Sunday, 29 March 2009

The wages of sin

Boy did I have a hangover this morning.

As a result, I have spent much of today staring blankly at my PC screen, in between drinking glasses of water and pegging out washing in the sunshine.

We had some mates round for dinner last night; I didn't think I'd had a huge amount to drink, but apparently I fell asleep on the sofa as soon as they left, and had to be woken by Mr WithaY to go to bed. I seem to recall that I ran up the stairs, loudly stating that I was sleeping in the spare room, and then crashed out gracelessly until 4am, when I woke up with the hot and cold shivers and the feeling that I was about to throw up. I didn't, but was too sleepy/pissed to get up and go to the bathroom just in case, so lay awake, feeling queasy and sweaty by turns.

Bet you wish you'd been there, eh?

Oh, and the clocks changed overnight so I now have no idea what time it is, adding to the whole surreal experience.

Anyway. Before the evening developed into a near-death experience, it was all very nice. I made a cherry clafoutis for dessert, which I hadn't attempted before. Was bloody great, and remarkably easy.

It's basically a deep buttered dish filled with a sweet pancake style batter with a load of cherries spread through it, baked in the oven for an hour or so. The batter rises a bit and surrounds the fruit, and the whole thing is pleasingly light yet soggy. Or maybe that was just my cooking.

It's been a beautiful day, although bloody cold in the late afternoon when I was bringing in the washing. But, now that I think about it, maybe that was just me, being tired and a bit queasy still.

I am far too bloody old to get that drunk. It takes me 24 hours just to start feeling normal again! Gah.

Friday, 27 March 2009

Making your mind up

In the end I went with jeans, green, not traditional blue denim, and wore a smart-ish top and accessorising scarf, so it was a sort of compromise between usual work formality and weekend clothes. Needn't have worried, as almost everyone else (including my boss) was wearing jeans anyway.

We were at the Royal Academy of Engineering for the day, which is a beautiful building off The Mall, which we could see out of the windows. I should think the Queen likes the view from her place, it is very attractive, and there are always loads of people about to watch.

The flagpoles with crowns and tassels on top were particularly appealing. I might get one for my front garden. Get a load of different flags for when various friends and family come to stay.

I decided not to stick around for the drinks afterwards, and by scampering back across the bridge to Waterloo at high speed, caught an early train and was home before 7.30. Result.

And now it's the weekend. Hurrah.

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Paint it black

If I was his parents I think I'd have got him to come back from his trip to Brazil to clean this off. Probably why he went there in the first place.

Other news: Another glorious day! Hurrah! I have been stuck in my home office* but have looked out of the window at regular intervals.

Went to the village hall last night to watch Mr WithaY give his Talk On Sharks. It was very good, despite having heard him Talk About Sharks a lot in the last 2 years, I learned a lot.

The talk, sorry, The Talk, went on for about an hour and then we all had a ploughman's supper**. Mr WithaY celebrated by going to the pub for a pint, possibly to talk about sharks again for a bit to those people who had missed The Talk.

Also, had a guitar lesson last night after a hiatus of a few weeks, for one reason and another. Was excellent. Really good. I have not felt much like playing or singing for the last couple of months, and last night it all came together, and sounded really good. I even managed the riff in "Simple Kind of Man" whilst also playing rhythm guitar and singing. I slightly spoiled the overall "Cool Muso" effect by yelping with excitement afterwards, but I reckon I can control that if I practice enough.

Plans for this evening include ironing some smart-ish non-suit trousers, as I am up to London tomorrow for a team training event. What's the dress code? Is it casual? We're going out for a drink afterwards, so maybe. But there's a guest speaker coming along, so perhaps it needs to be formal?

Gah, fuck knows.

Normal work days I can dress for with no problem, this kind of thing does my head in.

Not looking forward to the journey home afterwards, I bet the trains will be packed like, well, trains.

*Teeny spare bedroom full of guitars and computers.

**Like a ploughman's lunch but you eat it at suppertime.

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Ramble on

What a slacker, eh? No new posts since Sunday. Anyone would think I'd been really busy with my non-virtual life or something.

So. Sunday was nice. We went to a christening in the village church, where once again I knew NONE of the hymns. Honestly. I love singing, and everyone likes to get a good old hymn belted out, but these were all modern and weedy and I didn't know them. So bah.

