I feel a little rattled. Not that the day has gone badly; the opposite, indeed, but I find the need for perfection a little stressful. I typed up the list of lots for the catalogue this morning - the Sage kindly brought through trays of china for me to write down their description. I used to write it all on a notepad, but it's too easy to make mistakes - much more reliable to type it straight away. All this took nearly four hours, by which time I felt edgy and irritable, and realised that, apart from half a small melon, I hadn't eaten anything. So I suggested an early lunch and put a frozen pizza in the oven.
After that, came the laying out of the catalogue which would be no trouble if it were not for my deep and abiding hatred (unreasoning of course) of M1cr0s0ft Bl00dy W0rd. I shouted and swore at the computer, as is usual on these occasions but it was finally done and went off to the printers.
Then the photographs for the catalogue. This went very smoothly. I like taking pictures of things that don't move. I'm rubbish at animate objects. Unfortunately, soon after I'd put them on the computer, it crashed. Now, this doesn't happen often, but when it does it can take hours to get it going again. I don't, of course, mean hours of continuous trying, but if it won't restart in a couple of goes, it's best to just leave it unplugged for a while and then go back and spend the next half hour cajoling it.
So, down to the greenhouse, sowed more seeds, watered, thought anxiously about all I've got to do in the garden in the next ten days before I go away, and back to the house, where Al and family were arriving to be friendly and sociable. For today is Al's birthday. My little boy is 31. My little girl's birthday is on Wednesday, by which date she will be in Venice, for her beloved is whisking her off for a mid-week break.
Off went the Sage to the photographer to get the pictures done (what a nice bloke, he's quite happy to receive them after hours to make a start tonight, as he is taking his family for a day out in Cambridge tomorrow and we want them back by Thursday, before the Bank Holiday), I cooked dinner and then I started to sweet-talk the computer. After a while the Sage came and politely enquired about an item finishing this evening on eBay. What on earth does a one-computer family do on these occasions. In this case, "Ro, can you help your father please?..." He was just in time to bid, but didn't win the piece. An auctioneer takes such defeat with good grace "At least I've run it up a bit, the buyer didn't get a bargain."
I've spent the last hour getting things ready for a meeting tomorrow morning, though I haven't finished yet because I needed - NEEDED, I tell'ee - to stop for coffee and whisky. There was only a half-inch left in the bottle. I poured out half of that and would like the rest, but I've had enough this evening and should demonstrate self-restraint. For the same reason, I am ignoring the bar of excellent chocolate which is shimmying provocatively within easy reach of my right hand.
You might think I'm being surprisingly improvident, letting the whisky bottle run almost dry, but I did buy a new one last week. However, last night, Ro realised he hadn't bought his brother a birthday present....Al was very pleased. "At last, someone who knows what present-buying is all about," he said provocatively.
I feel better. Candlelight, whisky, coffee and a rather lovely CD, which was given to me by a particularly delightful gentleman friend, of Sviatoslav Richter and Benjamin Britten playing Schubert piano duets, have soothed me and I shall finish my work, read a cheerful book and go to bed. Unless my rising spirits persuade me into a few more hours of frivolity of course, which is never impossible.
It's a full moon, isn't it? Maybe that's why I feel mercurial. Oh, no that must have something to do with Mercury. Why I feel lunatic? Hm.