For someone who thrives on routine and ritual, the current ten Sundays in a row - from Christmas Eve to the second of January of course - are trying, to say the least. I am ready for a sabbatical from Sabaths, particularly since, at my age, the last lot feel like only a month or so ago. I think I must never have lost that baby thing when you begin to realise that the a) of hunger will be met by the b) of lunch in what one would see as the inevitable if one were old and sophisticated enough to know the concept and, thus, the word for it. Anyway, on my eve of New Year's list of cons and pros, ten days of Sundays are conissimo. During the enforced idleness I have been reviewing the pleasures and displeasures from the vantage point of three score and many more then ten to see how they differ from those of two score. I start with the toughest of them all: the Wizard of Cyberspace. I hardly dare to put his name to paper so superstitious of his power am I, but I feel it's only fair to tell you that this very enterprise has already come a cropper once. Just as I was luxuriating in a reliving of my first delight, with two fell swoops all was eradicated. Somehow, somewhere I seem to bring my wrist down on the bottom of the keyboard and the screen of prose flows straight out in to the ether. I may have pressed a neurotic fifty times on 'save': saved it has not. The Guru says I must have done something. I know not what. I wish I did. Anyway, I had been telling you of the great pleasure of getting up in the middle of the night to find it is 4.10 am and I can crawl back in to the lovely warm nest for lots more night. When I was forty, I would rail against the middle of the night wake up call, now I actively will myself to do so simply for that delicious gift of more bedtime. Elderflower cordial when I am thirsty comes close to re-bedding. Milk choclate with nuts will do it for me, too, although, truth be told, that delight comes with a contra-indication because I am left feeling slightly nauseous. There is delight in watching my cat watch me prepare for bed and as soon as I am in and stationary leaping on top of me to settle for the night. She is the beater when it comes to routine and ritual; from under the bedside lamp,she picks her way through and around the impedimenta on the bedside table and lands on top of me, always with her back to me although she is always front ways up during the day. People who are close to me hesitate to have work done in their house which would necessitate moving out for a time because their seriously ancient cat's life is so ruled by ritual that there is only one side of the staircase she will walk down and relocating is, therefore, out of the question.
Of dontlights there are so many I don't know where to start. If I weren't too afraid of his power to name him, You Know Who would be high on the list. I dislike being called 'Liz' or even 'Elizabeth' by the young lady on the Gas Board switchboard. However, I lack the courage to say, "I prefer,' Mrs. Mountford' if you please".I don't like stepping out of a warm shower in to a cool rest of bathroom. I don't like brown envelopes and I like even less postmen who leave a card saying they have taken my parcel away because I wasn't in to receive it. Yes I was and, no, he didnt ring the bell. I don't like sprouts and at my age I don't have to eat them. I hate narrow, steep stairs and have to choose restaurants by the location of their facilities.
These are a few of my favourite things and rather fewer of my unfavourites. More to follow one of these days. Prynhawn da. PS I do like blogging.