Apart from that, it was a pleasant service, and the wee baby yelled lustily as he was christened, which is supposed to be a good thing.

Afterwards we all repaired to the village hall and stood around in the sunshine outside drinking sherry and eating fab sausages on sticks. Mmmmmm sausages.

Mr WithaY and I then wandered home through the brilliant spring weather, admiring catkins and pussy willow on the way. How rural.

Went over to a mate's house for supper with some of our lovely neighbours (hello Sarah! Hello Lynn!) which was an excellent end to the weekend, or an excellent start to the week, depending on how you look at it. Either way, it was most enjoyable.

Monday was another glorious day. Was in London, and walked from Waterloo to Victoria, did a fine (if very long) day's work, then met a girlie mate in the evening outside Buckingham Palace (what a namedropper!). We walked bloody miles through the posh end of town till we got to the King's Road, where we went and had a splendid Italian meal, then back to her amazing little flat in Chelsea where I slept on a sofabed that was actually comfy. What a result.

Apart from the FUCKING car alarms, it was remarkably quiet. After almost an hour of wailing siren/car alarm tiresomeness I put my earplugs in and slept the sleep of the just. Mind you, in a street with three new Bentleys parked in it, I suppose alarms and excursions are to be expected.

Tuesday morning, however, was a different story. I left my mate's posh flat at about 8:15, with a view to walking up to my 9:15 meeting nice and slowly, taking time to look in all the shop windows on the way. Walked all the way up the King's Road to Sloane Square, then took the wrong exit and ended up walking all the way up to Harrod's, wandering through about eight different squares as I did so, getting thoroughly turned around and lost.

By the time I arrived at Harrod's, consulted my almost-useless tourist map, and saw that I was about a mile from my meeting with less than ten minutes to go, hailing a black cab seemed like the only sensible thing to do.

Anyway, the journey in the cab was delightful, around St James' Park where all the blossom trees were in full bloom, and past the front of Buckingham Palace. London felt like a foreign city and it was all very glamorous and exciting. And I wasn't late for my meeting.

We were in an underground bunker under Whitehall, so it was a bit sad after seeing all the blossom trees to then descend into the bowels of the earth all morning, but at least it was an interesting event.

I reckon I walked about 3 miles at least. I walked steadily for an hour, before admitting defeat and taking a taxi. After that, the walk back to the office after lunch was a doddle.

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Dedicated follower of fashion

Went to see my lovely Mum today, and she is much, much better. Hurrah!

Mr WithaY and I went into town for a wander about and to pick up a few things, as it was such a beautiful day.

There were loads of buskers out, including a lad with a truly fine singing voice, albeit rather quiet, a man playing a harp, and a chap playing some mean slide guitar. We watched the slide guitarist for a bit, and I said "I wish I could do that."

Mr WithaY, instead of riposting with "Give him a biscuit and he might let you," instead opined that I ought to buy a slide* and thus improve my picking no end.

"Why would having a slide improve my guitar picking?" I asked him, interested.

"Well, it just would," he replied, in his 'I can't believe you're questioning me when I am so obviously correct' voice.

When pressed, he had no logical reason for this position, but instead reverted to his fallback argument of "Well, it would just make you funkier." Which, frankly, he uses far too much, and I have no answer to.

We walked down to the motorcycle shop and he drooled over a huge Kawasaki tourer, only five grand, ooh, let's get three.

We wandered into the teeny arcade opposite the bike shop and saw a disturbing slideshow in the window of the nail bar place. All the hands and feet in it looked horribly deformed, like an advert for arthritis relief medication or hammer toe surgery. They all had gorgeous painted nails, though.

We had a damn fine lunch in the Chinese. £6.50 each for three courses. Bargain.

We saw two old women with pushchairs, each containing a big fat dog, cushions and an assortment of toys. Small expensive dogs in elegant handbags I can sort of understand. Huge scabby-looking tongue-lolling dogs laying in dilapidated pushchairs I can't.

Mind you, when every chic fashionista has one, boy will I feel stupid.

I bought a huge jar of giant chocolate buttons from Montezuma's. Marvellous. We sat and ate some whilst watching "Live at the Apollo", in which Jack Dee was entertaining and the other comedians weren't.

On the way home we stopped off in Salisbury and went to have supper in ASK. I had butterfly king prawns as a starter, probably the nicest I have ever had. Very simple, very tasty.

