomorrow, lovely Mary having come over and helped lay tables and so on. She also popped into Sainsbury’s and bought me another dozen champagne glasses, so I feel much more prepared for any eventuality now. Although I was not entirely prepared for my contact lens playing hide-and-seek again, it’s behind my eyeball somewhere at present. Next time I have an eye test, I’ll mention it – it certainly happens more frequently nowadays than it used to.
A nail has broken on my carefully manicured left hand. It was bound to happen. Too far down to file, I’ll try to keep it from coming away with some clear varnish for a few days until it’s grown a bit. It was bound to happen, it always does. Ho hum.
It’s a whopping great ham, the butcher cut away a part and it still weighs 11 kilos. It only just fits in my ham boiler. I don’t think I’ll need to shop again for food this side of Christmas. There will be 24 of us tomorrow night – or I may have said that already. I don’t know many of the guests outside the governors’ meetings and few of their other halves, but I trust it’ll be a jolly evening. I remember one tricky party, many years ago, the first time I divided guests into two dining rooms. I sat dismayed in one room when one guest had too much to drink and became maudlin, crying on the shoulder of a lovely man who was far too kind to shake her off. Everyone else vanished, I don’t know where, I expect Russell showed them his china collection. My mother reported to me afterwards that the other room had been fine until a friendly debate on a subject of current interest turned into a discussion that one person thought she had to win. However hard others tried to deflect her, she talked the subject to death, quite unaware that she hadn’t won the argument through her brilliant reasoning but that everyone else stopped talking out of embarrassment and boredom. I gave up on parties for several years after that, I was so unnerved. But I have my confidence back now, I don’t know anyone who does that sort of thing any more. Not as far as I’m aware, anyway. It’s a bit late to be nervous, isn’t it?