extension phone Ellen is back from Holland with no need for visa SO FAR as undesirable immigrant ! She says there was almost as much about David Cameron and our referendum on Dutch TV as we suffered over here ! She brought ne an armful of flowers from her garden which won't last long, we know, but look lovely anyway ~ good to have her back and catch up on her news.
THis wacky Aga mousemat came ~ how amazing that I can indulge myself like this ~ yesterday sorting out more notebooks I came across these two : Writing Record from 1978-1981, and Weekly Work Record from 1985 ~ golly, I'm amazed to see how hard I was working, how hard I was trying to make my living writing ~ now and again I did sell something, mostly an article though the odd story too ~ but most of my efforts were in vain. It is a rough old business writing and ~ never mind how much talent you've got, the question really is, can you keep going in spite of constant rejection ? No easy thing. Looking back, it was the fact that when I did get an acceptance it was mostly in The Guardian, with a couple of articles in The Observer too ~ not to be snerered at, either of them. I did manage to produce two novels alongside everything else, but had to publish them myself ~ "Solitaire" thanks to a legacy from our God Parents, Helen and Phiip Lamb. And later on, "Nine Men's Morris" after I'd released some of the equity on the value of this house.
All the way through these note books there are reminders, painful reminders of how desparare things were financially in our North View days, after the divorce : a typical entry , July 1st 1985
Chaotic period : nothing achieved, worried sick about monbey, bad back (due to stress ?), constantly exhausted . . . How marvellous it is, how incredible that I've survived to enjoy the affluence of old age, cosseted by Pension Credit, Attendance Allowance, plus £80 extra per week "Living Alone Allowance !! As you know, before an operation you have to sign a form saying "if you kill me I forgive you blah-blah'blah When I had my second hip replacement I said to the (lovely) surgeon, " but please do your best ~ it would be a terrible shame to die now when for the first time in my life I have enough to live on, to live comfortably !" So I am counting my blessings, counting them one by one ~ Praise the Lord ! (shouts your heathen blogger)
THursday evening : Well ~ talk about blessings ! Sue came and took the sitting room curtains down and while I got them washed she cleaned the window for me and put up clean nets ~ all looking good ~ after coffee when she'd gone I came over floppy and crashed out for half an hour, only coming back to life when Ellen came and then Beverley joined us out on the bench and then Tom ~ next thing (and I'd quite forgotten about him) Saul Black arrived to cut my toe nails with Bev his apprentice. Had a bite to eat and a proper flop and began to put curtain hooks back but two had broken when the curtains came down and I had no spares so used some split rings instead ~ they nearly split my finger nails ! Next thing, Simon pops in with a bunch of lovely flowers for me ~ heaven knows why ! Visitors at number 4 came up and had a chat and then had a look round the house while Mary (not Tom) got the step ladder out and re-hung curtains with proper hooks which she had brought down in place of split tngs and paper clips and she insisted I keep the rest of the packet ~ what a pleasure to have the window glowing with crisp clean nets and now the proper curtains whichI'd washed one by one as they are so long, and which had dried quite quickly on the clothes horse at the open door ~ these curtains I bought a few days after I mived here ~ Kate and I went to Middlesborough ~ I reckon they have been washed two or three times a year for last 29 years and they come up as good as new ~ with a nice rough texture they don't need ironing. Just coming up to six o'clock and wondering what to make for supper when Mary cam down with Mary came down with a delicious meat pie ~ see picture ~ beautifully crisp pastry, tender beef in rich gravy with a carrot or two and baby spuds ! Piping hot and absolutely delicious ~ what kindness ! Mary's son is a chef ~ he must have been inspired by his mother's skill ! Finally, Beverley came in with her 'Ideas Book' which I am going down to peruse now ~ she is a talented artist, much of her work being delicate cartoons ! Quite a day, and stuffed full of blessings !
Surprise news ~ Michael Gove who was Boris Johnson's campain manager, at the very last minute ditched Boris to stand for Tory leader himself ~ could well have been his plan from the start ! A sly operator whose ambition knows no bounds ! Bothe main parties are currently struggling with leades ~ in spite of 80% of the Parliamentary Labour Party calling for his resignation, Jeremy Corbyn is standing firm ~ quite incredible in BOTH camps !
Friday July 1st : another of these sunny/showery days ~ at lunch time finished Mary's pie with a few peas ~ she is such a clever pastry cook ! Such a pleasure now the sitting room window is clean and the curtains and nets ~ have finished War Brides by Helen Bryan ~ wat shall I download onto Kindle next ?
The Amstrad emailer phone-plus seems to be giving up the ghost ~ I've had it for years and could at least send emails before I got the computer ~ the TIME / DATE function seems to have collapsed as can no longer set either ~ here we are at 17.05 hours and it shows 20.45 ! The date has disappeared altogether ! I do have another phone up in the attic, a nice maroon one, the one I replaced with the amstrad ~ maybe should bring that one down again though not sure I can install it ~ there is also the wacky extension phone with one portable handset up here and one in the kitchen, but I'm not sure whether the 'mother' can act as main landline phone ~ badle need advice. Meanwhile the wall clock above the work top is an hour out, an hour SLOW ~ I can ni longer reach it to adjust it when the clocks are put forward for BST ~ the only reliable time up here is the tiny figure in the bottom right hand side of the computer screen which now says 17.28 ~ just popped down to bring seat pad in from bench out of the rain, and the 100 years anniversary of the Battle of the Somme ceremony on PM programme with music from "Oh ,oh, oh What a Lovely War" ~ The Chesil Theatre produced it onne year up at the Tower Centre in the grounds of Danemark School ~ I was prompt for that production ~ hearing the song brings it all back.