Friday, April 29, 2011

Mutton Dressed As...

To celebrate today's royal wedding I dressed up in my frock and pranced around the garden. Dress fits fine from the neck down... Granny took this photo of myself and the children.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Queen Camilla

I have another literary suggestion for this royal wedding week - by my favourite author Sue Townsend. Sue's rather fond of Camilla who comes across awfully well in this hilarious sequel to The Queen and I - a Republican government has abolished the monarchy and for 13 years the ex-Royal family have been electronically tagged and imprisoned a sink estate with 'the criminal, the antisocial, the inadequate, the feckless, the agitators, the disgraced professionals, the stupid, the drug addicted and the morbidly obese...'

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Your Royal Hostage

May I suggest Your Royal Hostage as a literary antidote to the upcoming royal wedding - since they seem to have so little story of their own...
English rose Princess Amy is engaged to marry - it's the wedding of the year - and Jemima Shore, a reporter, has been asked to anchor the American television coverage. But it's not just nostalgic Americans who are interested in the royal wedding - an animal rights activist group is conspiring to make an extravagant gesture during the televised coverage...

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Soul Selects her own Society

The soul selects her own society,
Then shuts the door;
On her divine majority
Obtrude no more.

Unmoved, she notes the chariot's pausing
At her low gate;
Unmoved, an emperor is kneeling
Upon her mat.

I've known her from an ample nation
Choose one;
Then close the valves of her attention
Like stone.

Emily Dickinson

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Nick's Back!

It's always difficult when Nick comes back after a separation. To remember to be 'we' again instead of a solitary 'I' - the children don't count for I think of them as extensions to myself - they did live inside me for nine months...
So I'm still making tea (for one) in a cup instead of tea (for two) in the teapot. And twice today I reached for the phone, to call him in Bahrain, then said: "Oh my goodness, you're here! I keep forgetting."
Marriage is a state - of mind - and fortunately he's used to me now - he says I'm always like this -
He knows in a couple of days I'll reach out in my sleep and snuggle into his back and ask him: "Will you make tea or will I?"

Friday, April 8, 2011


My darling uncle Edward has died and last night I went to the wake. His son Patrick came over to chat.
"Are you still riding horses?" he asked me.
"Are you still racing motorbikes?"
We've always been very good friends even though I'm terrified of bikes and he hates horses with a passion.
He said: "Do you remember the last time I rode your horse?"
He'd been riding with me along the edge of a field spread with the slurry - something flew up out of the hedge, the mare spooked, Patrick fell off, his foot got caught in the stirrup, the mare took off across the field and Patrick was dragged through the slurry.
I said: "That was 20 years ago! Or maybe 30 years ago!"
His eyes twinkled. He almost smiled. Forgot for a brief moment his grief. He said: "I was washing slurry out of my ears for a week."

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Little Women

Remind me again how Marmee managed when Amy and Jo were at each other's throats? I have an Amy and Jo who delight in upsetting each other. Last night Jo ate Amy's cup cake in retaliation she tells me for Amy defacing the Easter greetings card she was making for Granny. And this morning there was another eruption - a tug of war over the head of a hairbrush.
Before long Amy will be throwing Jo's novel into a fire...
And what will poor Marmee do then?
My own mother says to ignore them. She says if I try to referee they will gang up against me and turn on me. She says it's a lose lose situtation.
Which is why she always ran away screaming when my three sisters and me fought with each other when we were growing up.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Divine Intervention

I always wondered what it would take for my husband to suffer from feelings of possessiveness. We don't really have that sort of relationship which probably just as well since we spend so much time apart...
It's been a fortnight since the children and I left him behind in Bahrain. "I don't really miss you," I told him by phone, "Everyone's being so kind..."
The bachelor farmer down the road had welcomed me back with a bunch of flowers. The man from the garden centre gave me a camellia bush when I went to buy apple trees. Male friends from school have been stopping their tractors to chat - one brought me duck eggs, one offered to plant the apple trees ...
All this Nick accepted without comment. As I say, he's not the jealous type.
Until last night when I remarked : "The minister winked at me in church..."
There was a brief pause, then he said: "I've been thinking I might fly home next week to see you. You've been on your own long enough."