So, the heavily caveated first task of the day was an hour long walk around the Three Miler with the pack. The hour long walk was frustrating rather than relaxing, as we were meeting walkers and riders every three or four hundred yards and the dogs needed to be called back and put on their leads at each encounter. I used to enjoy my walks, returning from them relaxed and often with ideas to deal with life and works' niggling problems. However they are far from relaxing at the moment and I just return exhausted, filthy and with significant disdain for those I have met.*
Lunch happened and I had half an hour to fill before I needed to tidy myself up … I'll get to that in a minute … so I grabbed a hammer, tape measure and a picture hook and the Victorian oil of Gypsies by a Campfire is now hung in the dining room.
I then needed to shave and change as this afternoon I had arranged to pay my Godmother** a long overdue visit. At this point I need to make clear that I am crap at keeping in touch and despite receiving a Christmas Card from her every year and only living a dozen miles apart it is probably eighteen years since we last met.***
I therefore assembled the family, briefed them and we drove over to Evesham for afternoon tea with Auntie Joyce. I am not sure what can I say about an afternoon with an Octogenarian chatterbox but the tea was good, the shortbread biscuits were lovely, she is incredibly independent and didn't tell too many embarrassing stories to TP and 30%. I'm not that great at small talk but 30% was excellent and made sure there were no awkward silences. We had a nice time and I am guessing we may well have her over to visit in the Spring.
Back at home I finally extracted the loin of pork from the cure, washed off the salt, wrapped it in muslin and hung it up in the kitchen. I'll leave it up there for a week before slicing, packaging and freezing.I also found a few moments to degrease the Enfield's steering stem …
… it looks like I have some more painting to do!
---* I could add hypoglycaemic to this list which might go some way to explaining the disdain
** Auntie Joyce really does merit a veritable plethora of Journal entries and perhaps I will start to jot these down. At this point what I do need to say is that she was the most excellent Godmother, concentrating very much on the mother aspect of the job title and totally ignoring the God element. As a child in the sixties and seventies she used to take me on some quite marvellous adventures including many visits to London. I recall visits to the zoo, the Natural History Museum, the Tutankhamen exhibition of 1972 and even a holiday in Scotland when I was barely eight years old. There was also the trip to Harrods for a diabetic Easter Egg when no other retailer sold them. It was bloody revolting but she cared enough to give it a go. Basically she spoiled me, having not had children of her own.
*** She was out when I dropped off a card and flowers at Christmas 2013