The last four days have flown by - the house is heaving with female hormones again, and it is just like old times.
The senior daughter arrived back from London on Sunday night with a surprise cargo in the car - the junior daughter and Possetta Baddog. The junior daughter had struggled up to Oxford for a christening, and had run out of steam, but was supposed to be returning to London. The senior daughter had an inspiration, had made a detour, and picked her up with the Baddog and brought them home. So - I have gone from a quiet orderly life, back in time to a family life. Unfortunately, as the Baddog had only recently returned to London, Billy and Maud are having a huge sulk "What the Dickens is she doing back here again"? So - the atmosphere is charged, crackling with tension between the four-legged inhabitants.
I escaped yesterday, and had a wonderful treat in London. I went down by train, very unusual for me, but the senior daughter took me to the station and collected me again at the end of the day, so, I was able to enjoy my lunch with impunity. I belong to our Constituency Patrons' Club, which holds an annual lunch in a London Club each November. Yesterday, it was held at the Garrick Club, amazing, because it is, of course, MEN ONLY!
It is the most amazing place, the walls thick with portraits, my eyes lit upon a Zoffany, heaven - it was almost too much to take in. We were allowed to peek into one or two rooms other than the private dining room where we lunched. In a way, I rather like the idea of a Club for men only, I am beginning to weary of the, to me, strident call for men and women to be totally equal. We are not, never will be, and please let's keep some distance and enjoy a few old traditions.
I was asked to say Grace before lunch - me? What to choose, the senior daughter helped me to select something appropriate. All the way up on the train I was trying to memorise the words, I think the man sitting beside me thought I was a sixpence short of a shilling, talking to myself under my breath for nearly an hour. Anyway - when the time came, I couldn't remember a word, and had to use the crib kindly written out for me by the senior daughter - Benedic, Domine, dona tua quae de largitate sumus sumpturi Amen. Rolls off the tongue quite superbly. A short moment of fame for Aurora.
Lunch was heaven, Warm Tart of Bacon and Shrimp, Smoked Haddock Souffle with Chive Sauce, Roast Rib of Aged Aberdeen Angus with Rosemary, Shallot and Claret Sauce, Tarte Tatin of Jonogold Apples with Calvados Ice Cream. Totally divine - these days I have few such treats, so every mouthful was savoured, each sip of wine rolled round the tongue. Oh, joy! Our Chairman is a wonderful bon viveur, and takes huge trouble organising the venues, and the wonderful food and wines. Long may it continue - but probably not for me - it will be an unaffordable extravagance in my new life to come. I am lucky to have enjoyed it all thus far.
I tottered back to St Marylebone to catch my train, and dozed all the way back to my home station.
Today - back down to earth with a bump - I have to put my case as to why I need my Barrister to apply to the Courts for the restitution of my maintenance. The law is an ass - apparently it will be a fight. My finances will be gone over with a fine toothcomb, can't have this, can't have that - I have even been told thst I can't claim vets' fees, and my animal feed bill is too high. Dear God - and the philanderer runs five cars, a mistress, and hides his money. I despair. Where is the nearest soup kitchen? Shall I make an appointment to euthanaise my 6 animals - no hold on, the bill for that is not allowable.
17 hours ago