Saturday, January 15, 2011


The two big front bedrooms in our cottage are our two sons' territory - big so that they can entertain (although both have left home). B and I have a small bedroom at the rear with a sloping ceiling. We sleep on two extra-wide single mattresses on the floor. Old men have to get up in the night. I crawl to the wall and heave myself upright whilst pray that my legs don't cramp. If they cramp, my yell or whimper wakes B - not popular. Bernadette is in New York for a month. Thursday my elder brother, Antony, folded the seats down in his big 4X4 and we collected a king-size bed. I assembled the bed in our bedroom yesterday. The twin mattresses were too wide. I dragged them to the left-hand front room, dragged a double mattress back and heaved it onto the bed. M oving mattresses single-handed is a struggle.This mattress is a standard double so a foot short and a foot too narrow. I shall await B's return before seeking out a king size. Meanwhile I slept in the bed last night - true, with some fear that I would suffer from vertigo. All I suffered was a bump on the head this morning when I sat up without thought for the sloping ceiling. The bed legs need shortening. Again, I shall wait B's return to decide (for her to decide) how much shorter. The bed is varnished pine. B will probably want it painted. Waiting is wise...meanwhile I have a cockerel to pluck.

Sunday, January 09, 2011


Gabrielle Giffords, a fine member of the United States Congress, has been shot in the head. She was marked as in the sights of the Tea Party. Others were shot dead, amongst them a nine year old girl. Sadly the USA's reputation is formed by such tragic incidents - shootings in schools, what ever, rather than by the good works of US NGOs or US AID Projects. Americans sometimes find it difficult (even unimportant) to see themselves through foreign eyes and are angered by criticism. Yet think of the Afghan or Iraqi reading of the shooting in today's Press or watching reports on TV. This is their image of the United States, the nation with troops on their soil to spread Democracy. Imagine their thoughts...


Sad empty house. Have been double glazing windows. As for food, Roger Gill came for lunch Wednesday and brought a rabbit and two pheasant. Skinned and plucked Thursday. Roasted the pheasant breasts on a bed of vine tomatoes. Made a game soup with pheasant legs and rabbit and a great stock from the carcases. Meanwhile reading with joy The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa - tender and brilliant.