I sometimes think I am barking. One of the hottest, if not the hottest, day of 2012 and for some reason which escapes me I start clearing out my kitchen drawers. Yes, I know - I don't know either. I had some wonderful marvellous clean silver pack from Waitrose and this involves putting said pack in sink, hurling all the family silver (in my case ancient cutlery) on top of it and cover with boiling water. Did this and then of course saw the state of the drawers I had just emptied and so it goes on. I now have a bowlful of shiny clean cutlery and need to spend ten mins or so buffing it up and drying it.
I have also put a cover back on a very old foam seat of an armchair which has clearly demonstrated to me that the foam needs replacing as it started to shred. OK so struggle with cover and that is back on and then I have to get the Hoover out to clear up the mess. Regular Random Readers know I hate getting the hoover out and will avoid it whenever possible, but in this case could not get away with it. So hoovered and cleaned and within ten minutes felt my back seizing up. For years I have used the excuse of the Bad Back to get out of hoovering, well now it is true and packed it in straight away. Have daughter arriving at Heathrow at 6am on Saturday and she wants to see me there upright and smiling and not doubled over like Quasimodo.
And of course this is the reason why I am going through my flat in a veritable whirlwind of housewifery. Kathryn will be staying with me on and off for the next fortnight and I want everything to look lovely and clean and nice, not that she will give a tinkers actually, but it makes me feel better. So magazines have been sorted and binned or put into nice tidy piles, I have dusted and swept, the kitchen floor is filthy but that can wait till tomorrow when I have staggered back from the Big Shop and that reminds me my fridge really needs a good clean, and then I will deal with floor. I will change my bed tomorrow as I am going to insist Kathryn sleeps in it on Saturday night and I will take the sofa bed. Apart from the fact that I will wake up before her, she will have spend some 24 hours in a cramped seat and I think she will enjoy spreading out in a comfy bed.
So all is now ready. She is here for just two weeks and we have a schedule pinned to the notice board so we know exactly what we are all doing, who is going where when and who is driving who where and when, and it is going to be a manic two weeks. Kathryn has very sensibly arranged to go to Ibiza for four days with her best friend in the middle of this time and I think she will need that before she returns to embark on the final round of visits. Of course, she is simply dying to see Florence - last time she saw her Florence was only 4 or 5 months old and I remember Kathryn holding her on her knee and sitting with silent tears dripping off her face as she realised she was leaving all this behind.
So folks, Random Jottings may be very Random over the next two weeks though I will pop in as often as I can. Huge amount of books still to write about and more arriving daily - twelve arrived yesterday, among them what looks like a superb biography of Marilyn Monroe. And I mean a proper biography, not the usual photos and gossip. It is fifty years since her death which is a lowering thought - I remember very well where I was when the news came through and the sense of shock we all felt. I am looking forward to reading this very much. Then How to Bake by Paul Hollywood (be still my beating heart) with fantastic recipes in which I shall try out and report back on, the latest Fay Weldon, a few thrillers and many more. I shall get round to them but it may be a while.
Hope to post tomorrow and then that will be that for a day or two as I shall be too busy sitting down yakking and yakking and laughing and crying with my beloved Kathryn who I simply cannot wait to see.