Thursday, 27 September 2007

Keeping up Appearances

Dear Diary....

Well, I'm trying to keep up the habit of writing more regularly, but in truth not a great deal to say. The weather has turned cold and autumnal, though for the last couple of days has been bright - as I write this the low sun is streaming into the railway carriage. If the weather holds until the weekend I may need to make another pre-sunrise excursion with the camera. Of course as we head into winter, and the days become darker, this will become easier, at least without having to get up too early.

Had a nice lunch yesterday with Henry, one of the very few who has made the jump from "client" to "friend". Truth be told, I've been feeling slightly under-the-weather all week, so bangers, mash and gravy was just the ticket to warm my aching limbs.

Jacqueline has started going to the gym once again, though I dashed her plans last night by not arriving home from the client's until quite late. I had promised myself that I would not stay late at the client's any more, but there you go...

At some point soon I am going to have to make a decision on their renewal offer. I am thinking about it a lot, and all other things being equal it is clear what I'd like to do, but the trouble is that all other things are not necessarily equal....

On the plus side, I have finally found an online French grocery with whom I have been able to replenish stocks of my wonderful Soft Cashmere tea. Ordered last Thursday and arrived yesterday, and at what appears only to be quite a nominal markup on the supermarket prices. I noted that these guys can also supply the shower gel, shampoo and conditioner that I consume and that are part and parcel of every trip to France, although it has to be said that after the summer holiday I've still got about a year's stock of all of these.

We had a gardner come round in an attempt to tidy up. I've always found gardeners very hit-and-miss - or to put it another way we had one guy who was excellent, and all the others have been crap. So, deliberately leaving this guy under no illusion that there would be follow-on work if we were impressed, I said to him that I wanted tolimit my outlay in the first instance to £100, and to see how far he got. I'd have thought that was sufficient incentive for him to do a decent job (there's probably at least £300 worth of work to be done in the garden) but it appears not. Even our thriving magnolia tree was left with a "tuft" on the grounds that the guy couldn't reach the very top. As it happens I have got a telescopic lopper which will finish the job nicely at the weekend, but the point is that I'm not the professional gardener here!

So we're almost back at square one, inasmuch as although the front has been tidied we're still left with a back garden requiring lots of TLC (trimming, lopping and cutting!) Looks like I'll have to get busy with the cutters myself, although this is a disposal nightmare and will take out a weekend. Or, do we just keep looking?

Ah, time to hunker down for a little kip before the train gets into London.

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