Wednesday, September 27, 2006

This is a Public Announcement

Staying with Judith in Fernhurst after an unexpected glitch, so might be flying home on Friday. Can't remember anyone's email addresses accurately so they keep bouncing, and the Internet Cafe manager is tapping his watch, so this is all a bit fraught. NO chance of being back for filming on 30th.

Can't wait to be home again, although Italy was lovely and I so enjoyed meeting my friends.

I look forward to burbling on about planting and cats and domestic incidents, cat drinking the lace stuff, get my drift?

Saturday, September 16, 2006

The Swan Inn

Doesn't it sound romantic? Beside the Tithe Barn, just up from the swannery, but it smells of old cigarette smoke. Not to be ungrateful for an internet connection courtesy of Dorset CC.

I should really try to be more connected to what we have been doing, but I have just been enjoying it, didn't even enter my diary until today. Highlights: Lachlan came to dinner on Wednesday, and since I seem to see him only at seven year intervals there was a loty of catching up to do. He has promised to come through San Francisco on his way back to Australia.

The most delightful household task ever is picking sweet peas.

We had fresh crab yesterday from Brian at the Post Office, he is a brilliant cook and asked us to try a crab pasty he was experimenting with. Well! It is hard to imagine anything more delicious, hot, buttery and flaky, with the freshest filling... Most of our food is local, bacon by the slice, the eggs of course, tomatoes from Tricia Wilkes, apples from another friend with blackberries from the lane. I have not yet caught a mackerel.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Burton Bradstock

First computer time in four days, at the Burton Bradstock library.

Edited highlights so far: Watching the full moon from the plane
The glory and freedom of a walk over the Heath with Sheila within half an hour of journey's end
Realising the advantage of putting on makeup where Eileen does, with a hand mirror, on her bedroom sofa. When you lean back, all the tension goes out of your face and you look gorgeous before you even start!
Petersham Nurseries - I have never seen a more enticing place. My Californian designer friends would WET themselves.
Loving how European everything looks after California
The utter timelessness and familiarity of Abbotsbury. We walked up to the chapel and sang, and I could have never been away

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Flash as a Rat

Working under inspiration this afternoon I nailed my gold tooth through the root canal hole to the kitchen wall, strategically in the knothole which forms the eye of a driftwood thing.

Do you know the Australian expression, flash as a rat with a gold tooth?

Wednesday, September 06, 2006


Fussing a little about how they will cope while I'm away, ready to make creme brulee with an inconvenient pint of heavy cream which has been unemployed so far, and I brought in the outside cushions which had happily been outside for months in our reliable summer. It pains me to think of disorder in my absence although logically if they don't mind, why should I? I have made domesticity too much my responsibility, I was always wistfully envious of more disciplined mothers who insisted on a high level of involvement from all members of the household. Too late now.

This morning: primer, creme brulee and packing. In that order.

I have a big bump on the top of my head and not a clue how it got there.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Bent Out of Shape

A vivid description on my state of mind after having my train cancelled. A blood-curdling hour on appalling SouthWest and National Express websites later I have a coach booking instead.

Truth is, I am not great at travel arrangements. I get into Postman Pat mentality way too easily, and leave vital things undone. Now that I am approaching maturity, this must change.

To bend myself back again I made cardomom cookies, and I'm waiting for these to cook before sealing the porch roof against future gales, then this afternoon I install the downstairs kitchen tap. I am looking forward to doing that because it shows, all shiny and obvious.

The last few days have been so public, with dinner guests, visitors and yesterday a lovely tea with Jessamy and Imra that it's a relief being mucky again, work clothes instead of makeup and heels. I enjoy making the effort but it is an effort, and it is much more relaxing to be involved and grounded and working again.

Following that thought, I have been planning my retirement. A smallholding with good soil and plentiful water, fruit trees in variety, and nut trees, and I shall grow cabbages and onions and keep hens. I have my heart set on a root cellar, and good work rooms, an outdoor shower, solar power, a wood stove, perhaps a sod roof - sustainability of course. Rammed earth and the internet. Every now and then I might sand my knuckles and drive into the city for an exhibition, but not very often.

Thinking even further ahead, Felix said he realised they would probably play "Golden Brown" at my memorial, so he thinks of it differently now. I don't want to spoil a whole raft of music for him ahead of time but it's worth a little planning. "When I am laid, am laid un oeuf" of course; Ode to Joy. The testimonials are more to the point, what WILL they say? and how can I get to hear it beforehand?

Monday, September 04, 2006

Lovely Time

I have been having SUCH a lovely time. September is the best month of the year for starters, and I always seem to indulge myself in all sorts of ways before and around my birthday. So, I bought the new bedding I wanted, and the silver chain, and the black teatowels to go with my severe new kitchen, abandoning my old pure white hand-monogrammed linen without so much as a fare-thee-well. My whim is my command.

For the day I had just family, and no cake; we had champagne and Thai curry instead, (not together). We ended up at Borders to meet George and houseguests, then Felix returned from Burning Man on Sunday, stiff with dust and full of stories, then we finally succumbed to chocolate cake, one slice for the three of us and it was plenty.

Even Friday trailed clouds of glory, as we had breakfast in the Mel's Diner in Geary Street, which has a little juke-box at every table. I had my change purse with me and had so much fun choosing all my favourite sixties songs to sing along to. It was soooo elevating, I found myself driving home in my old confident way, little old lady no more. I am reborn.

Shall I power-wash the roof this evening, or tomorrow? Ahhh, choices.