A small group of teenagers came and sat at the table next to us. One of the girls was celebrating her sixteenth birthday so they were all dressed up to the nines. The boys were plastered in hair gel and Lynx, draped in huge cheap bling, the girls were all giggly and pretty in their best going-out clothes.

It was sweet, but boy did it make me feel old.

Over dinner we** made plans for re-landscaping the front garden, and discussed which European cities were likely to get a visit from us for a long weekend this summer.

All good, positive, life-affirming things. Hurrah.

*for my guitar, not to play on in the back garden. That sounds more fun, frankly.

**Me and Mr WithaY. I wasn't interested in the teenagers' opinions.

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Fat and Fatter

Heh...there's more.

The saddest part of this is that The Telegraph are nicking their stories from Closer magazine.

Too much to swallow

I know articles like this are put in the press precisely to engender reaction, but really.

How can anyone claim that they don't know how to lose weight? Eat less, move around more.

It's hardly rocket science.

Actually achieving weight loss is hard, as I well know, but to bleat that you "don't know how to do it" is a sack of arse.

Of course, it is much easier to sit back and bemoan your lack of knowledge than to actually do something about it, like read a book, or talk to a dietician, or use the internet to look up "weight loss" or "healthy eating on a budget".

Presumably, as 24-stone papa is diabetic he will have access to a specialist dietician who could provide things like healthy eating guidelines, lists of foods to avoid, maybe even recipes for suitable meals?

"We have cereal for breakfast, bacon butties for lunch and microwave pies with mashed potato or chips for dinner," says 24-stone mama.

Hmm...I'm no dietician but I can see that stuffing your fat faces with bacon, chips and pies every day is not going to do you any favours. Apparently healthy food is too expensive. Depends how much you eat, I suppose.

I gave their situation a few moments thought, and have some suggestions for them:

Try making jacket potatoes instead of chips. Same quantity, less fat, more fibre. A small improvement which won't cost a fortune.

Try making tuna sandwiches instead of bacon, or even (if you're brave enough to experiment) beans on toast. Again, low fat, high fibre, low cost.

Try buying some apples, chopping them up, and adding them to your breakfast cereal to reduce the volume of processed food and increasing your vitamin intake.

None of them seem to have much to do all day, so they have time to get an allotment and grow some fruit and veg if they want to. Exercise, fresh air, low cost food and spending quality time together.

I should write a book.

I might try using the "too fat to work" excuse next time I can't be bothered doing something tiresome.

"Sorry, I am too fat to load/unload the dishwasher."

"I'd love to peg out the washing, but alas, I am too fat."

"Nope, can't go to the supermarket, I am too fat to push a trolley."

"I'd love to come along to your five-hour legal presentation but, sadly, I am far too fat."

"I am simply too fat to go and weed the garden. Sorry. You can see how it is."

I'm sure everyone will be most understanding.

Monday, 16 March 2009


Spring is springing. Hurrah.

Today, on my absurdly early drive to the railway station, I saw:

A barn owl, landing dramatically on a fence post
Three hares, running around a field chasing each other
Several roe deer, standing about like the idle sods they are
Numerous pheasants
Numerous quail (I think), but possibly partridge
A few scraggly snowdrops

About time too. Winter's been going on for so long that it feels like we live in Narnia.

The walk from Waterloo to Victoria was glorious, all the buildings around Parliament Square glowing in the sunshine.

There were many dazed Japanese tourists almost getting flattened by taxis as they tried to negotiare the complicated pedestrian crossings. They were all dragging those big suitcases on wheels, which made them walk as if they were leading a pack of surly dogs, the cases tipping onto one wheel and then the other as they lurched along the pavements.

In case we managed to avoid that particular hazard, they took turns stopping dead in the middle of the street to take photos of each other pointing at Big Ben.

There is a crossing on Westminster Bridge where you can dart across, against the lights, to the refuge in the middle of the road if you're quick. I did this. A couple of other commuter types did the same. The group of Japanese tourists followed suit, their cases spilling off the refuge and into the road , causing taxi drivers to swerve and shout threats. It was mildly entertaining.

Is there some central casting depot in Japan where they train these people? Adverts in the press: "Come to England and behave like every stereotypical tourist ever lampooned in a poor attempt at comedy"? If so, they are doing a fantastic job.

