I am writing this on my husband’s computer, as mine alas has finally had its nervous breakdown – almost dragging me down with it. By a strange coincidence (yeah right) I happen to have a computer expert in the house in the form of my son Jem. Amiable chap that he is; he needed no persuasion – I dragged him into Kings Lynn to purchase a new computer.
So here I am in my husband’s study whilst Jem does, what? booting? routing? programming? loading? winding? What? Anyway he’s doing whatever has to be done on the new machine to make it Mama friendly and hopefully, Mama proof. I’m so glad he’s here and was able to come to the shops with me, I could have been sold anything or, more likely – everything. I became the walking cliché for ‘ignorant granny’ – ripe for the picking, a salesman’s dream, I swear he had Tom and Jerry type pound-note signs flashing in his eyes.
Now this, my husband’s computer, is so old, probably a reject from Bletchley Park, yup, that old, extremely old, but annoyingly, extremely reliable – like its owner, says the man!
I don’t ever spend time in this room, his study, but it’s probably the most interesting room in the house. What other room can boast that the shelves groan with so many interesting and in some cases rather macabre objects? Facing me – two pots of gold leaf paint, a broken stone cherub, a fossilised sea urchin, a piece of jaw with teeth, also fossilised – early man, I think, an old three-penny piece, a pipette, a cast of Neanderthal and a modern skull and of course the secateurs. Absent minded professor doesn’t even begin to cover it.
My walk this morning was arctic; sleet, grey sky and chilling wind. The snowdrops are still blooming; by now there should be signs of primrose leaves, but there are none. It was a short uninspiring walk, although the wind has brought down hundreds of fir cones, I shall collect some on a fine day to grace the empty fireplace during the summer months.
Our bedroom has a small narrow window; the children used to call it an arrow slit, but it actually dates from the time that this cottage was a barn and the ‘arrow slit’ was for ventilation for either beasts or drying hay. When we refurbished the cottage I had a strip of stained glass, in wonderful blocks of colour, made to fit the gap. The window faces east and the early morning sun streams in sending a spectrum of colours dancing over the opposite wall. It’s been a lovely waking experience throughout the winter, but now the sun (sun? what sun?) rises so early, I am waking early, too early. As it’s set deep in the wall it can’t have a curtain, so this morning I decided that I would be very creative and fill the gap artfully. I carefully cut foam, covered in rich velvet, and wedged into place. But my husband is already complaining that he will miss the ‘light show’, watch this space……………….
I have finished Ingrid’s quilt, but I did no knitting last night as we, our Durham family, my husband and I, settled down to watch the highly acclaimed film Amour. Wow! This film definitely should have a viewing age limit; no one above the age of sixty should be allowed to watch it, especially if, like my husband with Parkinson’s disease, they have any form of degenerative illness – did I imagine it, or did he hide the pillows before we went to bed – only joking.
We had a non-alcoholic evening last night, having rather over indulged the night before and, as I said to Jem, alcohol just isn’t the answer to everything – “neither is milk” came the droll reply. Fair enough – crack open the red.
Tomorrow our little Durham family, Jem, Alice and the adventurous Teddy depart, so tonight it’s the traditional roast beef Yorkshire pudding and all the trimmings’ send off with as many of the Norfolk family as I can muster.
Our Durham family have left and are safely home. The experiment with the ‘arrow slit’ window was met with despair from my husband, yesterday, the light didn’t wake him – it never does, but the sound of me. Of ripping the ‘curtain away from the window did (I used Velcro to fix it). A rummage through the ‘holiday box’ found an eye mask, why didn’t I think of that in the first place?
The sun is shining, the walk magical, oh, how I love this valley. The shrinking violets, never flashy are however putting on a little show, the mulleins by the wood are just forming a crown of leaves, unfortunately the nettles are also just pushing through their acrid green shoots – time to spray the Park.
The farm tracks are firm and dry even dusty, and though it grieves me to say this, the crops especially the spring barley is in urgent need of moisture. Our land is poor, very chalky so rain soon drains away, this winter we are the lucky ones, the heavy clay soils will hold the water and rot the crop.
Today is tidy the studio day…………………………….
But may the garden needs my attention?