We have green grass.
We have white snowdrops.
We have ferns and trees and lots of little seedy balls hanging about the place which the birds are nibbling on.
I can see all these things because the snow has melted. Finally I can leave the cottage in my slippers without sinking into snow drifts.
The snow has supported my cupboard clearing, photo organising and gew-gaw throwing. Now its time to get on with life so –
Today we drove to Brighton.
My mother is not happy in her new abode.
She forgets she can see the the sea.
Then she is happy with the lovely care workers. Then she isn’t.
Her legs are bandaged, her arm is swollen, her teeth hurt and she believes that we have abandoned her and taken away her home. It’s horrible.
Its hard to keep up with her moods. I come away and have to drink coffee. I dont normally go down the coffee bean route but the first thing I think of when I leave her is that I have to drown my sorrows. Italian coffee is too bitter, Cappuccino is too frothy, so a French Latte is what I go for if I can find one.
Today the ‘oosbind drove us to lovely little cafe ten minutes out of Brighton. We were looking for a costume hiring place but couldn’t find it – more of that later – having wasted nearly and hour and a half driving round Shoreham, Preston Park and Hove the stubborn old git finally relented and drove us into Lewes. I had Italian bread with honey and butter, although the way it spread I knew it was utterly not butterly. I called the young waiter over, who looked like the 8th Dr.Who, and not wanting to offend him, whispered.
‘Is this butter?’
He answered louder than I expected, given the other customers, and told me it was Butterrelli whatever that is.
‘Please can I have real butter?’ I asked.
‘Sure.’ he said with all the confidence of a Time Lord
The little pot of creamy white butter arrived so I spread a copious amount on my Pugliese, at least I think its Pugliese. As my teeth sunk into the warm, toasty bread slathered in creamy butter my anxiety diminished. After two bites I slurped some coffee. It was tooooo bitter so I had another piece of Pugliese. And so it went on, the alternating experience until there was only one crust and some crumbs left and a little puddle of coffee left in the cup.
I offered the butter to Jim and he spread it generously on his homemade, artisan bread which he had with his split pea and vegetable soup. We talked about how to make the soup on the journey home. To cook the peas first? To add the veg later? To slow cook the whole dish, in or on the oven. In the end I decided to make it with red lentils and a bay leaf, so that the peppery pulse and the veg will cook at the same time.
After lunch we drove through Lewes looking for Ollie Smiths house – which we found – and a violin shop which was half-day closed. Afternoon closing still exists in healthy communities.
Jim is playing a part where he has to wear an Edwardian suit and play the violin which was the reason we were looking for the costumiers. ‘Glad Rags’, somewhere in Brighton, rents out all sorts of gear for all sorts of productions. We were looking for an Edwardian suit that would fit my little husband. Gods Gift travels his way, his wife of 38 long years does it hers.
He vaguely remembers the address puts it into his smart phone then swerves round bends as he tries to read the screen. I scream and find the phone number. He parks. I make a call. The well spoken university student who helps out at ‘Glad Rags’ tells me they are only open for another half an hour but yes they do have an Edwardian suit that would fit Sacha Distell and yes my diminutive husband can go in next Tuesday for a fitting, and she will email him the directions so that he gets there without having to drive through Shoreham, Shoveham or Friggham. It will cost him a tenner a week so all is well.
Do you think thats why my husband and I work? Because we are SO different. He is always delighted when I come up with the solution but angry because I don’t do it his way. This morning was a case in point. I used his computer to write a note for our cleaner. When printed it was the smallest of fonts that only a gerbil with glasses could read.
I asked for Times New Roman with an 18-20 font. He couldn’t believe that I was so picky
‘Its a note for the cleaner’ he Yorkshired. ‘It’s not a novel.’
I argued. ‘I like to read the notes that people leave me without having to resort to a telescope.’
He changed his settings.
‘Next time.’ he said ‘Use your own computer’
And now that the snow has melted I can. I can walk to the end of the garden. And enter my space. All Times New Roman and smelling of my expensive diffuser, put the heater up full and use whatever friggin font I want without a Northerner breathing down my neck.
Which reminds me I had better go and work out how to make a red lentil soup with veg before he does otherwise it’ll be ladles at dawn…….