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Friday, May 21, 2004

Lying in bed in the morning looking up at the skylight I can tell where the wind is by the movement of the clouds. Except when there isn't any cloud like yesterday - there were white shapes, couldn't think why they didn't move - realised at last they were reflections of my own bedding. No such problem today. Wind swung round to the north west having been west all yesterday; still not very strong. Sky clearing now - typical.

Listening as I write this to Desert Island Discs......Radio 4 - and the Archers! - helps salve the homesickness ...BBC1 and 2 and above all Radio 3 used to be here too - but damn them, they moved the satellite. So now Radio 4 and Channel 4 is all we have. The trials of exile. (Lucky us. Yes. But oh the lost, faraway, green fields of May.)

Gave up this for a while to listen - cleared up the kitchen meanwhile, wondering for how many years and - in how many kitchens - I've cleared up listening to Desert Island Discs. This time it was the explorer Pen Hadow, on the one hand a public school inarticulate, on the other much more articulate and much more interesting; a driven man, who thought one arctic expedition might satisfy him - it didn't -melancholy drives him on to more. Always will. I recognise this. No peace yet, here. Ever?

Back to blog. Realise one post - Tuesday I think - got chewed up by system. Can't remember what it reported - except that I'd made my apricot jam - six pots and kitchen was still sticky. Cleared up, grimly, feeling I'd gone backwards - two, three years ago, there it was, I had escaped to two rooms, minimal domestic round and now here I was again... an hour and a half's hard most mornings. Beloved when I complained about this, said you chose to make jam -- so I did, so I did. Not quite the point - and after all he is the man who spends hours stuffing tiny squid etc. As I pointed out. (I clear up most of this effort too. Often.)

What did I achieve in those domestically untramelled years anyway? - a book noone wants to publish because it's about the dregs, the bent, unprepossessing, dragging, crazy, ex- or still mentally ill and/or defective (sorry 'learning difficulties') and who wants to know about them? Or maybe book not just good enough? Quite possibly. George Orwell I'm not. But nor Joan Collins on the other hand, and if she'd tried to publish it? Who knows. (Memo to self, have face lift, hair dye, body sculpture, add mascara etc etc, invent lurid and successful cinematic past, then who knows...) Some hope.

Weather delicious all week. Yesterday down at the Sports Centre it was filling up with Iron Man and their acolytes. Some Iron Men all iron- not to say thuggish. One had bald head tatooed in red at back.

Do Iron Men live to ripe old ages? Or do they enlarge their hearts and drop dead young? Driven like the explorer. So uncaring? Or still too young to believe in age and death?

No fire in the sala all week. So maybe summer is arriving. (Last year we stopped lighting it at the end of the March.) A pity in some ways - it brings the room to life. But too warm now.

Handsome from Blackburn and builder have just appeared..... Handsome never tolerant of Canarian to-ing and fro-ing - but is not builder's fault he never knows when he can get boss's digger. Handsome shrugs - no he's not coming tomorrow, he's waited 4 hours other weeks,,, Builder voluble in his fairly incomprehensible Canarian Spanish as to his certainly coming this time. I assure both of them, OK, no problem, Beloved and I will be there.

Grannyp still in dressing-gown through all this, after rolling out of bed in usual catatonic morning state and failing so far to get back upstairs.

Eight years ago I was grandmother for first time. Ie this is eldest granddaughter's birthday. Card safely sent courtesy of Internet - present alas, courtesy of Amazon, has not arrived. Some problem in getting CD of excerpts from the Magic Flute which she's obsessed with. Other present Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats. Also requested. Nice to know she can see round the back of S Club Seven and Harry Potter. Don't care how eclectic she is if everything feeds in. (Self obsessed by Enid Blyton and Tommy Steele, in my time, Still obsessed by Elvis. Why not?)

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