If, God forbid, I ever die, I don't suppose my great-grandchildren will want the Elvis Costello Songbook or the bejeweled Indian tunic, amply embroidered with elephants. So I planned to clear the attic of these dear items, along with everything else, even the potentially useful dried leftover paint and the framed Certificate of Profound Thanks.
Zeal gathered pace and it was announced on Tuesday to the assembled household that acquisition of new belongings must cease immediately. We will live with what we have, such as it is. An exemption for chocolate was requested and granted and there, I thought, the matter rested.
But Wednesday was Valentine's Day and the usual pony appeared from Scottish Husband. I look out the east window in dismay and there they are, the Valentine ponies, paddock upon paddock of them, cantering away.
Checking in here, I find a few kind comments and only the one post so far this year, from January. That's perfectly disgraceful! Call myself a blogger! Etc.
So I will be posting any second now.
Some keen observation around these parts makes me doubt the scientific validity of 'any second now.' You would think that 'any second' genuinely means any second, and that the word 'now' would skew the probability to favour sooner seconds rather than later seconds. But I have heard people say they will get up any second now, or tackle their homework any second now, and experience tells me that they are implicitly excluding the early range of available seconds, thus ruining the necessary randomness suggested by the word 'any.'
Sometimes I have not seen the actual getting up take place for hours, or the actual homework for days.
But I guess what happened is that I got caught up in all the 2017 hoo-ha about President David Brent taking office in the USA and got with the zeitgeist, becoming vegan and crusading against plastic and trying to uphold rights, and indeed I am still busy with all that, and hope you are too, but these are my elevenses.
For decades now I've had the vaguest notion, like yourself, of writing a book. Something that will fly off the eye-level shelves, perhaps 'The Hue-Chooser's Daughter: a Guide to Land Rover Restoration' or some annotated minutes from meetings I've had the great pleasure to attend.
But the years chug past, and I am in my forties, although I don't consider them to be 'my' forties, but rather forties that someone else has gracelessly foisted upon me with an exhortation not to stay up for them. So I am thinking now that I will bypass the cinema screen and go straight to DVD, as it were, by writing the condensed version of my book. This approach avoids the nitty-gritty of character-development and nuance, and frees me to hone in on plot-line. No doubt there are fine plots on the internet that I can steal. And there we are.
Golf-playing honchos of the Reader's Digest who are reading this, I invite you to get in touch now. The Condensed Books Commissioning Editor, the CEO or other C-Level executives only please: someone who is empowered to sign the uncondensed cheques. I am here ready to put down my doughnut the very second the phone rings.
O lost friend of my youth rediscovered. Golf Biscuits were a staple when I was a child, from the hefty Good Housekeeping volume that the President gave Mother. I believe she still has the book, but that much-used page is gone. And then one day the recipe appeared on the trusty old Internet, in the Vintage Cookbook Trials!
The good, kind person who posted it there does not speak highly of them but they are as delicious as ever, either plain or with chocolate.
That rustic look is Entirely Intentional, excuse me. I add chocolate to biscuits by placing a few lovely Callebaut chocolate chips on top of them and returning to the oven for a minute, then spreading. No doubt you have a better way.
Note that they contain 2 oz sugar. 1 oz suffices, really.
It doesn't matter one little bit that I seldom post here any more, because I have been baking my own sourdough bread.
The sourdough starter, a token of thanks, borne in Tupperware on Aeroflot to Ireland by Dame Ada Lamb and her companion on their last Grand Tour of Europe, is fresh from the Gulags or Steppes of Siberia; I forget which they said exactly.
It is centuries old.
The French, with their finer sensibilities, appreciate that sort of posturing. The phone rang and it was Canal Levain++ asking me whether I would appear on their panel discussion on over-sized jugs and whether to hang curtains across the washing-machine alcove.
At first I said No, as I say No to everything, but then I asked myself, "What would Samuel Beckett have said?", and I said Yes. We aesthetes must stick together.
So all these months have been stamped with the knead and rise and bake of the sourdough bread to the beat of the warming world. And now great fame.
I will have to turn off the comments here. It has been so long since I commented over at your blog; certainly for no less love of you and your fabulous flowers and slipcovers but rather through languor and, ultimately, moral turpitude.
Not commenting makes me feel guilt-stricken and nervy. I am prone to that.
The above is a 9th birthday nest, but I should have made it in the shape of a lone frail tree, faltering in the forest. Why?, you politely ask. It is because I sense that the dear old amateur lifestyle blogging community is losing its fizz.
No one, now, proudly shows off their low-carbohydrate courgette spaghetti. Chairs sit round, un-reupholstered. Nothing is painted a milky shade of grey. Everyone is too busy following their desk exercise regime to note that they saw a sparrow in the east this morning, and liken it to Jesus.
People have decamped to other rides in the great social media funfair, rides that are faster and shinier and where there is a promise of coins, or at least a fake watch or a small teddy. A stern, chill wind blows across our collective refurbished verandah.
Thanks to a flat tyre
I went to no St. Patrick's Day parade
Drank nothing green
Stood in no chill breeze
Took no photos
(Here are no photos)
Hid from no hearty people
Queued in no queues
Passed no remarks on how fine the fiddles are,
and your hair, my dear, and coat.
But, rather, stayed at home,
muttering to myself in my minority language
as I transplanted a rose,
curmudgeonly as I pleased.
O joy, O joy, O joy.
O flat tyre of perpetual joy.