Saturday, January 19, 2013

Compensations of Old Age

We’ve got a bit of snow, now. The cleaner is here for her second session and reports that the streets are ungritted and seriously treacherous. How satisfactory it is to be at home and warm with no need to go anywhere else. I’ll probably slip and break a femur when I go to get some sausages for lunch.

Yesterday was rather exciting.

a)      I got a Christmas card – no, let’s be strictly accurate, a Seasonal Greetings card – from the Obamas. And I didn’t even send them one.

I don’t know how this could have happened. I strongly suspect that my nephew Theo, currently fully engaged in stage-managing the Inauguration, must have inserted my name onto some list. Or maybe his wife Jenni did it, who is an Undersecretary of State at the Treasury.

I’m sure the card is printed. The most powerful man in the world – let alone his daughters and his wonderful wife -- could hardly take a week off work to sign ten thousand cards. But the Great Seal is really embossed.

For the moment, it is on the mantelpiece. My problem is, where to put it next, where our children will be sure to find it when I’m dead.

b)      I set out for the supermarket, and the car wouldn’t start. The battery was flat.

It’s an old car, and we’ve never had battery trouble before. I can’t really complain. I rang up the garage and a nice man came and put in a new battery and I gave him a cheque. In the old days in Glasgow in the ‘60’s, I can remember putting the battery in the pram – surely, with a baby there as well – and taking it down to the Byres Road to be charged.


I recalculated the length of Ed’s sweater, based on the reflections I mentioned yesterday, and, sure enough! an extra inch turned up. Ed is not tall, and I don’t want this thing to be down around his knees. So I ripped out what I had done, right back to the point where sleeves and body were joined, and started again.

It looked alarmingly big, when it was off the needles. But that would be the biggest point for total circumference, at the underarms, so I shall try not to worry.


No, Judith, I didn't know about Edinburgh's Secret Wild West. Fantastic! That must be over on what I think of as the "other side", where my husband's sister lived. I'd better go see it before they take it down.

I shall now put in an honest hour on the Income tax., while the cleaner toils on. 


  1. rosesmama12:45 PM

    I have heard that the Obamas have sent a card this year with a painting of Bo in the snow. Is this the one you received? If it is, I'm quite envious.

    A couple of cards have turned up here over the years. Which makes me think that there is a random card generator at the White House . . .

    1. Anonymous3:05 PM

      How kind of your nephew to arrange for your Christmas greeting. You must be very proud of him, and I'll think of that as I watch the inauguration with my grandson.

      Grandson is a first grader, off school Monday for the Martin Luther King, Jr. birthday holiday (coincides with the inauguration this year). He's excited about seeing "a parade", but even more excited that, come Tuesday, his class will take their place in a brand new school building. I believe that is the childhood version of "Ooh! Shiny!"