I escaped from my own kitchen table for a brief, thrilling foray to London, which was filled with people I like and foods to eat and some kind of BASTARD tree making my whole face dissolve into a late period Picasso of tears, eyeliner and snot.
I ate a piece of CAKE made by Frances from the Bake Off, which is my new claim to fame (delicious, contained walnuts). Then, emboldened by wine, showed her a picture of my brownie owls, Jesus, that poor woman, I bet people are always thrusting cake pictures at her, if not actual cakes. She was beyond charming and I now love her even more than I did when she was on Bake Off (when I was fully rooting for her and her mad matchbox breadsticks).
I also managed to take a picture of the back of Nick Hornby's head.
Nina Stibbe signed my copy of her wonderful wonderful book (you will die of laughing, I did). She is my actual heroine. I loved this piece about her experience with the TV adaptation of Love, Nina. The bit in this Guardian piece about 'blueberries and line-caught coley' also really made me snort.
In exchange I brought her a small Manneken Pis and some speculoos, proudly, in a dog eared paper bag, like your cat depositing a pile of vole entrails at your feet. Oh dear.
I ate a black forest gateau this morning in the Wolseley whilst enjoying the catharsis of shared copywoe with my friend Grace and lo, it was wonderful.
Afterwards she emailed me she had spotted "JimNighy" and we had a fun few minutes trying to decide which mash-up of Jim Naughtie and Bill Nighy we would like best.
Mrs Trefusis and I had dinner in Fischers (I'm sure I remember a really dull vegetarian café of some variety on that site previously, this is much better, with beautiful dark wood and gilt and fine pictures and a boar's head) which was delightful - so much so that I even recommended it to my severe and bearded father, whose criteria for an acceptable restaurant narrow yearly - and plotted for our UPCOMING EVENT (come, please come, renewed begging. It will include Simone de Beauvoir and PG Wodehouse and chocolate).
My father told me an excellent story involving a disgraced politician, some ferrets and a branded hoodie. I am making that sound juicer than it actually is, but it was still funny. My stepmother had won a corncrake release in an auction on the same occasion, which sounds both wonderful and entirely insane.
There have been some truly excellent entries for the competition, which is ongoing and which you may still enter. Priesthood, poshness, Pilates Woman and many more.
It is only a month until my, sorry, I mean my son's owl experience evening. Not that I am counting off the days, sweatily on my calendar whilst fantasising about which owl I might get to nuzzle, nope*.
*Legal notice: owl experience insurance does not cover injuries incurred during unauthorised nuzzling. All nuzzling is outlawed.
I have a mountain of (unglamorous) work and very little brain capacity (back in my legal days we used to have to submit a report about how busy we were to the Powers in weird, firm-specific language. The categories were something like "some capacity" (= I fear imminent sacking), "limited capacity" (= please do not give me any work), "no capacity" (= I am having a breakdown and have worn the same shirt for a week) and "frantic" (= MY HEAD IS ON FIRE), I think. By law standards/working practices I am basically at "more capacity than you could believe/likely to be sacked imminently for poor work ethic", but for the purposes of my flaccid, atrophied pea brain, I am definitely at "no capacity, apart from for staring into space and thinking about owls").
I am back in Uccle and will speak to no one but my own family and livestock for weeks. A woman has just shouted at me about dog shit (which I was in the process of picking up, I think she was just mad) and the children are utterly indifferent to my return except for the purpose of extracting money and British crisps from me. I have told them several times about my Frances from Bake Off - cake encounter and they aren't even pretending to care.
Dishwasher is making a noise like a wounded walrus.
M has been incommunicado in Lithuania for a week and I am losing my mind without her.
Boiler is definitely on the brink of death. Its preferred going gentle into the good night routine is to turn itself off discreetly overnight, so that when you get in the shower in the morning it is freezing, then when you go to turn it back on, it sort of WHOOMP semi-explodes in your face. No good can come of this.
I tried to get everyone to watch The Yorkshire Vet again but it was THE WORST EVER for grossness: no castrations but the most repulsive alpaca abscess and a cow afterbirth, erm, incident so grim even I had to turn away and I am cast iron in such matters. They will never trust me again.
30% whipped cream and kirsch laden cherries
30% Once more on the search for Audible recommendations. I actually went to see Audible yesterday to record some free "bonus content" to promote the audio version of my book. They were terrifyingly professional, whereas I was a sweaty inarticulate mess (also, no one told me there was a video element, thank fuck I wore some eyeliner). When there is a link to me trying and failing to answer the question "why is storytelling so important to us" using a series of batsqueaks and irrelevant anecdotes, I will post it here, of course, for your delectation. But what should I listen to now? I want something huge, a collection of letters or a vast novel or history book.
10% Genuinely concerned I may have contracted heavy legs (wore my fancy new shoes for a whole hour last night, it's their fault).