So, here is a typical Reluctant Sussex Housewife day.
Be warned, dear reader, this is not that exciting, but what can you expect from a blog that tells you on the label that this is housewife-ness and deepest Sussex.
It is also a rather long day and so you might want to go and do something more interesting or self-improving.
So, the Aga is on. I do miss it in the summer but realise that you can’t have a large oil-burning block sitting in your kitchen with the back door open and sitting in just your knickers because it is just too hot.
But now, today, even with the lovely warm weather we have been having, it is now back on and there is a chicken casserole in it.
The first casserole of the autumn.
(The best beloved’s son and girlfriend were down at the weekend and wanted a fire – we lit one. The first fire of the autumn.)
But before I could get the casserole together, I had a few other things to do.
Get my BB and his car with a problem to the garage for 8 am, and then him to the station to go and do grown-up policy things in London.
Then I had to get to a meeting on health and safety and catch up with some news, more of that later, over the Downs and far away.
That in turn, required me to look casually competent, a look I don’t often have to do for dog walking/Oxfam.
Girls, that did require some thought – in the old days, that kind of ‘uniform’ would have been second nature but these days, I have to give it a bit of thought – not that anyone noticed I suspect.
Dog walked, BB on train, I found myself very early for H&S appointment, so I nipped into Sainsbury’s for the chicken (see casserole above) and incidentally a useful couple of bras – as you do.
So, the H&S stuff was in relation to The Garden Show which happens in June and I work there for a few days with many very nice people and especially my lovely friend.
Her role is to smooth the ruffled feathers of exhibitors and mine is to behind her making equally soothing noises whilst keeping an eye out for trip hazards and missing children.
I love working at The Garden Show and am there because of my late friend – she who plied me with wine and then, dear reader, imagine my surprise the next day, I realised I had agreed to be the H&S person.
Should I believe in people looking down, as it were, I would think that she would be splitting her corsets seeing me looking like someone who knew what they were talking about – but hey, the man who did know what he was talking about said we were fine, and there was nothing much he needed to advise us to do differently.
So, to run an event you have to have an eye on the big picture and the finer details and the great woman who runs it now, does just that.
She keeps an eye on the financial disaster unfolding for an exhibitor, she knows all the car parkers by name, she remembers the name of the young person who came for a bit of holiday money and wants him back next year.
And today, she had her eye on her daughter’s broken leg – no, skateboards, alcohol and children’s parties do not mix – the terms and conditions she needed to amend, a couple of dogs and their relationship, as well as being more thoughtful and smarter about H&S than I was.
So, enough about how great The Garden Show people are. I am sure you don’t need more eulogising, dear reader.
But just another smidgen of that: In the margins of that meeting, I caught up with stuff about people who are part of the family of The Garden Show – and yes I know that is a cliché but it is true – nepotism at its best.
Two of those people are seeing each other and do you know what, that was the best of news. Two very smart, funny, lovely, bright people and the news that gives you that warm feeing of things being good.
Dear reader, you can seriously give up at this point and help yourself to a large glass of wine or even go for a long walk, because there is more….
So, off back to Oxfam.
Now, I have been away for two weeks and it seems that in that time, there have been a large number of clear outs from schools and homes, of books they don’t want.
I thought I was on duty for the afternoon – not on the till, but clearing those books.
Boxes, bags, piles, tables, benches of them
Art books, paperback fiction, children’s books, out of date cookery books, Readers’ Digest books of Facts dated 1989, atlases with missing pages and missing modern countries ( John Le Carre era cold war atlases), a ( another bloody) collection of the complete works of Dickens, jigsaws with missing bits, aged library books, books from other charity shops with 50p written in pen on the inside…..
And more and more were coming in.
I slipped out to get milk for tea and bumped into someone I know and asked if he and his wife wanted to come for supper.
He runs the ‘proper’ bookshop and she is a really interesting woman who is helping set up the Harting Supper Club – I am sure I have told you about that before.
That’s what Petersfield is like, you bump into people – and that is nice and very Waitrose.
Anyway, back at Oxfam, I was upstairs and my colleague downstairs and we were filling sack after sack, after sack, after box, after sack – you get the picture.
In the end, I didn’t have to work the whole afternoon as I am working all day tomorrow – and do you know, there will still be boxes, bags, tables of books.
So I came home and put that casserole in the bottom of the Aga.
Meanwhile – and I do suggest you give up at this point because even I am getting bored – I sold a teak sideboard.
When we got back from Brussels and France, stuff didn’t fit in the house and ended up in the garage.
For some years, I have been planning on selling the teak sideboard but never had managed to get the bloody thing out of the garage – it is very heavy.
This weekend, the BB’s son and he got it out. I photographed it and put it on Gumtree and Ebay.
Clearly, I did not ask enough because it had sold – several times over – a few hours later.
Jim was first come, so first served. He turned up this evening and told me about how he and his wife had enlarged their house and now needed stuff to put in it.
He told me this as he peered into the garage and looked to see if there was anything else he might be able to use/buy.
And then he said, ‘ I read your blog.’
Good Lord, dear reader…..
So, I am getting the casserole out and awaiting the return of the BB and then it is tea and bed – another scintillating day in the life of a Sussex Housewife.
P.S. BB came home, ate some casserole and then turned Aga down to the minimum……