Pouring with rain at time of writing, grey skies and really it could almost be November. After one of the driest two months for yonks the tennis and cricket season is here in the UK and, naturally, the rain is simply pissing chucking down. It was ever thus.
I had an unpleasant week last week. I was sorting out my finances and getting involved in mortgages and equity releases and it was all getting a bit hairy as everyone seemed to need advance cheque to release information and to cover 'setting up costs' and 'administration fees' and the Inland Revenue have written to me to tell me I owe them tax from about three years ago which they said they would take and never did, and then the Management Company who 'manage' my block of flats refused to send certain info to my solicitors without more upfront costs, and it all got Too Much to Bear and I literally took to my bed feeling totally overwhelmed and miserable.
So feeling thoroughly sorry for myself and then within the space of four hours, I had three telephone calls to say that all was organised, the solicitors said all was well and the Management Company who normally charge a fee if you blow your nose, agreed to release all this info gratis. After the last telephone all I took to my bed again to recover from the shock of them agreeing to do anything without sending out a bill.
Yesterday I went up to London to meet with a friend and to go to the theatre to see Blithe Spirit with Alison Steadman as Madame Arcati. I had been looking forward to this as a few hours to take my mind off all the bureaucratic crap I had to deal with, but now most of that was sorted, I could relax and enjoy the play. It was tremendous fun and my friend Linda had never seen it before and it was great to be with somebody seeing it for the first time. I know that Alison Steadman's performance did not meet with the approval of a lot of the critics, or indeed the play itself, and I can see why - it was very Margaret Rutherford'ish, she had obviously seen the classic film, and though it was very funny and carried off with great aplomb, I was not as taken with it as I was when I saw Penelope Keith in the same role a few years ago. But the play is just so marvellous that it is impossible to see a bad performance and this was far from that. Great stuff.
Coming home on the train in the evening with the crowds and the inevitable crapulous mobile phone calls from all and sundry was, as ever, dire and ghastly but I had taken the precaution of charging up my iPod and so was able to block out all the dross, but oh dear, once again the wave of thankfulness that swept over me when I thought that I no longer had to do this every day.
Today have had a quiet day and have been enlivening my time by following the Test Match via the cricket page in the Telegraph on line which is always texted really wittily by their correspondents. I sometimes join in and today sent off an email about Boycott's miserable moaning yesterday, this elicited a response and then I emailed in to say that I was following the cricket at the same time listening to Die Walkure on Radio 3. I am firmly of the opinion that if you like Wagner you have the correct mindset for Test Cricket. This was then picked up by one Simon stuck on a train in France and he said he would be eating his fingers soon he was so bored so my email back suggesting he should listen to the Wagner then brought up a comment from another reader that could this be the First SMS Test Cricket Romance and could he come to the wedding? It all got a bit silly and this email exchange was only printed because it was raining and unlikely any more play today, but it really made me laugh and lifted my spirits.
The Die Walkure on Radio 3 was simply stunning and a fantastic performance. All neighbours out so I had it on full blast and just wallowed. Wagner and Cricket - bliss.
And then this morning I finished reading Mr Scarborough's Family by Anthony Trollope. HIs last three volume novel to be completed and, as with all Trollope, once I started this I simply could do nothing until I had read it right through it and found out what happened in the end. And there is a last minute twist which I could not have envisaged and I really think that this has been one of the best of this author's works that I have read. There is something so beguiling about Anthony, he draws you in, addresses you the reader and make you feel for the characters and the events until you realise you are at a stage where you cannot put the book down so involved does the reader become. Happens to me every time. I am having a bit of a Trollope fest at the moment and will be writing about it soon. I am not sure that I am beginning to prefer him to Dickens............
Oh and re the above - I still have the Inland Revenue to battle with but I have enlisted the aid of my MP, I have studied the statute about unpaid tax of long standing and I am ready for the fray. I feel one of my letters coming on, what my friends all an Elaine Special.
Let battle commence.