Posted in Dreams and Nightmares, Life and Family, Observations, Reluctant Landlord

New Beginnings

She moved on — the friend I talked about in Kablooie.

I already knew we were finished. No deal is better than a bad deal, and I wasn’t going to put up with any more. I thought it might be possible to pull back just enough to allow the friendship to drift away without further hurt feelings and angry words, but she chose to end it formally.

Well, she is right — a clean break is best. I can now be who I want to be without questioning myself and feeling dragged down. We were good for each other in the past and had a few things in common, but ultimately we became incompatible.

The following isn’t connected, but lately I’ve had trouble keeping my private diary going. It was hopping along in fits and starts, but I’ve been trying again in a different app. An edited version follows:

Sunday 10 June 2018

I have a mental barrier against journalling. I keep thinking, “not now… maybe later,” and end up watching videos in YouTube. I was watching a video about Ambien by Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert, and in one of the comments underneath was a short list of things with addictive qualities — video games, social media and YouTube! Maybe that’s what happened to me. The commenter said potent, short-acting ‘drugs’ are the ones that get you addicted.

Monday 11 June 2018

I’m definitely at war with myself when it comes to this diary. I really want to write it, and there’s constant chatter in my head about the things I want to say, but then when it comes to writing, I don’t want to. Perhaps I’ve got tired of actually expressing my thoughts about everything.

I dreamed a while ago that the tenant’s wife came to us and said for a long time she hadn’t been able to pay the full rent, so had been paying only part of the rent every month, and nobody even noticed. She now had all the funds and would be able to pay back what she still owed me, though we’d need to plan it out so she could pay back gradually. The agents instantly flew into a passion, saying that wasn’t within the terms of my lease and she should have been upfront with us from the beginning. When I woke in the morning I felt very uncomfortable and thought to myself “I never dream about the tenants! Why would I do so now?” I thought of writing it down in my diary but worried it might tempt fate, so I didn’t.

About a month after that dream, I got an email from the agency saying the tenant had been in touch to say he’d lost his job and could we discount the rent? The money would come from his wife, who was still working.

13 June 2018

Just back from a walk. Lovely sunny day with a warm, playful breeze. I took my camera but it ran out of power before I’d gone very far. Went past the duck pond (dozing ducks and a couple of fuzzy ducklings), across the bridge, over the top of the hill and back to the house. There was a slightly plump couple canoodling in the grass, but I didn’t have to pass too close! On the other side of me was a lady with her spaniel, which was off the leash and rooting through the vegetation. It didn’t approach me… the long damp grass was probably more interesting than I was.

When I checked my messages at home, someone sent the nicest note I’ve had in a while: “Knowing you, your ‘average’ will be really good:).” Wow.

Another friend said he needs to find a woman and is planning a road trip on his bicycle, and I said he sounds like a country song. I said I was walking out to take photographs, and he said, “Don’t do it tomorrow… there are strong gales forecast.”

It’s certainly got pretty cool and there are big splashes of rain. The sun went behind a cloud some time ago.

I told Mum my joke, that I was planning to walk to Mordor but there was a red sign saying ‘FOOTPATH CLOSED’. She gave me a confused look, and said, “You were going to walk to WHERE?”

I said it’s something people do… they know what the distances are, so they walk that distance and say, “I’ve been to Mordor.”

“Oh,” she said.

22:41: Was out in the garden at twilight ‘saving the pinks’ and other things from the ferocious gale that’s due to hit. The breeze was picking up already.

Donald Trump came on the news. ‘A tired Trump touched down and said risk of war with North Korea is over, so sleep well tonight.’ The words are not exact; they’re from memory, but I thought it was lovely. The news are usually doom, gloom and tension.

14 June 2018

05:58: The first thing I did was peek through my bedroom blinds to see if there’s a roaring gale outside. The blossom tree is swaying, but not really. I feel happy thinking about my walk. It’s like there’s a corner of my mind that’s pure sunshine and hope.

13:08: Sunny day again. I took a few dull videos of the trees thrashing around at the back. The only damage I can see is that our large red poppies and most of the clematis flowers have suffered — their petals strewn across the ground. The snails dragged a stray lupin plant round the back of the hedge, and a potted golden rose lost a single bloom. The pinks in their shady little cranny are barely moving at all.

