Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Back in harness

Well, we're back from our sojourn in the South in the cottage above. Our catlets are intact, thanks to the kind ministrations of our next-door-neighbour, Daughters 1 and 2 and The Phoenix and L -
- I used to be able to do the linky thing but in my present state of nervous collapse there's no chance that I might be able to remember this skill. Anyway, do check out The Phoenix's blog to read an account of her stay in Edinburgh and some pictures of our furry friends. Thanks so much, P and L!

I feel so out of touch with all your doings. Mr L did take his laptop on holiday but we had wonky internet connection. Also I can't work strange computers and anyway his laptop doesn't have my Favourites on it so I couldn't find you. Then I still couldn't blog when we got home because in a moment of madness, I'd got fed up with my computer (which wasn't behaving), summoned a chap to fix it and agreed with him that rather than spend £100 getting it mended I'd spend £450 on a new one. What was I thinking of? And I can't work strange computers (see above). Argh!

And anyway he wasn't coming to install the new computer till yesterday, so that was a blogless weekend. And then I completely forgot that he was coming and wasn't here to receive it at 4 o'clock, as we'd arranged. Double argh!

The reason I forgot to be here was that work started again yesterday. (Triple argh.) I wrote 63 emails in the course of the day and then started to mosey on homewards about 5, at which point I remembered about the computer chap. Of course he had, perfectly reasonably, gone away before I got home.

However, he came today and so this is my new computer. I hope you can sense the deep suspicion in every word I type. Kind Mr Life spent a considerable time making it fit for my incompetent and panic-stricken use and ... well, we'll see if it works in a minute or two. (Are you reading this?)

Here's the living room of our Suffolk house. It was an 17th century cottage, complete with low beams. Upstairs it had floors of a seasickness-inducing slopingness. This has cured me of any romantic notions of retiring to a cottage.

When I say low beams, I mean beams that even I (a short person) struck my head upon a few times. In the picture above, my nephew and Mr Life demonstrate how it was for them. My poor brother sustained so many injuries to his skull that I eventually hung up these elegant pieces of paper to warn of impending danger.

We visited lovely gardens such as this one at Bressingham.

Here's Aldeburgh, of Benjamin Britten fame. Not that I'm a huge fan of BB. Not very hummable. But the town was rather fetching.

Our Northumberland house was very different from the Suffolk cott.

Soothingly smart with not a beam in sight.

It was in Beadnell, very near this beautiful beach.

Here it is again. I love the sea.

We did lots more but I expect you've heard enough for the moment so here are some pictures of the cats. They were a bit sniffy when we got back, for the first few moments at least. They leapt to their feet and retreated under the table. We could see them saying, oh, for goodness sake, not another change of servants - you really can't get any continuity of staff these days. Then Sirius looked more closely and did a classic double-take: oh, it's you. However, the huffiness continued for a few minutes till they thought about it and decided that since packets of cat food are quite hard to open without opposable thumbs, they might forgive us.
As you can see from the photo above, the weather improved the moment we got back over the border.

My garden looks depressingly minute after the stately homes we'd been visiting, but this lily is flowering well.

And these yellow daisy things, whose name* once more escapes me, are even more rampant than ever.
I must stop this and email my confused aunt's social worker. Things are reaching crisis point and still there are no rooms in any of the 15 care homes where I've registered her. I think a hysterical rant is in order and, the way I'm feeling, that won't be difficult.
And now, to see if this will publish. If it doesn't, you'll hear a loud scream shortly...
*Yes, indeed, Persiflage, thank you. Coreopsis. They've now strangled my white Shasta daisies.


  1. Welcome back. I missed you. There are lots of things I need to comment on, such as the hummability of BB, the total glory of that lily, the plight of the old, and all those fascinating photos, but I have to dash off to Italian in half an hour, and so far have not even started all the things I need to do before dashing out to catch the buses...

  2. Nice to have you back again - we missed you. And know what you mean about setting up a new PC - you don't know what you've lost until you go looking for it! But it usually settles down (and so do you) within a couple of weeks. Zxx

  3. It's good to have you back! I'm glad to hear the weather improved as you crossed the border.

    Looks like you had a lovely break.

  4. Ah, Isabelle, you've been SO missed! It looks like you've had a wonderful get-away -- and even lived to tell about it. I'm anxious to hear more. The catlets appear to have done remarkably well -- in spite of the lack of yarn during your absence. I hope your transition this week goes well -- it's hard getting back into the routine!

  5. Hearing you loud and clear! I loved the picture of the beams cutting off their heads! I always manage to do that in photos, but don't have beams to use as an excuse!

  6. Glad you had a good time and got back safely Know what you mean about new computers, mine's playing up and the thought of all that hassle doesn't appeal! I must back it up.

  7. I wonder if you'd ever get used to living with those low beams?

    Welcome back, I'm glad the kitties didn't freeze you out for long!

  8. Welcome back! And congratulations on conquering the new computer. You must have snapped that photo during the one half day of sunshine we have had recently (all those poor soggy Festival goers - shame!) Coffee some time soon? I may have to pick your brains on the whole care home scene for my FIL.

  9. Hey!

    I just entered a contest to try and win a walk-on part in an episode of the show "Mad Men". Please come to my blog and vote for me. I need loads of votes to catch up to people who already posted their picture, so get your friends to come and vote too!



  10. Welcome back, we are keen to go to Suffolk maybe in Autumn or next Spring, it does look lovely.....

  11. You did it - new computer and all!!

    Northumberland looks gorgeous - you're the second recent blog visitor there that I know and I'm inspired to visit myself soon.

    Good luck with your aunt. Have strength!!

    Lesley x

  12. Welcome home. Though our lives may be trying at home, it is still somehow very comforting to know it is yours, and to be ensconced in it, regardless of what else is happening. Does that sentence make sense? It is probably all wrong, but you will know what I mean.

  13. We went back to work today, so I share your Argghh.. but it looks like you had a lovely holiday, low beams and all. Such lovely scenery!

  14. Welcome home! Sounds as though you had a wonderful time.

  15. Wow. Lovely. I missed you, but isn't it nice to just get out and live sometimes?