Blimey it's cold. I am sure that compared to Siberia and deepest Russia it is as balmy as a summer's day but not in my opinion. One of the benefits of living in a small apartment is that one can warm it up very quickly and at the moment I have the heating on, curtains drawn, doors shut and it is pretty cosy, in fact think I may have to turn the thermostat down soon as I am beginning to glow nicely.
Busy week. On Monday I went up to London and met up with Simon from Stuck in a Book as we had both received an invitation to attend an evening by the Folio Society. It was held at the Guardian office in the foyer and all very nice, mulled wine to warm us up and canapes which were laid out and vanished with the speed of light so that by the time I got to the table all I could salvage was a forlorn mini-pastry stuffed full of cream cheese which I promptly dropped on the floor. Had to grab a waiter (Such Fun!) to mop it up quick as it was a marbley type flooring and highly slippery and if anybody had put their foot on this they would have exited stage right pretty quickly.
So recovered from that mishap and then we had a chat by one of the illustrators of the new Folio edition of Pinocchio. I remember trying to read this book as a child, totally taken by the lovely cover and illustrations and then of course you read it and find it is pretty obnoxious and dark and guaranteed to scare small children witless. All that Victorian keeping children in their place, OK Collodi was Italian but same feeling behind it. Another such book which made me feel uneasy in my childhood reading was the Water Babies by Charles Kingsley, all those boys being stuffed up chimneys. Shudder.
Anyway, interesting little chat and when Simon and I left we were given a bag with a lovely Folio notebook inside, much to nice to use and will probably sit on my shelves along with other equally lovely notebooks which I seem to have amassed and have never used but which are good to look at.
A cold evening and a long way to go for just an hour but I was delighted to see Simon who I was supposed to have met the previous week at the Persephone lecture and was stricken. Glad to get home and, as I made the journey by train, I was thankful all over again after looking at the grey, worn faces of the commuters, that I don't Do this ANY more!
Up to London again on Wednesday to see Helen and my darling girls and in the afternoon we went out to the park. Florence running around soon warm and rosy cheeked, Beatrice snuggled up in her cocoon in the buggy fast asleep, Mother and Grandmother freezing. Had tea in a lovely warm cafe and then walked back to the house by which time my left knee, which is a tad arthritic, had seized up and was causing me discomfort. By the time I got home it was extremely painful and I could barely straighten it to off to bed with hot water bottle, electric blanket, wheat bag heated up in the microwave and lashings of embrocation. A combination not to be adopted if you live with somebody else or are expecting company as it is extremely unwelcoming. Knocked back some Nurofen and this morning getting better and I can now stagger about. Who was it said that getting old was not for sissies? Whoever it was, was right.
So today and for the next few days, indoors, wrapping up a parcel to send to Kathryn and sorting a few things out. Good to be in the warm and cosy. And best of all, I have booked my flight to Australia - have been faffing about for ages, going online, doing searches, tracking down prices until my head was spinning. Flights have become so much more expensive since 2011 when I first went. Travelling economy as I really feel that Premium Economy is not worth the money and as I was as uncomfortable in that as in bog standard economy, decided to grit it out and not waste my dosh on what is basically a slightly wider seat. Food and movies etc are the same though you get nice cutlery in Premium, no sign of plastic knives and forks. I can only assume that they feel if you are in this class you are unlikely to murder somebody or hijack the plane....
In the end have booked to fly with Emirates in one of their new two tier planes (how do they get it off the ground is a worry) and, with the visa required for Oz, no much change out of £1k which is a bit scary. I could have got cheaper but then I would have been flying with Outer Mongolian Airlines or Libya Jet (ok I made those up but you get my drift) or some such and was not prepared to risk it. It will all be worth it when I get to the other end and there will be Kathryn.
Oh and so delighted was I that I had booked the flight that I announced it to my online reading group and said I was going 'for sex weeks'. Well, I can live in hope.....