Other news: There is the beginning of a promising long-term feud brewing at work. I always put two spaces after a full-stop when I write, so-called "English punctuation" according to Wiki*. I was taught that was correct, and have been doing so for many many years. The rest of the office only put one space, so-called "French punctuation".

Annoyingly, the house style guide backs up the rest of the team, and not me. We are therefore all amending each others' drafts to reflect our own personal preference with every iteration. I have already conceded the removal of a semi-colon at the end of a bullet point, but I am prepared to take the full-stop spacing issue all the way to the bitter end. Unless I am overwhelmingly proved wrong by the internet**, which I trust implicitly.

This will run and run.

*which is never wrong, as any fule kno.

**see above

Friday, 13 March 2009


Good news at last.

My lovely Mum has been allowed home from hospital, and as you can imagine, we are all delighted by that. Spoke to her this morning and she is very happy to be back in her own bed again, after almost a month in hosital. Youngest Sis is doing a sterling job managing things down there; Mr WithaY and I are going down tomorrow to see how everyone is doing.

Mr WithaY is now home safe and sound after two weeks in deepest West Wales, and is currently asleep, having had lots of late nights. I am going to go and make some scones and a cup of tea for when he wakes up.

It's nice to have him back, it felt like a very long two weeks.

Other news: While I was staying at Bestest Mate's house last weekend I almost died of fright. Was fast asleep*, dreaming peaceful sweet dreams** when I suddenly woke up, having heard someone wandering about. Because of the deep, deep sleep***, and having spent so many night at various other people's houses lately, I was a bit disorientated, and so thought I was at home.

Hearing someone wandering about, I panicked wildly, thinking that my house had been broken into, and that I was going to have to get up and confront a burglar. It only occurred to me in the morning that I had immediately planned for confrontation, rather than hiding under the duvet till it all went quiet again.

Anyhoo, it took me quite a long time to remember that I was in fact in someone else's house, and they were perfectly entitled to be wandering around it while I was sleeping. It took an even longer time to calm down enough to get back to sleep again. Gah.

Adrenaline and alcohol. What a crap combination that is for a soporific.

Right, scone time. Like Hammer Time but with more flour. And less dancing.

*pissed after quite a lot of wine
**grunting and snorting like a wildebeest at a waterhole
***booze-induced coma

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Little things

Today I have been mostly fed up, and slightly weepy, but that might be because I have woken up at 0530 for the last few days, and it is a pain in the arse, frankly, being this tired.

Was in London today, but lacked the energy to walk anywhere. I only managed to drag my weary carcass across Westminster Bridge before catching the Tube this morning, and then copped out and got the Tube all the way back to Waterloo this evening.

Remembering that there is very little actual food in the house, I decided to call into the supermarket before I came home. In my head, this meant that I would eat a proper supper tonight and have food in the house tomorrow so I can eat sensibly during the day.

I fantasised about picking up a hot roasted chicken and some fresh salad, maybe with some fresh pineapple afterwards. However, at 8pm on a Tuesday night, the supermarket has sold all the hot chickens, cleaned the rotisserie, and is trying to flog off the rock hard baguettes to groups of young Scouse squaddies.

It is not interested in providing a well-chosen and dainty evening repast to a woman who has been travelling for fucking hours.

Supper this evening actually consisted of 2 Scotch eggs, a handful of little tiny cherry tomatoes, and a big glass of flat fizzy water with some lemongrass squash in it. I am waiting for a knock on the door from Jamie Oliver and the food police as I type.

Anyhoo, I was mooching around the place with my little hand basket, biting my lip and feeling sorry for myself, composing a sad, sad blog post in my head about how cruel everything is, and how unbearable, and how awful and lonely, and how much I hate my life. I was in some danger of going emo.

I rounded a corner into the MEAT aisle, and there in front of me was a large, rotund chap dressed in the height of West Wiltshire chic.

He had on a pair of baggy blue tracksuit bottoms, or possibly overalls, tucked into workboots liberally splattered with crud. His huge saggy torso was encased in an ancient, equally saggy, green sweatshirt, also crud-encrusted. Topping off the ensemble was a jaunty black woollen hat, looking much like the teat of a baby's bottle, perched high on his head, emphasising his red cheeks and shiny jowls.

I sighed heavily, thinking how terrible life is when you are faced with such things.

As I dragged myself past him, possibly swinging my arms like Kevin the Teenager, I heard the opening bars of "Oi've got a braaan new comboin aaaarvester". I shook my head, clearly overtired and imagining Wurzels songs in the middle of the supermarket.

