Breaking Bad, The Lonely Boot,Rosetta Stone and Shouting about Shouting.

It has been half term or what the mature students call reading week. Two of the glorious grandsons were home and retired to their sleeping quarters for long periods for what they called study. They emerged to eat occasionally looking shell shocked. I discovered that what they were really doing was watching Breaking Bad, which has forty episodes. As a story teller, I can tell you it is completely addictive and has a complex story line which is sheer genius, Wagnerian in its convoluted metaphors. The Sainted One and moi ration ourselves to one session with the box set per week. If ever you want to get a child off drugs this is the way to go!!! But then it is like all rehab, it substitutes one obsession for another.

One of the grandsons implied surprise that I had not expressed enough emotion about his departure for university, actually this is not true, I got rather depressed when he left, and often go into his room just to check that his things are there. This week my cleaning assistant and moi did a deep litter clean in the sleeping quarters. We are used to lonely socks, there is an ever growing octopus of these in a drawer, but odd size one hundred boots are quite another thing. There are many pairs in that room and one did not have a mate, so we threw it away. When the carpet cleaner came of course, we found the other one. It was decided to throw it away as well to hide the evidence of the ruthless culling. This kept me awake, and so I came down in the night before the sanitary engineers came to search the refuse. The pair are now united and merrily and conspicuously left on the landing, just to remind everyone of what a marvellous person I am.

A lovely visit to my extended family in Rome reminded me yet again of what a beautiful language Italian is, and how moronic I am not to speak it, considering that I have been surrounded by Italians for most of my life, so there I am with Rosetta Stone attached to my head. The day will come, oh yes it will when some of the secret conversations that take place will be busted, so watch out people!

The S.O . has been working in a manic faze clearing up the debris from the garden after a once in a twenty year pruning . He is more of an under the carpet type whereas moi likes it all out in the open in every sense of the word, so there is an air of disapproval. One area in which he does not hold back is the public address mode. By and large I am a public meeting and must be shouted at and down, plus all points must be gone over and queried. There was even lot of shouting about not shouting because I complained about this This is what politicians do of course, and once they learn the technique you will never change them. Twenty years out of that place, I am still being shouted at, as I am a deaf mute at the back of a village hall. Rosetta Stone is the way forward for me, I have suddenly seen this a reply in Italian would be excellent, but Rosetta will not have quite the repertoire… I called someone an arsehole in Italian the other day “Don Coglione,”  I meant to liken them to the Godfather of course … get out your dictionary!! Don Corleone.

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There is a God, and Vole Horror.

Laugh we are all in fits, I never thought I would learn to cook because my mother did sometimes, but sadly she dried her knickers on a rack above the aga and they dripped into the fried eggs which bubbled up all blue so I used to feed it all to the Pekinese.

I did some gardening the weekend and uncovered the most enchanting little vole in a flower pot, it scuttled off and another one popped its head out of a tiny hole which was presumably it’s front door. The Sainted One has to interfere of course and immediately covered up the little front door with a mound on earth. Honestly I nearly went for him with the gardening gloves, happily I was reassured at a gathering later of very posh persons ( I will not drop names because I am sufficiently confident of my  astonishing ancestry not to have to do so!!!!) that voles live underground, sure enough the next day there was a new front door. The SO still remains a perfidious villain.

My granddaughters wallet missing for a week has just been pushed through the letter box here complete with a twenty pound note .. you see what I mean about God.

Dame Kiri’s Dogs, Downton Abbey and The Dutch Cap On The Bathroom Shelf

Times have not changed, there are certain rules which apply when you visit people, one of them is that you do not bring uninvited dogs. This will always lead to trouble and ill feeling. Dame Kiri Te Kanawa , committed this faux pas it seemed when visiting the distinguished stately home used for the setting of Downton Abbey. Their Lord and Lady ships were not amused. I think the truth is she was getting into the role. In the drama Lord Grantham did not expect to eat with Nellie Melba who was to entertain them all after dinner “people did not socialize with singers and entertainers.” This was of course rectified by Lady Grantham, because she was American and more enlightened. The whole thing is full of clichés , they ring horribly true.

I remember my grandmother wearing an old lady nightdress like the ones Lady Grantham wears, and a ghastly little pink fishnet bonnet embroidered with sticky out roses. This was to keep her hair in that unattractive wave at night, in the morning the ladies were always trapped under a breakfast tray which would be strategically placed over there legs, no chance of nooky pre breakfast for them you see, that is why the men went out to kill things.