In Messenger, someone sent a video about bonding with a wingless bee. She gave it sugary water and flowers, took it in, and looked after it till it died. I was touched, and had to reach for a tissue, but after I recovered, our conversation went as follows:

Me: “MY bee drank the sugary water and then left. Ungrateful varmint.”

Friend: “Well, that is the whole point… One doesn’t expect them to have to hang around.”

“I wonder if we showed the video to angry wild bees in the woods, would they become more peaceful?”

“Different species.”

“Donald Trump showed an encouraging video to Kim Jong Un. It seemed to work.”

“I don’t want to know anything about Trump & co.”

“It was just a joke.”

I was crushed! I expected her to know about the video, but I don’t think she did. Now I feel like I live in a different world… and I’m the one who’s changed.

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Posted in Hearing Loss, Life and Family, Lost in Thought, Notepad Conversations

Ask Me No Questions

or

Hail Fellow Ill Met

 
A few weeks ago:

When we were going home on the bus, I was writing a message to Mum on our conversation notepad. An elderly man got on the bus and stood for a while, tucking his ticket away. I felt his eyes on me and looked up, and smiled. Then I went back to the message I was writing. Mum jerked her head towards him suddenly, and gestured apologetically, with a half-turn of her head towards me. I could imagine her saying, “I’m sorry, she can’t hear you.” He sat down across from us, where I couldn’t see him, and for the rest of the journey they talked politely, their voices lost in the roar of the bus. After a while I put my conversation notepad away, my message unread.

When we reached our stop and Mum moved towards the exit, I glanced at the man, intending to say goodbye. But he sat with his head turned away, so I said nothing. I didn’t ask Mum who he was or what they were talking about, and she didn’t mention him… he was just a passing ship.

 
Two days ago:

We were walking in single file along a narrow footpath, when we came across a bearded man on a ladder who was preparing to trim a hedge. He and Mum exchanged jolly-sounding greetings. Powered by her presence, I breezed past in my turn with a cheery smile. But I thought about how, on my own, I would either not look at him, or would raise my hand in a polite salute.

A little way further along, when we came onto the road, another man stood nearby. Again he and Mum made friendly noises. “People are so kind!” said Mum, as we passed on.

 
Yesterday:

We went into Costa’s for coffee, but it was quite busy. All that was left for us was a small round table for two, wedged between a lady in the corner (reading a newspaper) and two gossiping boys. The woman looked up and smiled, and she and Mum talked for a little… I wondered if they knew each other. Then the lady went back to her newspaper, and Mum and I wrote to each other in our conversation notepad.

“It’s hotter than I thought,” said Mum. “Have you noticed that the students get younger every year?”

“I never looked,” I said.

Mum rolled her eyes good-naturedly, while I thought about the old man on the bus, along with years and years of students passing me by, unseen.

After a while I said, “You know why I don’t look at people? I don’t want them to think they can speak to me just because I smiled.”

Mum laughed and shook her head at me. “They don’t always — and don’t smile,” she said. “Just observe.”

 
A small mystery cleared up:

When we left, the woman reading the newspaper didn’t speak to us again — she was a stranger after all. But Mum later volunteered the information that she’d told us (when we came in looking for somewhere to sit) she’d been watching a single student taking up a table meant for four.

Oh, I so know the feeling! Especially when we are meeting my sister, and the three of us have to huddle (with two shopping trolleys) round a tiny table for two, while a skinny kid stretches out blissfully in a tasty piece of café ‘real estate’… and stays there forever.

Lady next to us — I share your frustration.

Posted in Notepad Conversations

July Notes

Found some of our recent ‘conversation notes’ which were waiting to go into the recycling bin:

Mum: A little baby tomato has been born!
Me: Tell the little baby tomatoes they don’t have much Summer left.
Mum: Better play some music to them.

Me: I saw someone in town carrying his SLR camera by the strap so that it dangled by his walking feet as he crossed the road. I can’t imagine being so casual with my cameras!

Me: I think the wallpaper site has a split personality — the ones who post pics and have fun (rather be kind than right) — and the ones who want more serious pictures with people saying “I would have cropped in closer and paid more attention to the rule of thirds.”
Mum: “What weird people.”
Me: “They’ve been to photography classes… they’ve been taught all that stuff.”
Mum: “Oh I see.”

Mum (looking misty): I played with Justin Rose once when he was a boy — perhaps 14.
Me: He still looks like a boy.