But no. Mr West Wiltshire Fashion reached into the pocket of his trousers, pulled out his mobile, and answered it with a huge grin on his face, after letting the Wurzels get almost all the way through the first verse.

It made me laugh out loud, just as soon as I got round the corner, and suddenly life felt less like a hideous struggle.

Other news: Mr WithaY called from his windswept hostel in the remote Welsh countryside, which was lovely. I am missing him very much, and plan to hide his passport when he comes home, just in case. And possibly all his trousers.

Monday, 9 March 2009


I am fed up. I hate Mr WithaY being away, and I am missing him hugely.

My lovely Mum has had a couple of days where she has not been doing as well as we had hoped, so that is upsetting, and I feel really low.

Still, my back is much better.

Other news: The new light I bought for the sitting room is a piece of crap, and looks awful. That was twenty quid well spent then.

Sunday, 8 March 2009


It's snowing again! Blimey. Drove home this afternoon from bestest mate's house through some amazing special effects wrath of God hail and rain, and now it's snowing.

Saw my lovely Mum a couple of times over the weekend, she seems to be making good progress and was in much improved spirits, which was great to see. The care she has been getting is (mostly) excellent, the less than excellent stuff has been duly reported and dealt with by the rest of the hospital staff.

Went out for dinner on Saturday night with bestest mate after calling in at the hospital and had a HUGE bowl of Pasta With Stuff at Prezzo's. Was very nice, but far too much, so had to leave quite a lot, which I hate doing. Which is why I have such a fat arse, of course.

Saw Middle Sis and Youngest Sis, and resepctive families, which was nice too. Everyone was feeling much happier, as things are improving so much. Youngest Sis's little dog was very entertaining too, frolicking about and being an idiot.

Mr WithaY is still away, having decided not to come home for the weekend, as it would be a ridiculously long round trip. I think he is home on Friday next week. No idea, though, what time. And given my track record, it might well be that he gets home on Saturday, or Thursday night, or a week on Wednesday. So I am feeling a bit lonely and sad.

He managed to ring me one night last week to tell me how it was all going. Apart from having to get into a river, which was "bloody freezing" and falling off a log, or down a hole, out of a tree or something, and bruising himself considerably, it's going terribly well, apparently. So that's good to know.

Had a bit of a hissy fit earler when I went to cook some supper and couldn't light the oven. Cursed and swore, then remembered Middle Sis telling me that her new cooker (v similar to mine) had the same problem until the clock on it was set correctly. Ahahahahahaaaaaaaaa. We had a power cut the other night, didn't we? And I hadn't set the oven clock since that happened. So, I pressed buttons on the cooker at random till the clock numbers changed, then managed to light it. Hurrah.

Half an hour later, hot fish galore. Mmmmmmmmm.

And, assuming we don't get a foot of snow overnight, up to London tomorrow for another week of big city frolicks.

Friday, 6 March 2009

No news

Ah, blessed relief. My back is no longer killing me, and I can move around relatively easily. I did a bit of walking yesterday, to and from the station to the office, ad back again in the evening, which I think is about 4 miles in total. I am that sure helped a lot.

The journey home from London was enlivened by two lovely long-haired golden retrievers (I think) on the train, sitting quietly in the end of the carriage, wagging their tails when anyone went near them.

I miss having a dog still. Even our mental scary one.

Off down to Sussex shortly to see how my lovely Mum is getting on, and then staying at Bestest Mate's house as we haven't seen each other for bloody ages.

And I am taking my guitar. Ha.

Hair still looks fab, by the way.

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Bizarre weather

This morning so far, we have had:

1) Light rain

2) Brilliant sunshine

3) Snow.

We have now got a light covering of snow all over everything*, rapidly melting in the pleasant warm sunshine.

In fact, there is steam coming up off the road, as I look out of the window. Positively tropical.

Other news: My back has moved from the "incredibly painful, waking me up when I turn over in bed" stage to the "unbelievably stiff, making me wince when I stand up or sit down" stage, which is a slight improvement.

*All over everything outside, obviously. Inside the house there is very little snow.

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Stormy Weather

It's like the Apocalypse outside. Howling winds, crashing rain, trees blowing wildly, the occasional car sploshing along the road. All the lights went out a while ago, plunging the entire village (as far as I could see, at least) into pitch darkness. Which was fun.

