I am having a day at home, as Tricia has to go to work today, in order to have enough leave left for the rest of my stay. So while she is slaving in a Government office dealing with the mostly-disaffected general public, I am idling about, doing a bit of gardening, dead heading the roses, and feeling virtuous about recycling water. It is bright and sunny, but windy and cold. So windy and cold, in fact, that I keep forgetting that I'm not in England, until a very big spider scuttles away from me or an even bigger and unfamiliar bird flaps screeching overhead. Soon, I shall cook dinner for us both. Braised chicken with creme fraiche and tarragon - except that creme fraiche doesn't seem to be known here in Canberra, so it will be soured cream instead.
The cheerful chap from Menzies Aviation at Sydney Airport whose unenviable job it is to ring disgruntled passengers to tell them their luggage has still not been found rang me today, on Tricia's landline, for just that purpose.
Me: "I will be away from Thursday. Can you use my mobile number from then?"
Him: "Oh, you'll have your luggage by Thursday!"
Me: (note of joy in voice): "Really?"
Him: "No, I haven't a clue; I was just trying to be nice."
Me: "Well, can you use my mobile number from Thursday to keep me informed?"
Him: "I'm using it now."
Me: "No, you're not. I can tell this because I'm speaking to you on a landline handset..."
Him: checks the number, clearly not believing me.
I can astound myself sometimes with my own patience and ability to refrain from very loud swearing.