A very domestic day today.
Got up early, to the disgruntlement of Lottie and the dog, and went out shopping for ingredients to make ice cream for the allotment-digging helpers. Did not, however, get up early enough to wash my face in the morning dew, or whatever it is that one is supposed to do today. Wait - that's May Day, isn't it. When dew would be even chillier.
Had breakfast, shared with one cat and the dog. Usually I have to share with 4 cats and the dog, but my going shopping first had messed up their routine, so I scored today.
Cleaned up after myself immediately. Keeping the house tidy is my default position these days; so dull!
No viewings scheduled today. One yesterday - a shy young couple who tiptoed round like little frightened rabbits and apologised for interrupting my Sunday afternoon. Not sure why they came, really, but they were sweet. Hamish practised his flight technique from every room; Lottie stalked them. Another viewing tomorrow afternoon, and perhaps when the house is in this week's Househunter paper, and the football is over, interest may pick up.
Looked at lovely Somerset properties online and asked pertinent questions of estate agents, one of whom has the bit between her teeth with regard to finding me a house with character even if it is a mile down a grassy track where not even the postman will venture, although perhaps a mad axeman might. Am becoming adept at navigating country roads with Google mapping and seeing what the perfect cottage really looks like, and how one could step out of the idyllic front porch and straight into thundering traffic.
Learned a little about restrictions imposed by the National Trust and the powers-that-be in charge of Exmoor National Park. Sighed a little. Crossed things off the 'Possible' list of properties; coming down one floor for the loo in the middle of the night is bad enough here, and I certainly don't want to go out through the kitchen and practically into the outhouse in my next home. And I want to be able to hang my washing outside to dry, thank you National Trust.
Made ice cream - extra chunks of chocolate in this batch: they may be 19 now, those boys, but they still dig around for the biggest chunks.
Cleaned up etc. Spilled cocoa on clean tea towel - never fails, doesn't wash well on cool setting.
Read a bit of Bill Bryson's new History of the Home. Began to feel a bit like my mother who complained that with age, it became difficult to read heavy or hard-backed books for long without having aching thumbs. Otherwise not a challenging read at all; no laughs so far, although the history of domestic lighting is fascinating. I will never complain about low-energy bulbs again, but give thanks that we don't have to burn rushes coated in animal fat.
Had large salad lunch - all that chewing uses more calories than the lunch provides - watched avidly by the dog, who adores a slice of cucumber, and can take ten minutes to eat it - the result of a mere 7 teeth meeting a slippery unmanageable substance. Always good for an unkind laugh at dog's expense.
Cleaned up etc. I am becoming Hyacinth-like.
Waited for my car to be transformed by the tattooed mobile-valet-at-your-door man; chose Bubblegum instead of Citrus as my air freshening odour, to avoid car smelling like toilet cleaner. Numerous scratches, chips and faded patches horribly evident after protective layer of ancient dirt removed; interior like new, all signs obliterated of huge lengths of timber and plasterboard ever having been transported. Still a boring maroon grandad car, despite being clean and sort of shiny. Felt envious of Roger and Tim and their lovely new(ish) Audi A3.
Watered the back yard and wondered if perhaps the lilac violas had got out of hand a little; very twee. Bees everywhere. And baby spiders in their webs. They don't seem to have grown at all lately. Should I be worrying about Failure To Thrive?
Had phone call from my sister, champagne glass in hand. After months of fighting Glasgow City Council, and four days before the end of term, she has received a letter telling her that she is being granted early retirement, as applied for a year ago. Four days is probably more than enough for her to spend weeping as she says goodbye after 35 years of teaching. One girl came to her, and stated indignantly that she'd just heard the news of her leaving, and was going to get up a petition to stop Them from making her go. She had to explain gently and unconvincingly that she had chosen to leave, and was faced with a stunned child asking uncomprehendingly "Why?"
I advised that she shouldn't worry about the champagne going flat, but to continue steadily working through it all evening. She can always blame me for her unfit state tomorrow at school. She says she will do that.
Fed the dog. Cleaned up etc.
Pondered, as I have been doing for some days, that being houseproud and keeping everything immaculate is just boring, repetitive drudgery - how can people live in such a way voluntarily? Wondered how long the average house seller takes to start leaving cups in the sink and tatty slippers in the hall after the first flush of enthusiasm wears off?
Also pondered that as of tomorrow we can start saying that the nights are drawing in..... c'mon, you know you thought of that too.
But today it's midsummer; rejoice!