A horrifying account of the lives of slaves in cotton fields and sugar plantations ~ Man Booker prize winner.

Oh dear ~ having encouraged everybody to see whether their Christmas hyacinths would flower again (possibly even twice more) I still only have leaves on mine, though healthy looking leaves so may still flower !

Bloody cold !

Oh hell !    Had written a good paragraph but somehow managed to lose it when I swiched off to make supper ~ I know very well I must always "save and view changes" before switching off and preferably every few minutes or else it will disappear.   Stupid of me !

Sue came this morning but not her usual cheerful self so we made coffee and sat and chatted and no cleaning ~ no problem really as everything is in good order ~ it's mainly the stairs that defeat me ~ holding a hoover on such steep spirals, I feel I'm going to fall backwards ~ Sue always makes them look so bright and fresh.   Later Barbara came on her way back from the gymn where she goes three times a week which is pretty good.  [save]

Cold but no snow in yard though plenty lying on surrounding moors.   The heating can still only get the temperature up to 18 after all these hours ~ I know these old windows let a lot of draught in so that sometimes the curtains are blowing gently about when windows apparently locked tight !

While I was flopping, Annabel popped a book through the letterbox  : "The Book of Night Women" by Marlon James and short-listed for the Booker, no ~ not SHORT-LISTED but Man Booker winning author !   I wish my eyesight was not so poor ~ do hope thet remove cataracts soon though I know they make you hang on until "they are ripe" !

Sending for anything from Amazon you get a notification from PREDICT that your parcel will be delivered at such-and-such a time, between 10.27 and 11.27 for instance ~ and sure enough the delivery man comes dead on time ~ maybe he parks at the bottom of the yard until the exact moment.   Running out of copies of "Nine Men's Morris" I ordered a few from Amazon 2 at £3 one mysteriously at £18 !   Authors on Line who produced it for me have ceased trading now that there are so many self-publishing options so I can't order any more from them.  [save]

Suddenly decided to contact Charlie (Georgie's baby) and ask if she would send us photos of herself as a child.  Georgie had one picture of her at 10 days old, and nothing more till at 18 Charlie got in touch with her birth mother and we all met her.   To encourage her, I attached a dozen or so photos of Georgie as a child ~ I am so pleased I did this as it seems my email arrived just as she and her partner arrived at Charlie's Mum and Dad and the afternoon was spent sorting out old photos to send to us and exclaiming at how much the two of them were as babies and toddlers ~ I'm so glad that we are all in touch with her again, and that she has found the courage to tell us of her long-standing relationship with Mandy.   As if anybody would be shocked, THESE DAYS !   Especially with our sister Helen's daughter Charlie (another Charlotte) , her partner Lou and and their 3 month old twins.  Good news all round then.

Tuesday 9pm : begin to feel a bit of a fool as so far no sign of second flowering of Christmas hyacinths though leafage looks healthy enough ~ for past three or four years I simply left pot on table, kept it watered, and before long a SECOND and then a THIRD flowering appeared, each time the flower heads were slightly smaller but smelling as sweet.

On Saturday Keith the Plumber is coming to remove my old brass kitchen taps for smart new chrome ones so gave these a final polish and took a picture for you ~ they were not the original taps but ones Dick found for me soon after I came here and Mick installed them for me ~ I have to admit there have been several washer problems and much serious dripping.

Spent an hour filing emails in folders, then emptied DRAFTS, SENT, TRASH and even INBOX ~ hope I haven't deleted anything important.   Found it difficult to create new folders but  found there were one or two empty ones so simply had to rename them.   Will rang earlier for chat ~ all well down there apart from poor Ben who had a lump appear in his throat and could not swallow ~ fortunately he was at home and they rushed him into hospital where antibiotics cleared it up but was kept in for 2 days in case ~ nasty and frightening !

Wednesday evening 10.10pm : I seem to have been side-tracked all day so I'll see you tomorrow !    Good night all !

Thursday 5pm : Waiting for Heart Shop man to collect two bags of stuff that I'd been assembling in the small attic ~ he usually comes around this time when the shop shuts ~ a wonderful help, collecting it.   Very cold again ~ temp in here only 18 !   I even woke up cold from my flop.   Yesterday I wrote a piece for Charlie about her birth and adoption ~ very friendly response so sent copies to Georgie and Kate ~ I imagine it must be hard to understand WHY you were given away at birth so hope my notes help.

Starting this powerful book, a Man Booker winner, about the lives of slaves ~ [see pic] ~ how can we be so cruel to one another !   Yesterday it emerged that in Middlesbrough the doors of the houses of Asylum Seekers are all painted RED making them easily identifiable and targets for abuse and vandalism !!   Outrageous !

Sainsbury's delivery this morning with very friendly driver CRAIG ~ he's had to carry the two trays of goods up the yard as they were short of trolleys at depot and he let the chap with a bad back have the last one ~ his next call was at Robin Hoods Bay where he would have to stagger down that terribly steep hill to the old village at the bottom WITHOUT A TROLLEY !    I treated my self to small piece of smoked salmon and had a very healthy lunch with fresh bread and excellent salad.   By accident I watched Doctor programme last night and it was interesting particularly the research they had carried out into benefit of olive oil as compared with other vegetable oils : sunflower and rape seed ~ and only OLIVE oil has quality beneficial to the heart ~ that's the only one I get anyway ~ it was recommended that for a healthy heart two desertspoonfuls of olive oil should be taken daily, NOT in cooking but on salad or bread or taken near by the spoonful ~ the benefits show up in the urine of guinea pigs.


My old brass taps ~ gave them a final polish before they go for scrap !

The cyclamen that Lucy brought me last Friday ~ how kind !