For the past two weeks, I have digesting the heartening responses to my last blog, Mirror Mirror on the Wall, and I have realised that men, on the whole, are like petulant, spoilt children. Someone used the expression, "Throwing his toys out of the pram" in the comments. How very true, and how pathetic. Do you know something? I blame some of the mothers of the bad boys. They treat them as if they are little gods, and what happens? Nine times out of ten they turn out as bastards. That is an appalling sexist generalisation - but in it, there is a grain of truth.
As usual, I am sitting in my womb of a kitchen, nothing new in that. I think sometimes that I am glued to the kitchen chairs. I have been up to the church, where I have been doing a pedestal for the Remembrance Day service tomorrow. I found this so therapeutic - it has been a lovely autumn day, and the dogs and I walked up the lane to the church, kicking the damp fallen leaves and enjoying the pale sunshine which denotes an autumn afternoon slowly drawing in.
I had picked a basket of laurel, two sorts of ivy, the kind with glossy leaves and dark berries and great trails of the creeping variety, and resinous, powerful smelling bunches of rosemary from my garden. The dogs love running round the churchyard, whilst I get to work in the church. Unfortunately, Billy has decided to be very protective of me, so when we hear the clang of the iron gate telling us there is a visitor, he flies across the grass, his deep throaty bark making everyone jump.
I made an arrangement out of all the greenery, and then attached the poppies with their wires to the leaves, and to the great trails of ivy hanging down from the pedestal. I have done this every year, but this time I wanted to make it special because of all the wonderful young men who have been killed in Afghanistan. The pungent smell of the crushed rosemary, for remembrance, had me deep in thought.
Every day that we have heard of yet more casualties, and seen the pictures of the young men who had been killed, and heard the moving interviews with members of their families, I have felt immeasurably sad. Whatever we think of the state of our country today, what fine young soldiers we produce, of whom we can be so proud.
The dogs and I are tired today. We have spent two days in London with the junior daughter. Posetta Baddog was less than amused to see the country cousins, as usual, but they all survived the beady looks, and silent snarls. Billy and Maud are not town dogs, and taking them for walks on leads is not easy - Billy tugs until I think my arm will loosen in its socket, and Maud winds the lead constantly round lampposts, and almost garrottes herself. Then - horrors - a squirrel will appear, and all hell breaks loose. And as for sleep, well. the junior daughter has a double bed, which I share, but so do Posetta Baddog, Maud and Billy. No wonder we are suffering from sleep deprivation.
I am about to light a fire, decide how I shall cook my organic chicken, possibly just simply roasted with butter, tarragon and lemon, with some steamed broccoli, and I shall choose a bottle of good red wine, possibly a Medoc. I should be tackling a mountain of ironing, but never do today what you can do tomorrow is today's motto. I do feel at peace today - as the months go by, I find so many simple things give me pleasure, and despite all the drama, I am beginning to unwind and find my feet again. The senior daughter has booked her flight home from New York, and will be home in two weeks' time. I am so looking forward to seeing her.
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