Me: I can’t stand cognitive behavioural therapy — and they’ve roped it into the Calorie Bible. “Are you really ready to do it? Have you thought about the implications of your decision?” Bleugh.
Mum: Serves you right for reading all the small print.

Posted in Life and Family

Living Dangerously

Today Mum asked, “what’s for supper?” and I said “there’s a little prawn cocktail in the fridge.”
“It’s too old.”
“Oh — I had some for lunch, and I’m not dead yet.”
“Lunch wasn’t long ago…. you might die later.”
“Oh, I suppose you’re right, I will die… but not for a few years yet.”

Still ticking away. 🙂

Posted in Hearing Loss, Notepad Conversations

Notes Around the House

Going through a pile of paper… many of them scribbled notes from Mum to me or me to Mum. I’m chucking them out now, but here’s a selection:

There is a fancy moth on my car that came from Morrisons with me. I don’t know how it hung on.

The door bell rang at 2 am this morning. I didn’t quite realise what had wakened me till later.

Me: I know both those songs very well (Lonesome Cowboy and Southern Nights) and they’re not making sense to my ears on the CDs through there. I can only hear his voice if I strain — some CDs are like that.
Mum: Maybe the musical accompaniment is too loud.

The Samsara is a creamy, musky version of J Lo Live.

Me: He said it suddenly got dark.
Mum: I heard him.

The Duke of Edinburgh said one of the world’s major problems was the explosion of human population. It has reached plague proportions.

Does Samson [cat] feel he has to be somewhere at this time?

My hyacinth has gone like this: [doodle of a horizontal hyacinth].

The buildings look squint. The sky is ridiculous.

You are in the doghouse for not writing a Birthday Claus letter. Confucius he say “Who not write letter get rubbish.”

Me: Blender has whirly blades on it. (Handing over money).
Mum (gift-giver of above dangerous item): 30p Rec.

King Louie… is in the shop.

I’m reading this book on a big storm in Galveston, 1900; quite good. Saw a programme about hurricanes and stormchasers… and they chased Hurricane Ike to Galveston and filmed it there! Even mentioned the 1900 storm, and showed a photo of the aftermath. Made me understand why, in the book, they were talking about the sea hitting the house-stilts before the storm even got there. The houses are still on stilts!

There are plenty more where those came from…

Posted in Hearing Loss

Just Wait till I Catch that Dratted Gremlin…

Yesterday a friend was talking about having to sit through unwanted conversations, like when she politely asks someone about their holidays or how they are, and they give her a blow by blow response.

I said I was probably guilty of that in blogs and emails, and felt reassured it wasn’t just me. Then again, I was luckier than I realized, I said… I don’t have to sit through such speeches from other folk as I wouldn’t hear them very well. People have to restrict themselves to “hello, horrible weather! And what kind of cat is that? Look how he’s hugging the radiator. Are all these bears yours?”

“The only way I have to sit through long stories,” I said, “is when Mum is having to sit through them and I’m waiting for her.”

Well, that was just asking for trouble… A friend of Mum’s came unexpectedly for tea the very next day, and talked at length about a sporting hobby of hers, though I didn’t hear any of it and she could have been discussing the moon for all I knew.

It’s difficult to look polite and interested when there’s nothing to engage yourself with. Your eyes wander around the room, pausing on the same old things (newspaper, cat, bag on floor; newspaper, cat, bag on floor). After a while it speeds up (newspapercatbagonfloor, newspapercatbagonfloor) and you start fidgeting. Once I’ve started to fidget, there’s no way back… I have to get away quite soon.

I have a theory that’s why I ended up with so-called panic disorder: one had to be polite and pleasant without interrupting or leaving the room or reading a book or staring out of the window. Once I began fidgeting, I knew it was all slipping away from me; the wish to be friendly was on a head-on collision with the desire to escape. Which was where panic generally set in.

I couldn’t be bothered with panic this time, though I could feel it lurking in the background, eyes glinting red. Instead, you look over at your visitor, who’s still talking, and feel the sleep settling in your eyes…

Posted in Books, Life and Family, Music I Like, My Cats, Notepad Conversations, Pet-Minding, TV and Films

You Are So Beautiful…

A guiding light that shines in the night
Heaven’s gift to me
You are so beautiful to me

It’s been in my head the past couple of days.

