2007 — 7 December: windy, cold, sunny Friday

It's now 09:02, and at least the central heating system's pilot light didn't get blown out during the gusts of wind last night. When that happens from time to time, it can be a bit tricky to re-light, being about as keen to get going on a cold morning as I am, in fact. However, today's driving lesson starts later so the cardboard cereal will have had a chance to do its nutritional and blood sugar magic.

I see I've received the first Christmas card from the set of people who "touch" the house for commercial purposes (the youngster who delivers the still largely-unread Guardian) — this is one1 of the things I failed to ask Christa about. What's the going rate, I wonder, and how is it delivered?

Therapeutic TV

Last night I very deliberately chose Love actually in part because I remembered it was the first DVD Christa watched on the portable player I bought for her when sitting was not possible. I made it through, though not without tears occasionally. As I suspected the day after she died, it's very odd watching something solo that we'd previously enjoyed duo. Still a good film though.

What's next?

Well, the morning's driving lesson included six or seven emergency stops, plus a small stone picked up in the brakes on the front wheel at one point, which gave us both the opportunity to fail to find where Toyota chooses to play "hide the jack".2 Then lunch, a chance to skim through some of the newspaper, tackle the crossword, gaze aghast at some of the snail mail, ring BT, contemplate wording for the crematorium's Book of Remembrance, take a phone call from the hospice palliative care team nurse basically to see how I'm holding up, and await Gill's arrival for an afternoon spot of co-piloting. She's just arrived, so off we jolly well go!

The afternoon's driving (thank you, Gill) took us to Romsey, Lyndhurst, Cadnam, and a minor swing past a set of bollards for an equally minor diversion around what I had thought was a simple bend. No harm done, except to my ego. Back up through Millbrook and Shirley high street and the avenue, of course, then via Chilworth to a much-needed cuppa before I sat Gill down to show off all the photos I have of our dear girl on the PC here. Gill and Chris have very thoughtfully dedicated a tree at Hazel Wood, Kingston in Dorset, which has been planted "to celebrate the loving and giving life of Christa Mounce." A beautiful thought, for which my heartfelt thanks and gratitude.

Some email to gaze at, too. For example, the John Lewis Partnership (aka Waitrose) now chooses to address Christa as "Dear Mounce" which besides rather hedging their bets is (one would have thought) a SMOP — simple matter of programming — to fix. (But when could programmers ever actually manage to get simple things right when there were always more complex problems to wrap their vast brains around, heh?)

Sensual pleasure ahoy!

There's (as usual) the square root of sod-all on TV. Why not have a nice hot bath instead? What a good idea! Where did I put my rubber duck?!

That's better. And now, let's see how long it takes me to fall asleep over the latest issue of MacUser magazine. I can't remember anything from any of them in the last few months, to be honest, and already I'm being pestered to renew my subscription. I'm also now debating whether to keep the cable phone line, which Christa used purely for her fax machine. And solely for her translation agency work. It's not even currently connected since Junior put the wireless phones upstairs a couple of months ago (though that may just be coincidental). Nor do I even know its phone number, and I can't imagine sending or receiving faxes myself. I've used the machine purely as a photo-copier(!) and the line rental to that nice Mr Branson is costing £12 per month. Remind me why I need this? Oh well, time (23:42) for bed, methinks. See ya!



1  I have no idea how many of these household "processes" are going to surface in the coming weeks and months; I'm betting there will be quite a few.
2  Underneath the front passenger seat, it turns out.