Despise though I might the GCHQ watching of us all, I am minded to think that just a check through my emails when I get back from a trip might give anyone, with an ounce of sense, an idea of the life of a Sussex Housewife.

You don’t really notice the emails every day but when they mount up after a while, you can get a picture of the woman behind them.

So, here we go – a run down of the emails I get:

House of Fraser – now I am a hell-bent charity shopper but there are times when I go for a 70% off sale and if I do, HoF do it well. Last year in a moment of insomnia at about 3 am, I bought a Calvin Klein coat reduced from £350 to £79 – and I love it even though I already had a coat for every season/day/mood/colour/outfit.

I do have to say that one of my coats was bought by my mum from Oxfam about 40 years ago and I still wear it with enjoyment.

Mr Fothergill’s Seeds – up until very recently, I was a lacklustre gardener. However, the kind attention and instruction of my good friend over the road who told me what to do and how to do it, has changed all that. Now I can spend a day in the garden, dividing my irises and planting a hundred bulbs.

God knows what I originally bought from Mr Fothergill and why I signed up for his emails but I would have known nothing about what to do with them. Now I happily google what to do with my crocosmia and already the garden is looking better.

Thanks I have to say to Juliet, rather than Mr Fothergill.

Trip Advisor – now I know people are snitty about Trip Advisor but I find it a useful check. Once my best beloved booked us into a hotel in Lewes so that we had a place to change and sleep the night around a friend’s wedding. He didn’t check Trip Advisor who in no uncertain terms would have told him to think again and book anywhere but this place.

To be fair, it was billed as the oldest coaching in Lewes and was on the high street – but by god it was awful.

After waiting a while in the hallway – avoiding the sticky carpets, the jukeboxes and the very drunk people (at 12 noon) we were told that the room we had booked was unavailable because the previous people had trashed it.

Thank the lord.

I asked to use the bathroom to change and found that its definition of a shower was a hose attached to the taps….

We drove home that night.

Trip Advisor keep extolling me to add new reviews with the promise that I will get another badge – I am not sure what these badges are for but I like the idea anyway so I review away and apparently 20,000 people have seen my reviews.

I am not sure I believe that but I carry on anyway.

Refugee Action – now this is my street cred of emails. I read them and sign petitions but don’t do much else. But I do read and respond to the Rural Refugee Network which, as I might have said before, is a fab small charity which aims to make people welcome here.

Then there are all those sites asking for you to sign a petition of some sort – proper wages, the fight against people trafficking, grammar schools and so on and so on.

I sign, some of them, and then I go to Twitter and read Brian Bilston, the twitter poet and the tweets about the Archers and then I go to Facebook and check up on what other people are doing.

I had promised myself that I would never post a picture of any meal I ever had on Facebook on the grounds that I hated other people doing it – why do I want to see your breakfast?

But then we stopped in Thirsk for a late lunch – not least because we had misread the atlas and confused kilometres for miles and didn’t want to arrive at my sister’s too early.

Anyway, the best beloved was dragged away from the reasonable sandwich shop, protesting mildly, and made to walk a few yards to the next cafe where we had a wonderful lunch.

And I put on Facebook a picture of my quiche and salad – it was just so beautifully presented – and then I used their wifi to look at my emails……..


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