I remembered a cousin's birthday just in time to send her a birthday card. This is not at all to be taken for granted; I forget birthdays and other special days more often than not. Last week I forgot the birthday of a really good friend. If somebody's birthday comes round before I turn the page on my perpetual birthday calendar - the numbers run consecutively from one to 30 or 31, without days or weeks - that's it, I have to grovel in abject apology.
Benno and I went for a walk in the Nature Reserve. The sunlight on the frozen lake accentuated the reed bed fringe and the reflection of the sky turned the water a deep blue instead of the usual muddy grey.
I watched a duck slide halfway across the lake before giving up. and disappearing in he reeds. She gave me an idea for a poem, most of which I remembered until I got home.
On the way out I walked through a willow thicket and saw that the pussy willow buds were beginning to burst into life; against the background of blue sky they looked as if the stems had small lights attached to them. Cat's eyes, maybe?
In the afternoon I started to write an article for the local paper on how we had come to live in Valley's End. It reminded me of happy times and all the good reasons why we are still here. The article flowed easily and I shall have it finished before the deadline.
I love the Sherlock Holmes series filmed in the 1980s, with the inimitable Jeremy Brett as Sherlock and the craggy faced Eric Porter as Prof. Moriarty. All the actors in the films outdo each other in hamming or camping it up; I can't get enough of Sherlock's twitchy lips or Moriarty's evil eyebrows, not to mention Dr. Watson's sweet and utterly unbelievable devotion to Sherlock. An hour and a bit well-spent and wholly enjoyable, particularly because
I finished off the remains of last Christmas' marzipan while watching. Germans eat Lübecker Marzipan at Christmas. I can't get it in England at any other time of year so I always buy an extra loaf or two to last throughout winter. It's a very sweet, almondy, confection, not really very good for dental health or my hips. Being good can be so boring!
I try to read at least one poem every day, usually more. Yesterday I opened a poetry book on the lines "Dull, dull, hungry cloth-head dullard!Each day I'm dull ......." (A Pre-Breakfast Rant by Andrew Greig) and realised that, for once, I did not feel like that myself. Not hungry because I'd eaten marzipan loaf and not dull because I'd been for a walk in the bracing cold.
The weather is set to remain cold for the weekend; We feed a lot of birds and the supply of bird food was running low. We split up to shop in different shops and both came back to the car with bags of seeds and nuts. The birds will be happy and watching them perform on the bird table makes me happy.
Ergo: another tick on the pleasure chart. I want you to believe that there were clouds of birds, but the minute I opened the window to take their photo they all flew off. It was too cold to stand in the open window for long, so you'll have to imagine a dozen and a half of tits, chaffinches, sparrows, bramblings, a pair of nuthatches, some greenfinches and a great bullying blackbird.
The sun shone all day, a very rare occurrence in our narrow valley. Clouds and mist hang low and cling to the sides of the hills on both sides of the river, leaving us struggling under a dirty grey blanket for weeks on end.
I finally opened "The Help", which one of my gentlemen friends gave me to read. Three very nice gentlemen insist on improving my mind by bringing me books to read, independently of each other. Beloved is not jealous at all, in fact, he feels flattered at the cerebral attention other men pay his wife. I am left with the trouble of reading the books because all three gentlemen like to hear my opinion afterwards. "The Help" appears to be a fairly easy read. Although I have only reached page 60, I get the impression that it will be whites who solve the 'colour' question. I hope not.
It was a great pleasure to open my blog and find sixty lovely people had replied to the post about flattery, leaving very appreciative comments. (It's 64 now) Thank you very much, what would I do without you. (Probably not indulge in spending quite so much of my free time over my blog, that's what). I am very grateful.
Absolutely scraping the barrel now, all I can offer at number 13 is that I am very glad to have found 12 reasons to make yesterday pleasant and that I now have some cobbled-together material for this post. It's not as easy as I thought to come up with a list of thirteen anythings; complaining would probably come more naturally.