Friday, July 03, 2009

The Queen and I

We’re about to go off to the south-west of England - Cornwall for a week and Devon for another week - taking my 87-year-old mother with us. It’s been jolly hot in Britain – I’ve just looked it up and it was 83 degrees here yesterday, which is 28.333333333333335 Celsius, according to Google. And let me tell you, we were aware of every one of those 3s. It may not sound hot to you Australians and Midwesterners, but we’re fairskinned Celts and we don’t have air conditioning or houses that are designed for hot weather. We’ve been wilting, especially those of us who’re covered in black fur. No, I don't mean me or even Mr Life (well, maybe him a bit). Cassie and Sirius Cat have been spending the days lolling in the shade, proving the scientific truth that black colours absorb heat and that it’s better to be a white cat if the weather’s hot.

And it’s all very well if you can loll, but some of us have been cutting the grass, ironing and so forth.

Fortunately my mother is one of those people with no fat on them – unlike me – who doesn’t feel the heat.
It’s my birthday today, or rather, my official birthday. My actual birthday is tomorrow (Happy Independence Day when it arrives, American friends) but we have to go to the airport at 7.30 am and get on one of those nasty flying machines, so I decided to celebrate it today instead. Look at my nice cards. I usually take my own bodyweight in books on holiday, but since we’re flying I need to be a bit more circumspect.

Look at my nice presents too. Just what I wanted.

And a couple of DVDs.

I don't know why this is sideways. I didn't take the picture sideways and then I rotated it on Picasa when it came out this way. Still, you get the idea.

I was hoping to celebrate becoming 59 (eek!) by getting the new carpet laid in Daughter 2’s room. The saga of this room is a long and tedious one, beginning with Mr Life putting up a cornice and preparing the room for decorating. If Mr Life has a fault (surely not! you cry) it’s that he doesn’t quite have the stamina common to people in my family, and so this has been a very very very long process – I think it began in January - during which Daughter 2 has been camping in Daughter 1’s vacated bedroom. Eventually, however, the painter came and painted, the carpet layer came and laid – and the carpet was faulty. Today, a fortnight later, the replacement carpet was laid -and it was faulty. Same fault. Much has been the grinding of teeth, the heaving of furniture during heat waves, the filling up of our sitting room with said furniture and the general dissatisfaction with cruel fate.

Still, nil desperandum, it’ll all be the same in 100 years, every cloud has a silver lining (really?) and suchlike clichés. Meanwhile, I’m off to see if Andy Murray can beat Andy Roddick to get to the final of Wimbledon. See you in a fortnight, everyone. Have a good time in my absence and be sure to tell us all about it.


  1. Happy Birthday and enjoy your trip

  2. happy birthday
    happy holiday

  3. Happy birthday! And very safe (enjoyable!) travels, as well!
    I hope the books are wonderful, and the weather is cooler! :)
    The weather here has been unseasonably cool for this time of year-which I enjoy!
    Hope the carpeting goes better the third time-"third time's the charm?" :)

  4. Happy Birthday, Oh Aged One.....

  5. Happy birthday.

    83F is miserable hot when there is no AC, and most importantly, when the dewpoint is high. I'll take 100F and dry over 83F with a dewpoint of 60 or more, and nothing evaporates to cool a body.

  6. Happy birthday, Isabelle! What nice gifts you received! Hope you have a wonderful trip and the weather cools down a bit.

  7. Happy birthday!

    Really looking forward to lots of photos of Devon & Cornwall. I've never been to that area and regret not going when we were over years ago. It looks beautiful.

    I'm another person that takes a pile of books on holiday.

  8. Happy Happy Birthday! You got books for your birthday, lucky girl. That's my absolute favourite present!!!

    And you're going to Cornwall. I LOVE Cornwall, even though I haven't been there since I was 7 (because we immigrated that year and I haven't been back to England since. boohoo). It's such a magical place. Have a pasty for me!

  9. Have a wonderful holidasy, and a very happy birthday.

    28C is rather hot, a common temperature here in summer, but we are aboiut to undergo some weird cold snap and I read somewhere Sydney was going to go as low as 1C.

    I'm about to go skiing and make the most of the snow I hear is dumping in the mountains, then when I get back I am hopping on a plane for Venice via London. (another conference paper)
    So I am looking forward to the heat, as I have never been in the UK in July!

    I certainly wish I could whip up to Edinburgh and see you again but I will save that till next time..

    happy holidays to you

  10. Happy Happy Birthday And I hope you have a great holiday.
    Hugs Mary.

  11. Happy Birthday! Happy Holiday! Happy reading!

    While you are getting extra warm we are getting extra cold.

    I haven't read / or seen any of your books. Please tell us later if there are any MUST reads.

  12. Happy birthday and have a wonderful holiday. It is my birthday too, so I am sitting around enjoying the cool, crisp and sunny day.

  13. Happy, Happy Birthday Sweet Isabelle! Your reading list looks wonderful -- I hope you have a great time on vacation. We'll be anxious to hear all about it when you return!

    (P.S. In a cruel twist of fate, while you've been sweltering, we've been downright chilly, with temps stuck in the 60s several days this week -- very unseasonable for us and probably pretty rare that we are cooler than you in the summer!)

  14. Happy birthday, though you're possibly already on the way to the airport.

  15. Happy Birthday to you Isabelle.

    28 degrees would be a lovely summer's day in Melbourne and no-one would need aircon. We got up to nearly 47 degrees on one day this summer, now THAT"s a heatwave.

    I hope your trip is lovely.

  16. Happy birthday!

    28 is rather warm but not overwhelming for us. 25 is perfect though. We don't have airconditioning, only ceiling fans.

    I hope you love Devon (my godmother lives there in a teeny tiny seaside village) and Cornwall and thoroughly enjoy the dresses in The Duchess. I haven't seen it yet so can you report back whether Keira does lots of acting with her jaw please?

  17. Best wishes for a very happy birthday, Isabelle.
    And have a lovely trip (hope the weather cools down a bit for you, although 83 deg.F sounds just perfect to me!).

  18. Happy, Happy Birthday Isabelle!

    I hope you have a lovely summer holiday :-)

  19. Happy Birthday. We celebrated your birthday in a big way yesterday in the U.S.A.

    I check your blog often. You have lots of interesting things to say.

  20. Anonymous9:18 pm

    Happy birthday -- it looks as though you got some purr-fect presents! :-)

  21. You will be away enjoying your holiday by now, but I do hope you are enjoying it all.
    I whine when it is hot & grizzle when it is cold... no pleasing some folk!

  22. I hope you're having a wonderful holiday, Isabelle. Perhaps even finding a cooler spot to relax in.

    We certainly enjoyed our brief time in England in June this year.

  23. Happy Birthday!
    And there's no where lovelier than SW England!

  24. A belated happy birthday! I hope you're having a lovely trip.

  25. Very belated happy birthday!