Yesterday was scorching hot, and it is almost as bad today ~ Sue came but we decided it was far too hot to start cleaning the kitchen window so we sat and chatted for half an hour with mugs of cold coffee to finish off French coffee I made us on Monsay ~ if it is cooler, she will come tomorrow. Once I'd tidied round I gave up and read most of the morning~ it really was too hot to move ~ watched Theresa May's first PMQs and she seemed to do pretty well. Raindrop solar lights came, and Mary very kindly has hung them, draped them in the small white beam tree ~ they really do look good, like raindrops. I've had the little fan on beside me up here today, though the heat was still unbearable ~ it is a bit cooler now ~ we could do with a thunderstorm.
Thursday morning : Scorching again so we'll leave the kitchen window till next week when hopefully it will be cooler. Beverley brought me in one of her charming pictures ~ it will just fit into one of those photo frames that used to come with professional photographs ~ a perfect fit ~ I'll give you a copy of it . . .
Saturday morning and thank God a bit cooler ! Messages from Bill and Nancy that Sarah's daughter Ariel is ill, possibly kidney trouble ~ she is to go back to hospital for more tests ~ as far as any of us can remember, nobody in our family had kidney problems ~ Steve is trying to remember whether any of Diane's family had. Poor Sarah, worried sick.
I've finished the novel "Last train to Istanbul" by Ayse Kulin ~ gripping though rather long ~ about a group of Jews trying to escape from Paris and the Nazis ! I must choose a gentler title next. The disk of "Salad Days" has arrived ~ I wonder whether Will and Agi would enjoy the film version.
Sunday : thank God we've had a couple of showers which have cooled things down a bit but still hard to function in the heat ~ I've only been doing the basic chores before giving up to flop on the sofa to read ~ windows open throughout the house and curtains closed ~ the front door is open from dawn till dusk with ribbons hanging there and clothes horse as a psychological barrier ~ hope we are not in for this weather all summer. It was like this in the summewr of 1976 ~ even though I offered to take six weeks UNPAID rather than piss about in the Education Department once the schools had broken up and the advisors all on holiday, but they wouldn't allow it ~ "it would look as if we are overstaffed " ~ which at that time of year we were ~ in our office people were coming in late, trailing over to the shop for ice creams, gossiping in the loo ~ you couldn't really blame them as there simply wasn't any work to do ~ every August this scenario drove me mad especially with the family all at home and plenty to be done there. It was in 1976 that having been refused legitimate leave, I asked the doctor to give me a sick note but he was furious at me for even asking for such a thing, it was more than his job was worth ~ however I managed to injure me back, slip a disk or something, and could scarcely STAND let alone WALK but of course mobody believed me ! It was shortly after this that I was sacked ! At least it was "effective dismissal" ~ they downgraded me from a quite responsible post to Office Junior knowing full well that I would storm off at such injustice, such indignity ~ but I was probably an awkward cuss always asking for work, always expecting to be busy in those long dreary office days. [see
Beverley popped in with the Gazette in which in the 'Down Memory Lane' feature there is a picture of me from twenty years ago shortly after "Solitaire" was published ! This morning I did manage to gather my wits to make order for Sainsbury's delivery tomorrow so that's something, though in truth it is almost too hot to eat ~ yesterday I had nothing but a piece of toast for breakfast and a yoghurt later on ~ no lunch, no supper, but I'm none the worse for it.