Will has taken the sitting room curtains down for the wash, bless him, and will put them up again when they are dry ~ the bubbly material does dry quickly and doesn't need ironing ~ I bought these curtains a week or so after we moved in here when Kate and I went to Middlesbrough for curtains and carpet ~ a week later the house was carpeted top to bottom in neutral porridgy carpet which picks up the colour of the exposed stone of the internal wall. Boring but swamped in colour on all fronts ~ this was 28 years ago and the curtains have been washed twice a year without fail ever since and still as good as new ~ pretty good, eh !
Monday evening : had such a happy weekend with Agi and Will but rather limp today so no entry tonight ~ I#ll get down to it again in the morning.
Tuesday 5pm :
Sainsbury's delivery first thing including three enormous leeks ~ Tom is happy to take one, made pan of leek and potato soup for lunch with plenty for tomorrow ~ offered the other to various people but nobody wanted it so I will make leek au gratin for weekend
~ always delicious. I've left one leek in porch for Tom & Mary with the GARDEN TORCH the window cleaners gave me years ago in return for a load of arch-lever files and other office euipment which I was clearing out but Alison's son was going to
find useful ~ this must have been 18 years ago in a frenzy of sorting out files and folders ~ they said I was to light the torch when my book was published but hadn't the heart to light it or celebrate when I published SOLITAIRE myself, though today everybody,
just about everybody is self-publishing ~ both of the splendid Anglo-Saxon novels I've beebn reading lately are self-published but ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL !
On Thursday evening, Tom and Mary are having a Bonfire Party up on their garden behind their house, so at last the torch can come to life.
Took pictures of Will & Agi so you get them too ~ I made a plum crumble earlier so will pop it in the oven while I have a bath ~ what a life ! What a wondrous life !!
Later : Someone rang me from Goole, for heaven's sake ~ asking if I'd go down there and give a talk to her group ~ they remembered a talk I'd given there probably 15 years ago when I was on a register of After-Dinner Speakers ~ they started me off at £125 per talk plus expenses, and before I fell out with them my fee was £250 ! I remember Goole ~ Georgie, bless her, came up the night before to drive me down there, but the bloody Chairwoman would not buy her a lunch at the pub afterwards, only me ! When I reported this to the organisers, they more or less sacked me for criticising their "Ladies" ! On whom their business rested ! "I'm far too old," I said tonight. Amazing that they remembered a lively speaker !
Penelope Lively was being interviewd on Radio4 while I was sorting out Sainsbury's groceries ~ she is 81 like me and spoke so passionately about 'the clutter' she lives with ~ books, pictures, knick-knacks ~ each with a memory hidden in it ~ and like me, like so many old dears, she hopes she'll be able to survive there until The End. Let others deal with the clutter afterwards.
Will managed to find email address of Bristol Evening Post and I've sent Mother's Memories of the Blitz down to them. My first published work appeared in that paper when I was about 15 ~ when I got home from the Bristol/Bordeaux Exchange visit I wrote an article about it, and instead of paying me, they took me out and bought me a school blazer which I had not been able to afford ~ this inspired me to become a writer, and sure enough before my 16th birthday, the DAY before actually, I posted off my first novem to the OUP. They didn't take it, of course, but not only did somebody read it but actually took the time to write me a long encouraging letter. Later when I was au pairing in Lausanne, I sent a couple of articles to the BEP which were published. But then LIFE got in the way, as it tends to do ~ and it would be nearly fifty years before I could settle down to write seriously ! Ah me ~ such a long time ago . . . !