When I used to go and stay in these kinds of houses, the worst thing was being unpacked for and finding the Dutch cap put out on the bathroom shelf. I remember once a dinner party being halted while a vile hideous dragon of a woman, known as the “county monster” tapped the host (who smelt slightly of wee) on the shoulder to announce in a loud voice, “Grubby, I know what it is , it is Renoir’s Barmaid,” the allusion was of course to moi. I have never forgotten the embarrassment of it. Once a friend of mine went to stay with the Queen, imagine his shame when the butler who had unpacked for him was waiting in the bedroom, to announce in sepulchral tones that the hapless guest did not have a black tie. “You must sack you man” was the suggestion, before a substitute was brought on a silver tray.

If we visit people’s houses our “girls” as they are referred to are picked up by chauffeur and driven to a doggie hotel in the country. They go with a diet sheet and receive a wonderful hair do before they are delivered back on Monday by the proprietor Derek. I am very obsessed with “my girls” and bore people senseless with stories about them, if they are new acquaintances they think I am talking about humans, and give me funny looks; well so what actually? A lot of conversations are completely feckless. It’s better than the “Organ Recital” , that’s the health news in case you did not know. When people think that when you say politely, how are you, they really want to know want to know beats me. Best not to ask. A nightmare female I have been trying to avoid for years engaged me in fatuous conversation the other day, she asked me if I had had a fun year, and what exciting things I had done. Think about it, that is a very stupid question, my idea of fun would not in any way correspond with hers. I told her at length about the eating habits of the swallow, which the Sainted One had bored me with the previous day ( he saw it on the tele)….. she did not listen and after a bit I moved onto the co-existence of the perch and the water flea… I know about that you see because my grandson has done a thesis on it. There is a lot I know you see, and it worked brilliantly, boring vacuous woman sidled away and talked to a man with nasal hair and you know what I think about that .. they deserved each other.

A Walk in The Park, Fist fighting and Where does It All Come From?

I have discovered that the best time for my dogs to take me for a walk in the park is early morning. This is when serious dogs take their owners for a constitutional. You see some amazing sights I can tell you , the bloke with three dogs in a pram, the dog walkers with fabulous names like Lola, Spencer, Gerald and so on. Then there are the idiotic women who pay a beefy trainer to stand in the bandstand wearing boxing gloves while they jump up and down with their tits wobbling while they practice the art of fist combat. Is this to work off steam or what I ask myself ? You notice I did not use the word fisting because this as you will all know could be taken the wrong way. If these women want exercise they are welcome to come to my house and run up and down five flights of stairs all day. I have a nasty suspicion they are learning how to deal with horrible abusive partners, who knows? In any event it is money for jam for the trainers, “all the more power to their elbow.” Whoops shouldn’t say that either.

The Sainted One has developed a habit of saying “do you ever ask where it all comes from?” This maybe when the multitudinous family is assembled for another gigantic meal. Discretion prevails, and I do not say, “do you ever ask what I had to do and do do to acquire some of the goodies which abundant in this household?” I would not dream of alluding to the black Glama mink coat of course.

This would be bad taste.

I like to have a day off from the kitchen once a week, usually it will be in some eating establishment serving fish and chips or Italian. This week the S.O did not go along with this, and after a grisly evening of dreadful music, sitting on a hard seats with a fixed smile ( not the  seats) for two hours, I could not face the kitchen. I ended up eating a drive though MacDonald’s on my own, in the car outside the house in the rain, things are getting rather anal around here. I hope nobody saw me probably not because the windows steamed up, I do not know what the S. O. did, tinned soup I expect, the only allusion to this dismal event was a complaint about the smell in the car the next day. Maybe my life is on a downwards trajectory?

Well actually it is not, we had some very good news this week. One of the gorgeous blokes (another grandson) who is residing here at the moment did the Berlin Marathon in under three hours to raise money for cancer research, to which we all owe the remarkable treatment which benefits my brave wonderful daughter, that was the real good news. This boy is about to take a doctorate in river conservation, my cousin’s son, has just been accepted for a PHD and “wunderkind” is enjoying Manchester although he says he misses my food. There is more besides, but it does sound smug if one goes on, but then …. There is plenty of sh— as well, those six monthly scans come round so fast …..you see things in a different perspective. Also the heroine of my new book has just sung for Mr Handel of the George Frederick variety….. absolute joy, it’s my fantasy world …. but the two are connected, as all we clever wise people know.