It’s been a quiet day. The most exciting thing that happened was that I picked six cucumbers, having picked five on Friday. I gave most of them to Al to sell, of course. Fond as I am of cucumber, I don’t want to eat two a day for the next couple of months.
I’ve only just discovered that I can put iPhone apps into folders. I found it out by accident, and now I’m reducing my ten pages of downloads to about three. I haven’t finished yet. I do a few at a time because I have a short attention span.
The Sage has agreed to come on holiday with me – only for a few days, but it’s something of an Event. Usually, we don’t go away together because of the chickens and Tilly, and the greenhouse too, in the spring and summer. But there are people he’d like to see and I’m going anyway – so we’re going together to visit Wink at the end of the month. He’s only going for a couple of nights and Dilly or Al will sleep here, or maybe both of them with the children, unless Ro or Weeza would like to – the Sage is very protective of his beloved house, which doesn’t like to be left alone. It’s old and it gets lonely. So does Tilly. She couldn’t be left. The Sage suggests taking her, but I must say, I don’t think that’s a good idea at all. She’d want us to stop the car every few minutes and it would take forever. And he’ll be driving back without me, as I’m staying longer than he is – the only thing worse than a 230 mile journey with us and Tilly would be the same journey with just her and one of us.
My mother used to insist on taking her big labrador, which would have been all right except she was convinced he’d be nervous, so got him tranquilisers from the vet. These made him woozy and difficult for him to climb in and out of the car. He weighed as much as she did (she was thin) and it was quite an effort. One year, she took the boys too for a holiday. I”ve no idea how they all fitted in as Bruce took up all the back seat and his and her luggage took up all the boot. At one point, she braked sharply and Bruce dozily shot off the back seat into the footwell, upside down. It was not at all easy to haul the poor dog out. Al regaled us all with the tale when they got home – Ro had been rather out of it by that time, as the combination of a panting 8-stone dog and my mother’s driving (she braked every time she saw a bird, which was how Bruce ended up on the floor) gave him an acute migraine.
It was Ro who put a halt to me taking dogs for a ride in the car. They all loved it, but Chester the Irish setter (crossed with a bearded collie, I have never had a pedigree dog) always got into the front seat when I parked the car, and Ro didn’t care for long red hairs on his black school uniform. I never minded being covered with dog hairs. In fact, during the four years that we didn’t have a dog, I used to encourage friends’ dogs to put muddy feet on me, so that I felt at home with myself. However, so obedient am I that, even when Ro went off to university, dogs weren’t allowed in the car again and a journey is a rarity for Tilly.
It did rain today. I woke up at 6.30 and could hear it, so got out of bed to look. Later, the newspapers were delivered and Tilly barked, so I went downstairs to let her out and came back up with the papers and tea for the Sage and me. I put his mug on his bedside table and sat in bed reading. Eventually, as he was still asleep, I went round and fetched his mug and drank the tea myself. He finally woke up about half past eight, by which time I’d finished the papers. I could, by that time, start to see the bones in my feet but they got big again once I was up. It’s getting better now though, I spent an hour with my feet up on the arm of the sofa this afternoon.
I had a phone call asking for the Sage to write a letter saying how long, to his knowledge, a club he’s a member of has used its present site. Turns out that he joined it in 1954, when he was an apprentice engineer in Beccles. By coincidence, he called on one of his former colleagues, a lovely man who is now 96 years old. He was still busy every day in his workshop until a couple of years ago, when the standing got too much for him. There is no engineering job that he couldn’t do – he completely rebuilt the engine of the Sage’s car 40 years ago when the big end went. We haven’t had the old car out this year yet – it’s been a bit hot for the old chap.