Sharky wasn’t improving as rapidly as we hoped and we took him back to the vet. He was kept overnight on a drip and returned to me today… along with renal cat kibble and tablets.

He seems brighter – his eyes have cleared.

There was black ice today; looks like tomorrow will be the same. At least it’s not raining any more. The rain yesterday did excuse me from walking Thundercloud, which I was grateful for. I felt shell-shocked about Sharky, having just left him at the vet, and though I could have accepted a dog walk if the day had been bright, I couldn’t face one in the lashing sleet. I would have caught whatever Marianne got in Sense and Sensibility. A case of the fainting Willoughbies.

Last night there was nothing on TV so while Mum watched something, I was reading Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe. In it was a chapter about someone very ill achieving her greatest wish. I’d been feeling numb up to that point, but that was just too much – and I hadn’t even finished the story. Mum was in the next chair and I didn’t want to get all teary and whimpery while she was there. Escaping quietly was a huge struggle. Upstairs I hid in my dark cubby hole and mopped my eyes, which just got wet again.

When I returned to the book and finished the chapter, there was a twist to the story that made me giggle – it wasn’t at all what I thought it was.

But I was so tired.

The next morning we received ‘more optimistic’ news from the vet over the phone, but I was still bushed and rather moody. We met my sister in a coffee shop in town, and (having struggled to find somewhere to put my shopping trolley) I whipped the conversational notebook out.

Me: This is ridiculous – there should be more room – you wonder what happened to the DDA.
Mum: The DDA?
Me: Disability Discrimination Act.

Pause while the girl came and served our coffee and hot chocolate.

Me: I think the only coffee I like now is mocha – everything else tastes like liquid sawdust.
Mum: You often drink liquid sawdust?
Me: Here and in Starbucks.
Mum: Is everything wrong this morning? Chilblains? Headache? Blue-tinted specs?
Me: Non-pink clothes and sickly 10-year-old cats. And horrible TV with the same shows over and over.
Mum: What’s that about pink clothes? You’ve lost me.
Me: I think something red was washed with them and turned them muddy.
Mum: Red with pink means pinker.
Me: Not rust red.
Mum: Big Sister says would we like a trip to Fuddyduddytown?
Me: I suppose – Fuddyduddytown is not my numero uno town. How can Thingy live there?
Mum: People get stuck in places. It’s not the worst. Remember Yobtown?
Me: Not really. When did we go there? I remember Thingyside Leisure Centre as being stuck in a bubble of stark. Probably because they wouldn’t let them build it anywhere nice (can’t blame them).
Mum: Yobtown had most of the shops at either end of the town boarded up. Graffiti everywhere.
Me (distracted): That dark photo of the poppy… it’s like a puddle of thick paint that my eyes have got stuck in. When I pull them away with a *squelch*, it leaves that pattern there.

You get the picture. I shouldn’t blog in this sort of humour.

Posted in Hearing Loss, Life and Family

The Missing Notepad

Yes, the missing notepad. The notepad I carried everywhere with me. We had our conversations in it; our shopping lists, house-letting plan of action, room measurements, blog notes, and anything else we needed to jot down in a hurry. I didn’t notice the moment it slipped from view – just one day I reached into my wheelie bag and wasn’t there.

“I must have left it at home,” I said, and we made do by recording our latest café conversation on the back of an old letter – all about how the queue was longer than there were tables; the two ladies next to us had finished their coffee half an hour ago and hadn’t ordered anything else. I wasn’t worried about the notepad yet – it would be languishing on the coffee table at home.

Except it wasn’t.

OK, so it wasn’t on the coffee table, and it wasn’t on Mum’s desk, and it wasn’t on my desk – so I must have left it at my own house. It would be lying there on the dining table surrounded by measuring tapes and sofa catalogues.

Except it wasn’t.

I couldn’t have looked properly at Mum’s place – it would have fallen on the floor beneath the sofa, or be in a pile of books or magazines swept to one side. But I was getting worried. It was starting to look as though I had left it somewhere. On a coffee table in Starbucks? On a shop display sofa far away in Tumbleton? Being auctioned off in the auction hall? Horrible thought.

“When did you last see your notebook?” I asked myself. Friday afternoon in the carpet shop. It couldn’t have been lost anywhere else, as I hadn’t gone anywhere else since then except between my house and Mum’s.

