We have been celebrating my father in law’s 80th birthday this evening so this is a quickie that I hope will be posted in time before midnight turns it into a pumpkin. Or some such squash.

We went to Chapter One which is, in my view, the best restaurant for miles around. It’s funny being there because we held our wedding reception in its previous incarnation as the New Fantail. When we went to try it out on a Saturday lunchtime about a year before the wedding, the clientele consisted mainly of elderly residents of the two “exclusive” private estates that flank the restaurant.

In they lumbered, accompanied by cushions – we could only speculate on why they had to bring cushions to sit on – and had starters and puddings. How funny were those old people to people in their 20s and now we’re half way there! I refuse to groan when I stand up or sigh when I sit down and certainly shall not be carrying my personalised cushion to restaurants. Not for a while yet, anyway.


I started the day well. Now that the laundry-generating Boywonder is no longer with us, there is very little ironing to do, especially since poor MsDD has spent two school days this week in her PJs. I can’t bear to listen to the Today programme in the mornings. Journalists and politicians and their point-scoring slanging matches put me in an angry mood for the rest of the day. So I listened to Cabin Pressure instead. If you’ve not come across it, the Radio 4 series, brilliantly crafted by John Finnemore ended recently after several years and, not having heard all of the episodes, I treated myself to the box set of CDs. I seem to be treating myself to a lot of stuff lately. Do try and catch it, it’s brilliantly clever and funny.

Then it was time for my mammogram. These sorts of things no longer embarrass me much and, after all, it’s not as excruciating as a smear test, is it? But being well blessed in the chesticle department does cause logistical problems when trying to squish each separate bosom into the x ray machine whilst simultaneously contorting the rest of the body to keep it out of the picture. It’s a bit uncomfortable for a little while but nothing to bother about really. And given my recent brush with the possibility of BRCA1, I felt grateful for this amenity.


Poor MsDD had to miss the posh meal out tonight. Being ill has meant that she has missed out on planning an essay due in tomorrow morning. We’ve asked her History teacher to let us know if she has any concerns about Ms Spacecadet’s organisational abilities. Everyone has concerns about Ms Spacecadet’s organisational abilities. Luckily she writes well and likes History so she should be able to make a reasonable fist of the three essays that have to be done in the next week or so but it’s worrying nonetheless to miss class discussions on structuring essays.

I am trying not to fret but we never stop fretting, do we? I gave her yet another lecture in the car about organisation and getting her bluddy act together. I sound like such a bore, a fishwife. I can see why I annoy her; I annoy myself. But I contend that if she wants me to stop banging on, she should sort her life out. And if I don’t say anything, no-one else will until it’s too late. It’s an onerous duty but still a duty.


I must share this with you. The PM programme on Radio 4 were doing some item tonight on the lack of concert halls in the UK with appropriate acoustics. They broadcast three clarinettists, each one in a different concert hall for listeners to compare. The clarinettists played excerpts from probably the best known classical clarinet piece, Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto, one of the last pieces he wrote.

The Mozart Clarinet Concerto is a favourite in this house, with our Clarinettist-in-Residence and her mamma. And a certain flatcoated retriever. Oscar was sprawled as usual on the sitting room floor and started making what I thought were groaning noises and then I realised that he was humming along to the music. Don’t forget, he was present in MsDD’s practices of the concerto so it’s a very familiar piece. He hummed like this for a while then sat up, threw his head back and started to sing along to the music. I kid you not. That’s one musical dog we have there and the Mozart Concerto, it would appear, is his favourite piece.

Raffles does not sing. Yet.