Zups and downs

For the past few nights, I’ve encouraged Ben to sleep on my bed.  I know his new owners won’t, he simply takes up too much room – he only weighs a stone and a half, or ten kilos if you prefer, less than I do and, except that he doesn’t put his head on the pillow, he takes up about as much room as I do – so it’s not really fair to anyone that I’m doing so.  But it’s nice for a while.

Russell and I had to stop sharing a bed some time ago because we kept waking each other up. Neither of us slept well and weren’t in much harmony with each other – that is, I mean that we were restless, it wasn’t that cuddling up helped, it was very much the opposite.  To start with, he wasn’t thrilled when I pointed out that we slept better separately, but latterly he acknowledged it too and, even when we started in the same bed, the first to wake up tended to move into another room and that was usually him.

This has the advantage that I’m used to an empty space beside me and it hasn’t been something I’ve had to get used to.  So it’s a bit daft to invite a dog on my bed (he really isn’t good at climbing and I have to lift him, half at a time) when it’s for the short term.

Still, never mind.  Onwards and upwards, as ever.  Shall I end with a few positives?

1 The new Head is so good.  I really like him too, even if his mother is younger than I am, which is just such an ageing thought.

2 The fishmonger had smoked eel today, which I adore but hardly ever have the opportunity to buy.  I first ate it when I was a child, when a Dutch au pair gave us some.  A later, Finnish au pair brought us smoked reindeer meat.  I ate that happily too.  I was an unsentimental child.

3 I got the agenda for the next governors’ meeting done on time, which was touch and go for a while.  I’m scraping the ‘positive’ barrel here.

There’s not been anything wrong with the day but the afternoon was taken up by a spectacularly dull meeting, and the morning by a number of phone calls, meaning I left late and didn’t have time for the very good lunch out that I’d been anticipating.  I had a ham sandwich instead and it was pretty uninteresting.  It came with some packet salad which I ate, some crisps which I ate and some coleslaw smothered in too much tasteless mayo, which I mostly left.  I drank water.  Not the oysters and white wine I’d looked forward to.

Ah, that wasn’t ending with positives.  I must think of a couple more.

4 Graham phoned from New Zealand, Wink phoned from Dorset (she was at work) and Daphne phoned from Kent.  Lovely people.

5 I received a cheque in the post that I hadn’t been expecting.

5 comments on “Zups and downs

  1. chairwoman ros

    I had just finished ranting to my friend Janet from Cumbria (who is staying with me for a few days while visiting some exhibitions) about the vile, over-thick, tasteless and gloopy mayonnaise that “adorns” commercial potato salad and coleslaw these days. It is bland and unpleasant and ruins the poor vegetables it’s supposed to enhance.

    I look back with fondness at the days when delicious hoe made mayonnaise could be purchased in most London delis, the best coming from the deli counter in Lyon’s Corner Houses. I am wondering now if such a thing is available at Harrods, Fortnums or Selfridges. Failing that, there was always a jar of delicious “Salarad” in my mother’s cupboard.

    I never fail to be disappointed by the plastic boxed salads the supermarkets present me with, only Waitrose and M and S have any sharpness in their dressing, and circumstances still prevent me making my own.

    Anyway, rant over, sun shining, sky blue, new house becoming more homelike daily.

  2. Z Post author

    In addition to it being bland etc, there’s far too much of it and you can’t scrape it off. The cabbage was crisp but I couldn’t taste it through the tasteless mayo, which is odd when you think about it. And I agree about commercial dressings, all emulsifier and sugar.
    I do hope you’ll be very happy in your new home.

    John, I wrote about it some days ago – the post called ‘The yesmad’ on 7th November. Sorry if you missed it.

  3. chairwoman ros

    Thank you Zoe dear, you’re often in both my thoughts and Katy’s these days. You were so clever to have multiple children. Katy and I had only each other to lean on in similar circumstances and I am still filling my little house to try and imitate the multi-generation home in which I grew up.

    Anyhoo, as we said a couple of years back, I have spent the day searching for an acceptable commercial mayonnaise. Difficult, as I consider the French ones best, but Maille is pleasant but expensive for what it is, and I am unable to travel to Calais 4 times a year to stock up with such goodies as Auchan Supermarche’s own brand mayonnaise, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, red wine, sparkling blanc de blanc, Armargniac, Calvados, Champagne and laundry products. Plus all those delicious best before things!

    Take care of yourself, and enjoy those canine cuddles.

    1. Z Post author

      My mother, sister and I felt we were a very small unit when my father died suddenly. I have a lot of support, I’m very lucky, though all that’s involved is daunting. I long to have a houseful, I’m so looking forward to the family party on Sunday. I hope Katy is well, I miss her blog, and yours too.

      Russell wasn’t especially fond of salad dressings, so I usually make a simple vinaigrette for myself, unless I can be bothered to make mayonnaise or another dressing. But of course I have that option, as you don’t.


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