We finally went to the carpet shop five days after we last visited. Usually there is just one man there, but today he had been joined by two or three others, one of them the owner of the shop.

“Have you seen a purple noteb…?”
“Oh yes, here it is. I found it sitting up here on the counter.”
“Thank you,” we said, backing away from their grins.

You know, they had Mum’s address; she bought two batches of lino from them recently. I was wondering why they didn’t ring up and say “you left your notebook.” We could have been searching for it all over (more than we were). Do you think they just tucked it away without looking at it, or did they read the whole thing from cover to cover?

They would have found snippets like:

The ‘kernel panic’ is connected with the being told to restart.

Need glue for bin numbers

— I hate to see anything trapped – even flies.
— Those flies hatched in there. It’s all they know.

Eyes like agates.

I told him there are things at the bottom of that linen basket that could have lived in the Black Lagoon.

— You are still looking for one for you – not for scaly tenants.
— Not necessarily. If it’s right colour, comfy, big but not too big, nice shape and not too expensive… that’d suit scaly tenants.

I said to (Big Sister) she would look more the part of the Viking than the stripling they were using.

Did I tell you what (Big Sister) said once – caused one to think ‘ooh’ for a minute. She wakened up and we were flying through thick cloud, and said – very loudly – “why have we stopped?”

Small shop, big plate. Darn.

Bluebird’s silver lining is ripped.

— Is this one of those shops where I can hear and you can’t?
— The worst noise is the fridge unit.

— Would our night watchman have been any good?
— The best one we had was when you were a baby. He had a bow and arrow and spent the night in a tree.

Could have been a lot worse. But never let your notepad go for a ramble – you never know whose hands it might fall into.

Comments for this entry (during its previous life on Blogigo):

1. Iain wrote at Sep 22, 2007 at 04:58: Oh, you’ve got to make extracts from the notebook a regular feature!

2. kateblogs wrote at Sep 22, 2007 at 15:10: Ooh yes, it sounds fascinating! I mean your usual posts are too, but I love that kind of randomness. You could use your entries as writers’ prompts. – even now I have a tiny spark of an idea for a story involving the fly conversation.

3. Diddums wrote at Sep 23, 2007 at 01:43: We’ll see. :-). I unleashed a second notepad while the earlier one was missing, so now we have two of them on the go – also various bits of paper sitting around.

Kate, I’m curious to see what your fly story will be – will it have Jeff Goldblum in it?

4. Pacian wrote at Sep 23, 2007 at 15:41: No-one can see my notebook. It is secret! >:-(

5. Diddums wrote at Sep 23, 2007 at 23:03: Till you lose it in a carpet shop…

Posted in Agoraphobia, Life and Family, Teddy Bears

Trolley and Me Against the World

Last summer we went to a huge car boot sale. Mum said there must have been 200 stalls when she was expecting 50. I said I was expecting a sweet little sale with 20!

I threw a wobbly, which is the first time I’ve done that for ages. I get a little worrit at times, usually when I’m somewhere like a shopping centre, but it’s the first time for years that I’ve had to say, “sorry, I’m going back to the car!”

The odd thing is, I was fine the minute I stepped back through the gate. The stalls and the people were still right behind me and the cars were parked ahead – hundreds of them – but I immediately felt better. It was as though I had been trying to push myself through a wall, and the headache only disappeared when I stopped.

It was a lovely place and I wished I had bought my camera. The sun was hot and bright, the sky blue with huge sweeping clouds meeting the blue sea. There were golden fields of oats nodding on either side of the airfield with a heat haze shimmering above their hairy ears. The cars were all shining like mirrors – I remember the silver on the stalls blinded me as I walked past; even white paper hit me with a blinding glare. I had to leave the car door open or I would have suffocated – the sun was so hot on my skin I wrapped my raincoat round my arm to protect it. There were a few thrips landing annoyingly on my nose and hands. One smeared rusty red blood on my slacks.

A few people in sporty cars with hoods down were driving around just for the joy of it. I saw a silver sports car come flying down the road past me, with a couple in it who looked about 60. There was pure happiness on their faces, big grins. I thought rather wistfully “they look happy” but my physical reaction was to shrink away. “Go away, people – you are the enemy.”

