Heaven knows why, but I was wide awake at six o'clock this morning. I did a quick hop and skip to my "on-suit" loo, and then an even quicker one back to bed - it was freezing out there. Then I lay under the cosy duvet expecting to drop off again. But no. An hour later I was still awake, making lists of Christmas things in my head - what food to buy and make, what presents to choose for friends etc.. And then I suddenly realized. I 'm excited! Not only that, but I'm happy and excited. I was singing songs to myself under the bedclothes, just like I did as a girl (when to poke your nose above the eiderdown was to practically get it frozen off, and the insides of the windows were decorated with icy ferns!). Anyway, there I was singing away cheerfully ("My Blue Heaven" followed by "It's the most Wonderful time of the Year" since you ask) and looking forward to getting on with the day. So now I'm sitting here with a lovely hot cup of tea, and looking forward to shopping! Who'd a thought it...
I was in the kitchen making my tea, when I looked out and saw dark dotted skeins of starlings, looping their way back from the Pier to wherever they hang out all day.
When I first came here, five years ago, I used to walk or cycle down to the pier at sunset, just to see this marvellous display: thousands of birds swooping around the old West Pier in amazingly co-ordinated flying manoeuvres, making fantastic patterns in the sky. Sadly, thousands of them were killed when someone set fire to the old Pier, four years ago. Apparently they wouldn't leave their old roosting place and so were burnt alive! Horrible.
Talking of early risers, I was chatting to our Solicitor yesterday and he told me that his alarm goes off at 4.45 AM every working day! He leaves for work an hour later, and cycles the 7 miles to Braintree. He was saying how much he looks forward to the Christmas break - he still wakes up early, but just rolls over and goes back to sleep again, presumably with a smile on his face. Simple pleasures.
I completely forgot to mention the Interest Rate cut on Thursday, probably because I was immersed in the work. Oh, but it does make me angry. This cut is so long overdue and the bastards have only done it now to avoid the real possibility of a financial crash: heaven forfend that it might hit their pockets. I don't know how the greedy bastards sleep at night. I was talking to Son about it on the phone, and his opinion was "F*** 'em." Succinct and to the point, I think.
This scandal with the Darwins is quite surreal. Now it emerges he was hiding out in another part of the "marital home" and nipped back and forth between the two, through a hole in the back of a wardrobe, making himself scarce when either of the sons was coming home. How bizarre! Mrs Darwin must have been completely potty about him to go along with that one. And I perfectly understand that the sons must feel both angry and betrayed. Real life is certainly stranger than fiction - and it's going to make the most wonderful film, isn't it?
Yesterday in Dombey and Son - oh catastrophe: Florence has left the house 'forever', weeping and in a terrible state, the new Mrs Dombey has swept out haughtily, as is her wont, and poor, brave Susan Nipper has been thrown out! Mr Dombey is left to ponder, in solitary splendour. Not that introspection or self-examination have ever seemed to trouble him, but I wonder what's next. This is one of the Dickens novels I haven't read before, so I'm waiting with bated breath for Monday's episode.
Finally, just heard on the news that a Religious Think Tank (now that is a contradiction in terms) has discovered that most young people haven't a clue where Jesus was born! Why they would be asking the question I don't know, except that it's topical in the run up to Christmas, I suppose. Do we need reminding?