This morning was glorious again, bright blue sky and no wind, so I decided to do my fast walking early to catch the sun. Sadly, as soon as I got down to the sea, a bank of clouds started to cover the sky. They weren't threatening, but just grey. The sea started out flat and smooth, but by the time I turned for home, it had turned too. I could see the waves picking up, little by little, creeping over the sand and small stones up towards the bank of pebbles that builds up by the promenade. At this time of year, when we have some very high tides, there is always a sprinkling of stones which are thrown over onto the promenade by the waves. I guess that they are swept back onto the beach by the guys who come along every day to collect rubbish and general debris from the beach and promenade. It's a surprisingly tidy place, Hove, actually...
Later, the clouds disappeared and it was a bright blue day again, but as I was invited for lunch downstairs, I couldn't get out in it. My new downstairs neighbour had cooked an organic chicken with gorgeous roast potatoes, and had invited another friend from across the road. It was a nice, cosy lunch, accompanied by pink bubbly, and topped off with a sticky chocolate Nigella dessert and some rum truffles. Rich!
And too dericious. Ah well, the diet will have to start after the New Year.
I bought a Sunday Times on the way back from my walk, and read it over a cup of coffee. Two contrasting stories caught my eye: the terrible fate of the little boy, Archie Lee, who was savagely killed by the family rottweiler in Wakefield, which made me feel physically sick with horror. I can't imagine the awfulness of that accident - and the enduring guilt which will follow those poor people all their lives. Poor little darling, he didn't have a chance. And then I read about the 12 year-old Californian girl who survived a plane crash in Patagonia. She was found, hanging upside down in the wreckage, two days after the plane came down. How amazing that she was not killed. And how her family must have felt - first terrified and then euphoric. How do we make any sense of this? Little Archie died, young Frankie lived. It's a mad, mad world.
Listening to Radio 4 this morning, I heard the best of "I'm sorry I haven't a Clue" which had some absolute gems. One of the best was on alternative dictionary definitions, for example: Definite - street slang for hard of hearing; Onomatopoeia - the first signs of a weak bladder.
This evening I half watched a programme on J.K.Rowling, whom I greatly admire. I know she was a hard-up single parent when she started writing the Harry Potter books, and used to go to her local cafe and sit writing in her notebook, making one cup of coffee last, to save on her heating at home. The interviewer took her back to the flat where she was living with her daughter when she wrote that first book, and it was very emotional. No-one could have doubted how hard that was, and how much she was affected. She and I were both in tears. She may be incredibly rich now, but how richly she deserves every penny!