I got out of the car and stood looking at the views all around. I was quite happy except for a lingering feeling of shock and disappointment. I really wanted to look at all those stalls and see what they had. There was a stall of Ty Beanie Babies, all nice and clean – Mum said “do you want any?” and I said “no” and walked past – just as I left I caught sight of a white bear with a blue star and blue wings. I’ve been looking for that one. There wasn’t a thing I could do about it though; it was right there on the table and I was too stressed out to buy it!

They finally came back to the car, and Mum gave me a lovely Russ teddy called Timber. “We can try again!” they said, and grinned at me. I didn’t say no. I said I wished I had taken the camera, it was lovely there. “What is there to take pictures of?” asked my sister.
“People going past laden with goodies” said Mum.
“No, it was the big sky, big sea…” I said. “It made me think of America.”

The very next weekend we tried going to a different car boot sale. I quite enjoyed myself and even bought a few things. We recognized some of the stalls from the previous sale – the one that annoyed me the most had dejected teddy bears tethered to a rope. The notice said “Dog toys – 50p”. There should be a law against it! Anyway, the beanie baby lady was there, with her blue star bear, so of course I bought it. “You can’t get this in the shops here,” she said. Nice to meet someone who knows her beanie babies.

I have a little trick, mind you. It’s the way I got myself used to going round the supermarket again. Even if I was only getting bread and milk, I would take a trolley (‘shopping cart’ for those with a more U.S. vocabulary) instead of a hand-basket. It made me feel safer because I could lean on the trolley. So at this car boot sale I got out a small wheelie suitcase of Mum’s, just a little upright one with a long handle. I thought we had a proper shopping trolley but this was all I could find. It’s peculiar, I even feel better if I have a huge bag without wheelies – there’s something about lugging it around that’s reassuring. It puts it between me and the rest of the world! I wasn’t the only one – there were lots of shopping trolleys there. I vividly remember a huge red tartan one.

When we got home I opened up the trolley and it was stuffed with all the bears we had bought. There was nothing there that wasn’t a bear in some form (stuffed or ornament).

I preferred the second sale because the crowd and the stalls were more dispersed and sectioned up. Short little rows – you turned the corner and embarked on the next, or you could go back round the edge to the exit. The first sale was two very long rows of stalls with the crowd confined to the middle – much more formal layout and no way of leaving in a hurry. With Mum’s trolley in tow, though, I have no worries…

Posted in Health Issues, Technology and Software, Teddy Bears

Spammers

Spammers are tenacious. Here’s an illustration:

Almost ten years ago I was foolish enough to put my email address on my website. Worse than that, I had several different email addresses. One was for a giant grey mouse (stuffed toy) called Mou. Years ago I removed all email addresses from my site, including Mou’s. But the spam is still coming, and today I noticed one (in the trash folder, waiting for the delete key) with the subject heading Stock Tips for Mou. As it happens, Mou doesn’t live here any more – Mou has moved out and is staying with my mother. Mou would want me to write back and let these kind people know “Mou is no longer at this address” – BUT – I happen to know better than to communicate with spammers. Not that it’s really possible, as they have no real brains there to be communicated with. The light’s on, but nobody’s home.

Limping on from spammers, I took my broken foot to the doctor, worried by friends (and a website) who said that it’s a myth that a broken foot will heal beautifully without expert medical attention. Doc took all of two minutes to look at it and said just to carry on the way I was, because it’s healing. Mum (a retired nurse), who never advocated taking it to doctor, said “tell all your internet friends that mother always knows best!”

Well, I pointed out to Mum that the doc didn’t ask me to wriggle my toes, and he didn’t test the joint of the broken toe, which is where the break is – I think it will be OK; I have asked it myself to flex, and it does, but with a certain amount of pain. But then I told him loudly “THIS is the sore toe” and he knew better than to touch it! He said yes, it was broken, and he could see a sort of crumpled bruising along the ball of the foot, but everything seems to be fine. Carry on healing…

He admired my new suede fleece-lined boots with the pom-poms. They are split down both sides so it’s easy to get the sore foot in, and then you simply bind a suede thong round the leg. He said they looked soft and roomy yet supportive.

Still hirpling – we went to town but my foot got tired after a couple of hours. I bought it a pretty pink and blue sock made from a thick soft silky wool – it’s just for lounging around in. I bought one for the other foot as well so it won’t feel left out! Then I started on my Christmas hopping – er, shopping.

I wonder if Mou would like a laptop?