2007 — 30 November: drizzle? Not again, please!

As I've just said, in an email tentatively confirming another soul-soothing walk in the New Forest for tomorrow: I must say a drizzly late November morning is depressing enough in and of itself, without my being an unmerry widower into the bad bargain!

Still, breakfast is tucked away in the tum. The crossword is nearly completed. The anniversary card1 is signed and ready to pop over to the bungalow dwellers. A nice piece of Schubert (conducted by Sir Thomas B) is oozing out of the speakers. And it's nearly time to steel myself for the next official driving lesson.

What an endless whirl, to be sure. More later. Indeed, more now. Just back from a driving lesson that Dennis tells me was "very good". Time for another cuppa and to open up today's haul of snailmail.

S(h)redni Vashtar... department

In 1911, one of the very best writers of the last century published his third collection of short stories: The chronicles of Clovis. You can find a large clue to his identity here. Anyhowsoever (which is probably not a real word, but certainly deserves to be) as I was shredding a set of those beastly credit card cheques that arrived in today's post for Christa (from a bank that is fully aware of her death, let it be bitterly noted) I found myself both remembering a particular story (Sredni Vashtar) and almost wishing to unleash "the great polecat-ferret" upon the officers of the institution concerned. Christa always told me that the single most useful accessory in her office2 was the paper shredder — she's absolutely right.

I briefly considered the idea of scanning one of their cheques3 to name and shame the blighters. However, I might want a loan4 from them one day so, as another fine writer (Roger McGough) puts it, I let discretion be the better part of Valerie.

Before I forget

I was co-piloted out on a final drive to the hospice to return three special cushions to their stores. Pouring with rain, of course, and I observed as I drove past that the curtains were once again drawn in the room in which Christa died. Death goes marching on, dammit. But at least we had a mini-adventure wherein my co-pilot picked up his new corduroy strides in M&Slast time I was in that store, Christa bought me some new trousers, too, dammit. My life is currently throwing up quite a few of these "last time I was here, it was with Christa..." moments but I shall just have to accept them, I guess.

Also received a nice note from Dr Joey the GP, who tells me she played a flute solo at her granny's funeral yesterday! Good grief, is there anyone not attending funerals this week? Oh, and Christa's final salary cheque has just appeared in the account. It includes holiday pay... <Sigh>



1  Having established contact with Brynja last night, I'm now working on an excellent wheeze for this year's crop of Christmas cards (though I note the Aged P has got in her excuses early: I'm not sending any cards this year, and I don't want any!) — what a little sunbeam she can be, to be sure! Cards cost money, you know...
2  I'd also put in a vote for the family manicure set that, since Time Immemorial, has also lived on her desktop.
3  Like I did with that wonderful cheque for one penny Christa was sent by the Woolwich in March.
4  They financed our plasma telly some while ago, though they identified the "purpose of the loan" on that occasion as "car purchase". They weren't that far out; the Toyota Aygo now whizzing round London with Junior in it actually cost us less than the telly, though the fact that we were trading in the low mileage (one careful lady driver!) BMW Mini Cooper S may have had some bearing on the calculations.