The darkness only lasted for about a minute, quite long enough for me to decide to go and light candles, and start cooking supper, in case it happened again. So far so good.

I bet something bizarre happens to the house while Mr WithaY is away. It usually does, usually involving the boiler.

We have had the old TV aerial taken off the chimney, so that no longer reverberates through the whole house every time we get a gust of wind.

I thought about lighting the fire this evening but I am rubbish at getting the bloody thing to stay lit. All those years in the Girl Guides and nothing to show for it, except the ability to remember all the words to "Singin' In The Rain*," and to weave stupid, temporary, flimsy, pointless campsite gadgets out of twigs and string.

I wasn't very good at being a Guide, really. Not a team player.

*Which at least has the virtue of being relevant this evening.

Hair today

So, the new haircut still looks fab.



Check out the complex layers and added bounce and curl. Marvellous. And this is after I have washed and dried it myself a few times. This is a cut that will last me a while, I think.

Good job, really, as I can't afford to go back for another 3 months.

Monday, 2 March 2009

Home alone

My back still hurts. But it is not as bad as it was, and I am planning a hot bath shortly to make it feel even better.

Mr WithaY has sloped off to the wilds of west Wales for a fortnight, where there is no mobile reception. Pah. He did give me the name of the place he's staying at, so I can call in case of emergency, though. The house feels very big and empty. I'd better put the telly on loud.

Otherwise, things are quiet, which after the last couple of weeks is no bad thing.

Sunday, 1 March 2009


Enjoying being back home, and feeling very glad that my lovely Mum is on the road to recovery, even if it will take a while for her to get there.

Went into Salisbury on Saturday to run a few errands, and to pick up my engagement and wedding rings from the jewellers. They have done a brilliant job, the diamond in my engagement ring looks wonderful, all big and clean and sparkly.

After I finished being impressed, the girl in the shop got the various invoices out and started ringing it all through the till. "That will be £50 for the resizing, please," she said.

I thought about it for a moment, remembering the quote they gave me back in December for £450, which they seemed to have forgotten about. A vision of getting away with the perfect crime flashed across my mind. But, thanks to my upbringing and innate honesty, I had to say "No, that's not right. You haven't charged me for the repair work you did."

She seemed really surprised and kept thanking me for being so honest. Well really. What else could one do? I wouldn't nick £450 from someone, or shoplift something, so why would I steal it by not telling them of their mistake?

Anyway, she then took £25 off the cost of resizing my rings, as a reward. Plus I get to feel all virtuous and smug every time I look at my rings, instead of feeling ashamed and guilty. So hurrah for honesty.

Last night we went over to the pub to watch my gorgeous guitar teacher's band playing. It was fun, just the ticket after such a sad and worrying couple of weeks.

He had mentioned ages ago about me going and playing a song with them, but I have hardly picked up my guitar for a fortnight, and until Friday was really in no mood to think about playing or singing. So, I just went and watched, and chatted to a lot of our friends and neighbours who were there, and had some cider. Mmmm cider.

Today we went over to see some neighbours for coffee this morning, and I spent a happy half hour wandering round their beautiful garden, stealing ideas for my own garden. If and when we get our arses into gear and start work in it, of course. I am now fancying a box hedge, but not quite sure where I'd put one. Mr WithaY is talking about making a pond, but the water table here is so high I think we'd end up with an above-ground pool.

I am going to start getting quotes for the ground work we need to have done in the back garden though. If we know how much it will cost then we can at least plan it.

By way of getting things underway, Mr WithaY cut the front hedge and I pruned the roses. A small start but it meant we felt like we had at least made an effort.

After our monumental gardening efforts, we popped in to visit Father-in-Law WithaY, who was looking very well. Another encouraging thing on a sunny day.

This evening we had a small domestic tragedy. Whilst rummaging in the cupboard for the vinaigrette (ooh get us, eh?) Mr WithaY dislodged a brand new bottle of truffle oil, which smashed into a bazillion pieces all over the kitchen floor. We did a rapid Red Adair style clean-up, but the house still smells of posh Italian food, and the floor needs another wash, as it is rather too slippery for safety.

Other news: Tried on a hat in the outdoorsy shop in Salisbury that I wish I had bought. It was made of black fake fur, and had little tiny gorilla-stylee ears on it. Superb. And it really suited me.