Cakes and books and knitting (sung to tune of sex and drugs and rock ‘n’ roll)

It is getting to that stage of proceedings where the word ‘surfeit’ keeps popping into my brain.

I am like a giant, festive basking shark, slouching about the house, hoovering snacks into my mouth idly, and then gliding off for another go round.

I am not complaining, but it is at that point in proceedings where even I, mistress of gluttony, am thinking that I really ought to go for a walk, or something, if only to counteract the morning’s panettone based breakfast.

I could so easily expire from surfeit. Just like a medieval king. It would be fair to say that this would not be an unexpected way for me to shuffle off my mortal coil. I suspect that if Jason and the children opt for a tomb stone (and this is debatable, given their penchant for the unusual but effective) it will have chiselled into it: ‘It was what she would have wanted.’

The plan for today is much the same as on previous days. Apart from the fact that I am determined to go out for a small, brisk, waddle. I intend to read, read, read, possibly watch a bit of telly, and then read some more.

At some point I might break the monotony by doing a bit of light knitting, given that I am no nearer finishing the blanket I was knitting for my mum than I was two weeks ago. I blame the fact that I am knitting a beige bit. I do not like beige and it is hard to work up the enthusiasm, frankly.

I am being very good about the knitting though. I will not buy more wool, or start my great jumper project until after the blanket is complete, so I am hoping to spur myself on in a disciplinary sort of way.

I have hit a rich seam of enjoyable books this week, which is taking the shine off of doing anything else at all. I loved Mary Wesley’s ‘The Camomile Lawn’. Why have I not read her stuff before? It reminded me of the Cazalet saga but squished up and with a lot more sex. I was amazed to find, upon googling her, that Mary Wesley didn’t start writing until she was 71. Mary Whitehouse would not have approved at all.

Then I read Monica Dickens; ‘No More Meadows’. I adore Monica Dickens and was delighted to find a novel I hadn’t read in a box of junk at an antique fair. It was very sad, but very good. It reminded me rather of Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates, only more beautifully written and subtle. If you’ve never read her, I do recommend reading her memoirs, One Pair of Hands, One Pair of Feet, and My Turn to Make the Tea, before you start on the novels. They’re wonderful.

I read ‘The Time of My Life: The Rachel Riley Diaries’ by Joanna Nadin, for review purposes. I have always avoided her books as I dearly love the Georgia Nicolson books by Louise Rennison, and thought these would be a pale imitation. I was wrong. They are similar in lots of ways, but just as good, and much older in terms of content. I was banished to the sofa last night for hooting with laughter every thirty seconds. The Time of My Life is the last book in the series. I am going to go and get the first one pronto.

Now I am reading Angela Thirkell’s High Rising. I have never read anything by her before, but someone compared her favourably with E.F. Benson’s Mapp and Lucia, and as I love Mapp and Lucia with an unholy passion I thought I’d give it a go. I’m only three chapters in, but am loving it already.

Tilly is at a friend’s until this evening. The other children are engrossed in their Christmas presents. Tallulah’s kazoo playing is coming along (I can’t say nicely, but it is coming along), and she is spending a lot of time drawing. I am highly entertained by the fact that her subject matter tends to veer wildly from hearts and flowers to zombies leaking brains, and daggers dripping with blood. She ranges far and wide. Like a free range chicken.

Oscar is eyebrows deep in Asterix. He got three, what he calls ‘ominous’ editions for Christmas, and has polished off one and has nearly finished another. He also got a stack of vintage Beano and Dandy comics from granny, which he is poring over. To our great delight he has misread Beryl the Peril as ‘Burly’ the Peril. In between he is being educated by Jason on the subject of films every boy must watch. Yesterday he watched the first Star Wars film. Today there seems to be some debate over The Empire Strikes Back or Austin Powers.

Thank God the house is big enough for me to withdraw from the fray.

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