MasterM is having supper at home and reads out the most recent email from a Very Senior Manager:
"The next [person] discovered using their mobile phone during working hours must have permission from their [line manager] or a solid gold excuse. If niether of these apply they will be required to report to my office immediately and can expect disciplinary action"
MasterM says drily 'If only he could spell neither it would be quite a good email" and applies himself to demolishing the roast potatoes.
Sitting huddled in a thick jumper, waiting for the rain to stop, it is hard to remember that it was the most beautiful blossomy May. I have discovered that 'Anne of Green Gables' is the perfect book to read in May because you can immerse yourself in lyrical descriptions of spring blossom which are threaded throughout the joyful story of Anne growing up in Avonlea. Sometimes when you go back to a book that you read in childhood you make the painful discovery that the writing has dated and the plot is stuffy and contrived but 'Anne of Green Gables' sparkles with energy and expresses eloquently that childlike joy which we all feel every year when we see the May blossom as if for the first time.
The Research Associate is going to Papua New Guinea for a month of field work.
"I always take my own first aid kit. The standard ones are fine but I like to have a few extras. Like a bone saw. I worked in canyons for a while and I saw that film '127 Hours'. You know that one where he gets his arm trapped in a rock fall and has to saw it off with a blunt penknife. So I figured if I got a bone saw I could be out of there in ten minutes if my arm ever got trapped.'
MrsM feels slightly faint but suggests that '10 Minutes' is not going to be much of a film. The Research Associate laughs, packs her bandana and sets off for the Back of Beyond.
What's this item on the credit card statement?
Um. Well, do you remember that time when you laughed and said I hadn't bought anything from Blue & White for a while? I just thought I would have a quick peep at their website and I saw these vegetable dishes. So I bought six. They were a real bargain.
It was a champagne celebration for a 3 x 80 = 240th Birthday Party. Three lovely ladies, two cousins and the other a sister-in-law, their children, grandchildren and assorted relations. We all know each other but only rarely get together so there was much catching up with news, identifying children who had been tiny but were now tall, looking at albums of wedding photos, untangling of family trees and taking of photos. Unfortunately, as it is rude to eat and talk simultaneously, there wasn't enough time for eating so the cheese board remained untouched. It makes me want to cry when I think about it.
Glaswegian Jimmy has been painting the outside of the house. It is an exhausting experience. We start the day with a discussion of his new shed or 'man-cave' as he prefers to call it because he is installing a full size snooker table, and at this point there might be a diversion into his promising career as a semi-pro snooker player. By mid-morning he is telling me about houses he has decorated and showing me photos of kitchens the size of my garden. If I have not escaped by lunch time I might be treated to a history of his relationship with The Pogues or an analysis of Brexit. At the end of the day, after a final session describing wallpaper made out of pig skin (apparently it is all the rage in the smart set), my brain feels as though it has shrivelled into a tiny, dessicated lump and I have to lie on the sofa looking at soothing pictures on Pinterest. Despite this acute case of mal du décorateur life continues so I must wind up the blogging machine to make sure that the days are not lost forever.
This is the view from our bedroom window in the cottage. I am sure that Commander Tim Peake can look down from the International Space Station and see the lights in our tiny village square. A little piece of England with a one way system and a telephone box. I hope it doesn't make him homesick.
'the leaping greenly spirits of trees and a blue true dream of sky'
The bench by the church door catches the late afternoon sun so I walked across from the cottage with a book and sat there intending to read for a while. I was immediately distracted by the new green-ness of the oak tree, the bustle of rooks flying around the church tower and the bright, joyful carpet of daisies and buttercups.. The following morning the churchwarden was strimming the grass in the churchyard and I felt momentarily sad at the loss but I know that it is this conscientious cutting that allows the flowers to grow in such profusion. On Sunday the church was filled with the scent of meadow hay and as we walked back to the cottage after the service I noticed that new daisies had already appeared.