28 September, 2013


Quiet day so far. Anne, who is staying, has disappeared off somewhere and by now should have embarked on her first 6 hour shift at the Daily Express, so I don't expect to see her till 10pm. Poor old dog hasn't had a walk yet. Plan to take her and the girls down to the common for some fresh air at tea time. Also plan to pop down to the mall to get that purple sheep jumper from Primark for one of the girls, whichever one wants it most. Possibly Algo, as Log dibsed the last of the mac and cheese with hot dog sausages cut up into it, for lunch. Much to Algo's chagrin. However, she had toasted cinnamon and raisin bagels with smoked salmon and cream cheese instead, which she seemed to enjoy. I had leftover mushroom risotto, leftover liver and bacon and leftover rocket salad. The dog had some of the gravy. Planning chilli con carne for dinner. Peeved because I can't find the recipe for coffee ice cream that I used the last time. Curses! All the rest either use instant coffee granules (blegh), require ground coffee (because I have a coffee grinder), want you to make the custard from scratch (seriously), or use store-bought custard (in principle disapproval, since I know there is a recipe out there somewhere that doesn't require it).

Weather not so nice today. But as far as I'm concerned every day is sunshine and rainbows BECAUSE I'M ON SABBATICAL!

Reading Aravind Adiga's White Tiger, which won the Booker Prize in 2008 and is very good. The sort of book that makes me think I could never be a writer, because this guy is so much cleverer, more imaginative, more empathetic, skilled and knowledgeable than I am. And he's not even super-famous! But he's about a million times better than bloody Martin Amis and all that self-satisfied crew.

Saw a super BBT poster in Smith's yesterday. Was going to buy it for Spam's room, but thought I would wait till he comes home at Xmas. Only 2.5 months to go!

25 September, 2013


Right, now that I'm on sabbatical, I really must keep this thing updated.

So, up at 4.30 today to do my Chinese lesson via Skype with my Chinese teacher in Tianjin - the wonders of technology. Then breakfast for the grils - scrambled aggs and streaky bacon for Log, and porridge with cream and honey for Algo. Listened to Punt and Dennis doing 3 Men in a Boat on R4 on the drive over to Dulwich. V good: the comic song, the tin of pineapple, and, best of all, the encounter between Montmorency and the cat. Scrabble is very like Montmorency.

Home, to 15 minutes on the exercise bike, while watching episode 3 of Young Montalbano, and 15 minutes jogging, with the damned reluctant heel-dragging, tree-sniffing dog, up to Wandsworth Common West Side. Then shopping for franks and beans for Algo's packed dinner for netball at Wembley Arena tonight, then bath and Killer Sudoku!

Cleaned out Samivel's room for what seems like the first time in 5 years. All drawers, shelves, cupboards, etc filled with unnameable crap. 6 binbags filled. Lots of little Sam-type favourites encountered. Miss him. Sniff. Right now, he is kayaking like a lunatic over the aptly named Loon Lake.

Tried to hoover. The Dyson exhibited very little suckage, then after 5 minutes a hottish smell filled the air and it switched itself off. Uh-oh.

Lunch was leftover liver and bacon with spaghetti - really very yummy.

Then up to Dulwich. Parked carefully avoiding front of house of horrible over-tanned bottle-blonde raddled old hag of a woman who passive aggressively tried to complain to me about our car alarm going off on Tuesday. Delivered packed dinner to Algo. Took dog for walk in Dulwich Park. Cooed over (the dog, not me) by various old ladies. Tea and a fairy cake at the cafe in the park for £2.50. This is much better value than the cafe in the Dulwich Picture Gallery by the way. Read by WW1 book till Log appeared and we scooted off home.

Dinner was fried sprats and leftover gigantic new potato salad. Sprats delicious but Log said it was a very pointy meal that hurt her sore throat. Whole downstairs now smells of fish, most of which odour seems to be lodged in my hair.

Log got an A star for her GCSE English coursework sarcastic piece on why she loves Garratt Lane. Woohoo! Now she is doing her Chemistry homework while sitting on the sofa "because this way I can pretend I'm not doing homework". Dog is curled up asleep. Again.

I'm typing this on my 6 year old Asus netbook that takes half an hour to wake up, then works for half an hour before it crashes. In 90 minutes I have to go and pick Algo up from Dulwich, so will fill the time with editing chapter 22 of my recording of Cobbett's Rural Rides for Librivox and learning the alto part of Rossini's Petite Messe Solennelle for choir.

That's all till tomorrow. Byeee!