Thursday, December 27, 2012


(No, by the way, the lady with the lovely silver hair is not I, but my sister-in-law. I'm the person behind the camera. My hair is greying brown.) Here is Grandson kissing Peter Rabbit, or at least the little puppet inside the book about PR. How lovely that Grandson thinks kissing is an appropriate response to small things. He lives a life surrounded by love.

Yesterday we all went for a walk: the two daughters, Mr Life, Grandson, my brother and sister-in-law, nephew and niece.

I have a baddish cold. So does my brother. Presumably not the same cold, since he lives normally in Surrey and though I got it first, I don't think there was enough time for me to infect him so thoroughly. He is now laid fairly low with it.

I've just finished a book called "London Belongs to Me", which I very much recommend. It's by Norman Collins and it was first published in 1945. I can't remember where I read about this book. On a blog? Anyway, Norman Collins worked for the BBC and ITV, fairly high up, and still had time to write quite a few books including this - long - one. It's a bit JB Priestley-like, somewhat reminiscent of "Angel Pavement", about a house in London and all the lodgers who live there. It's very readable but not piffle at all, in my view.

It's astonishing, I often feel, how much some people achieve in the same 24 hours a day that the rest of us have access to. I often think this when I read the obituaries in the paper. A top lawyer is praised for his top-class lawyering but he also hillwalked a lot, was captain of his local golf club, amassed a famous collection of stamps, took up pottery when he retired and became fluent in six languages. And I think: when did you do the hoovering? Or sort out the photos? Or just do the constant tidying-up that one needs to do in order to live in some semblance of clutterlessness? I always think that he must have had a very selfless wife.

Talking of selfless wives... this is our 39th wedding anniversary. Start saving for the rubies, Mr Life!


  1. I often think that I would like a wife (although what I probably mean is that I would like a slave!), but then I would feel that I had to be tidier. Funnily enough, my husband, who, obviously, has a wife, finds no need to be tidy!!!???

  2. Happy Anniversay Mr and Mrs Life.

  3. Anonymous6:08 pm

    Thank you for the book recommendation, I shall take a look at it ...

  4. My dad gave my mum a ruby necklace at the top of the Eiffel Tower on their fortieth wedding anniversary. Obviously to facilitate this they needed to take along a French-speaking PA. Tell Mr Life my rates are reasonable and I can be invisible at all the right moments...

  5. Happy anniversary! I reckon every woman needs a wife, you know....

  6. Happy Anniversary.You are 6 behind us.
    I didn't get rubies, but met someone lovely called Ruby, in Somerset last year and her niece, my very soon to be DiL's second name is Ruby, so that will have to do for me as far as rubies go.
    I hope the cold soon disappears.

  7. Belated Merry Christmas, Isabelle, and I hope your cold will be gone by the new year. I recently heard a piece on NPR about Rosemary Verey who wrote her first gardening book at age 62 and went on to produce 17 more. Then there's Molly Peacock who began her life's work of replicating flowers in paper at 72. Gives us something to strive for!

  8. Don't like the sound of that 'baddish' cold. Hope you get over that soon (and best wishes to your brother as well).
    I've often had the same thought as you, about people who fit so much into their lives, while the rest of us just plod along in comparison. I see women on blogs that make dozens of quilts a year, and I think to myself, I'm retired now; why can't I do that too? Ken says I have too many hobbies, and can't possibly get to be expert at all of them, because there isn't enough time! I'd like to suggest that I would have enough time if he did some of the housework, but you do NOT say those things to an Australian male, lol!

  9. Happy Anniversary to both of you! Your grandson is just adorable and that world of love he lives in may have something to do with it.

  10. Isabelle: This is so late that perhaps you won't read it.
    I heard "London Belongs to Me" as a radio serial when I was a child: our whole family stopped for it. It made such an impression that I sbapped it up when I saw it in a 2nd hand sale, decades later. A marvellous chronicle.