February already, the year is picking up pace. And today was sunny and perfect for walking by the sea. But first I had a duty - the new owner of Son's ex-flat had some mail which had arrived for both Son and Daughter, so I had to go and pick it up. I wasn't looking forward to it, because that flat has used up a lot of my energy of late, and I really didn't want to see it again. However, I gritted my teeth. It wasn't so bad, except the place is so full of stuff you can hardly move. She is obviously a hoarder and is still working her way through packing cases. There is far too much furniture, and the bathroom is her "boxroom". I gulped a cup of coffee, made some polite conversation and high-tailed it out of there as quickly as I could. Never again!
Then I whisked up into Town and returned a cashmere sweater to Primark - it had looked good on the hanger, but made me look like a stuffed pink pudding. I opted instead for some black linen trousers, and then walked down to the beach cafe. I felt like an escapee from prison. KT made me some cheese on toast and I sat and chatted in the sun until I felt more like myself. Although it was very bright and sunny, there was a freezing wind ruffling the sea and I only walked half way back. Grandson would have loved it though, because all along the beach were huge grabbers and diggers loading the stranded wood onto massive trucks. It drew quite a crowd of onlookers, most of whom were voicing their disgust. The wood had been well and truly trashed by these giant machines; all the perfect planks (which people had been warned not to take) were being turned into spoilt and split matchwood. What a scandal, and what a terrible waste. It only served to reinforce my views on Insurance Companies; they never lose and almost never pay out. How sad that all that perfectly good wood had to be destroyed for the sake of an Insurance Claim!
As I arrived back home, my Student was also arriving with his Father, who has come to Brighton for the weekend, to see how his Son is getting on. It was quite funny, because they were carbon copies of each other. The Father has longer and curlier hair than my Student, and more of a beard and moustache - and he is kind of squarer and heavier - and older of course. We shook hands and I said I hoped he would enjoy his visit. He laughed and said "My Son tells me you are a good cooker." I laughed and said, pointing, "There's the cooker, I'm the cook!" It was all very good natured, and they went off happily, with their furry feet, to the Hotel du Vin.
The end of the day was very exciting - though I think I really must be hard of hearing! My phone rang at about 6pm, and my neighbour from downstairs informed me that she had accidentally set off her burglar alarm. Until then I hadn't heard it.
I went downstairs, but couldn't offer any help because it has never gone off in the five years I've been here. I phoned my ex-neighbour, down in Bath, but she couldn't help either, because she never used it. Hopeless. I must say that it was pretty deafening for about half an hour, until my neighbour got a man in to shut it off. Oh the relief when it went quiet. I came back upstairs, poured a large glass of wine and unplugged the phone!