2007 — 23 December: freezing foggy Sunday

After midnight (in fact, 02:02) and the Firebird suite is my current audio companion. Wonderful. It's slowly sinking in that I actually can "stay up late", go where I like, eat when I like. Heavens to Betsy, I'm a bachelor again! I didn't want to be, but as my friend Cathy says, there need to be some compensations for achieving this undesired status. This evening, for example, I've only fairly recently returned from earning my delicious supper by helping1 her assemble a nice pair of Ikea bookshelves.2 And I had some fun driving on a virtually empty motorway, but in fog and on icy patches. One should be open to new experiences! I wasn't so happy about the New Forest pony sleeping with its bum poking out into traffic...

Thank you... department

To Brynja for making me some wonderful cards featuring Christa. Now all I have to do is write them, and deliver them. A chap needs a hobby. By the way, if you're reading this Brian J, where the devil are you? I called round but the house looked very unoccupied. And thanks, Mike and Andrew, for the offer of some acetone for removing the last traces of the duct tape residue where my "L" plates were stuck on.

Afternoon updates: To Roger for his kindly call, and to Len and Tom. I now have a new (and previously unknown) comedy music CD to take along to Birmingham with me.

Oh well, time to turn in I guess. See ya!


It's now just after 10 a.m. and NPR's "Car Talk" is playing. I can see what looks like pretty thick ice on the various cars dotted around so I am in no great hurry to be up and at 'em this morning. But there are chores aplenty and some shopping to think about. Mostly, some paperwork tidying and sorting. Plus, it occurs to me, I can/must now get the car insurance changed to name me (rather than Junior) as the principal driver. I must also consider parking the car in the garage, if only to save on ice scraping time. My theory is, if I can drive it in, I should be able to drive it back out.3 Ideally I should drive it in in such a way that I can also clamber out of it! Good job two of my chums both agreed yesterday that I was looking "trim",4 isn't it?


Life seems to be a series of "firsts" at the moment. This afternoon, for example, was the first time I turned right from Leigh Road onto the M3 heading north and slammed (as it were) into a 40 mph limit, followed in very short order by the slip road leading into the three lanes, each of which was both full and not moving... That's another hour of my life gone forever.

Times like this, you find yourself thinking "Is a quick U-turn really so naughty?" though, yes, I do know the answer. Still, tomorrow I shall join the motorway rather further north, and/or look to see if the damn' thing is full before committing myself to it, and/or check the local radio traffic report. I will also pack some food, some drink, a book, and some music. Preferably not in the boot, either, though I did see people getting out of their cars and opening their boots. Come to think pessimistically of it, I may just bring along an empty bottle, too!

Christa's wonderful smile... department

One of my "background" tasks (a lot more enjoyable than those chores, but therefore quite strictly rationed) is unearthing various photos and scanning them into the PC. As you will know by now, I like putting some of these into this diary. They cheer me up immensely and trigger lots of happy memories. Click the pic for my latest example, which is from not later than 1985:

Christa's smile, circa 1985 or so

I took this by the side fence at the front of our house. I can tell from the colour of the wood (which we subsequently started coating with Sadolin) and the absence of the first of our two sheds that it cannot be later than 1985. In fact, I suspect it may be from about 1982, which was our first summer together in this house. Christa and Peter had remained in the Old Windsor house in the summer of 1981 while we were trying to sell it. I was then living in the new one and commuting back to them at weekends...

Her hair colour, and length, has varied more than somewhat over our years together — her gorgeous smile, however, was deliciously invariant!



1  In truth, she needed no help, but it did free her up to do some more basic chucking out while I got on with the simple assembly... chucking out's a task I have yet to make a serious start on.
2  Something I've not done since since March.
3  Happily, I have now shown that practice follows theory. I have twice put the car into the garage, got out of it, shut the garage door on it. Two minor caveats: 1) it's necessary to remove the radio aerial lest it get chewed up by the closing door, and 2) it's helpful to fold in both the wing mirrors, even if this is purely psychological!
4  If you're reading this, Dr Joey, I've put about 2kg back on in the five weeks since Christa died.