Life’s smalls

Yesterday washed picture rail, window sill and frame, and skirting boards in 2nd bedroom, and before that, got rid of the paint and plaster dust which is still coating my bronchioles and will probably poison me for the next month. The Home and Garden Centre on the High St always has helpful 15 year old boy Saturday staff who can help you find the right, as it happened, hoover bag. Only a few hours of decent light in which to work these days. Today I glossed some of the woodwork and Matt primed the revolting window frame ready for more gloss.

We listened to a Radio 4 documentary about Prokofiev. His Wikipedia article totally omits reference to his torture after he returned to the USSR (either recklessly or naively, at the height of Stalin’s Terror) and how he was forced, on pain of further torture and death, to compose for the party. I thought of Arthur Koestler’s Peter Slavek who was also tortured, and Arthur Koestler himself who, though willingly in the pay of the Party as a writer, couldn’t get them to publish much of his work due to his ‘errors’ of outlook – something he found it quite convenient to mention when he was trying to disown The Party after something like ’38.

In order to move our meters from the kitchen pantry thing so we can put the fridge (currently outside in the conservatory, causing great inconvenience and heat loss), we have to get an electrician to redo the main ring (or something), which will involve tearing out significant bits of our work to date. Curses.

Suprisingly our first Freeplay clockwork wind-up radio has given up the ghost. Sad to see it go, but it is ancient and has outlasted expectation. Wonder if it could be mended.

On the way home from EJ and J’s yesterday morning (dinner at Nam An in Wanstead the evening before involved fake chicken and fake pork, and then we drunk until after 12 at The George) we went looking for local horseradish at the ‘farm shop’ and found three varieties of local honey (which I don’t eat).

Spoke to the owner of our new Costcutters today (opened the other month where Leather Studio used to be). He’d reduced the size by half with a shelving partition. Asked him how business was. He said it was very bad and that he was in the final stages of selling up – at a £30k loss. He put it down to the lack of a tube station in the vicinity (I put it down to the Somerfield and the newsagent next to the bus stop). Asked him about his views on the Eastern European grocery (see earlier) and he thought they were blighted, but at the same time hadn’t grasped that they were a niche market.

Should also be recorded that there was a violent tornado in London last Thursday, which ripped at least one house apart somewhere in north-west London. In my back garden, glass smashed and a pot plant overturned.

Other than that, I’m cold and seeing as warm Matt is at the gym nothing is better than to sit on the couch with a hot water bottle up my top and a warm laptop on my thighs, slowly licking golden syrup off a teaspoon.


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