To village hall on Friday evening for postponed Horticultural Association talk on Growing And Showing Daffodils, carrying as contribution to advertised Refreshments my batch of mini-quiches, which husband says Definitely Look Home-Made. Speaker knowledgeable but friendly, and regales us with inside tales from The Daffodil Society (highly competitive but much less cut-throat than The Chrysanthemum Society, apparently) and numerous photographs of completely perfect specimens grown from £10 bulbs. Chair reminds everyone about our Annual Quiz Evening in a fortnight’s time, and I do my best to give impression that question-setting is at suitably advanced stage (have almost completed one round).

Football season now in full swing and am allowed to attend son’s match this afternoon on strict condition that I Don’t Say Anything. Do not, naturally, obey, but make some effort to be less Vocal than usual, and enjoy listening to seasoned co-supporters’ very definite views on every aspect of the game. Own knowledge of football remains rather rudimentary, but am at least able to explain with some confidence to one player’s grandmother which way our team are shooting.

Read daughter’s copy of “The Great Gatsby” and wonder whether I have finally found my perfect novel.


Unconsidered trifles

London friend e-mails with nine pages of colleague’s annual Eurovision predictions and says that she is All Agog for next diary instalment.   Delighted by image of busy urban professionals eagerly awaiting news of Pensioners’ Lunch Club, Horticultural Association Coffee Morning and Almshouses Opening Ceremony, and am happy to report that they All Went Very Well. Friend’s performance in The Winter’s Tale was also A Triumph, though cannot help thinking that Players may have rather overestimated village’s enthusiasm for Shakespeare’s late Problem Plays; lady next to me says she preferred their production of  ‘Allo ‘Allo.

Am very grateful for everyone’s reading suggestions after last diary entry. Cannot sadly find any of the recommended books in village library, and current reading consists of Oxford Companion to Children’s Literature (pure pleasure) and Facebook (general bewilderment); younger son particularly horrified that I have joined latter and spends some time trying to find and then Block me, in spite of my repeated assurances that I have joined only in order to ease administration of Tuesday walking group and have not the slightest desire to be his Friend on Facebook or indeed anywhere else.

Feel like spending all my time now looking at images of Chelsea Flower Show or pottering around own garden.  Will freely admit that it is not really a spring garden or a late summer garden, and that it does not look particularly impressive in the autumn or winter either;  but for a few weeks in May and June find that there is no place I would rather be.


Younger son touchingly excited by early morning Snapchat reports of snow nearby, but winter’s arrival in village marked only by heavy sleety showers. Go for long and extremely muddy walk with group of friends; discuss schools, puppies, and preparations for this week’s Village Pantomime (all apparently at rather Fraught stage).

Afternoon spent planning Horticultural Association programme for forthcoming year with fellow Committee members; overall result rather similar to Horticultural Association programme for current year, but do spend considerable time discussing new classes for spring and summer shows which will a) make colourful display in village hall b) attract new entrants and c) give Committee members an unfair advantage (Treasurer particularly excited about his Sweet Peas this year). Struggle as usual to think of original yet inviting titles for Flower Arranging classes; own suggestion of commemorating Waterloo or Magna Carta met with wholly deserved derision.

Reading material so far this year good but sad book about marriage and good but sad book about children; wonder whether should perhaps try something good but happy next.


Second session helping at pensioners’ lunch in Village Hall; have now become permanent member of Chicken Casserole and Bread-and-Butter Pudding Team, though suspect will continue to be treated  as The New Girl for several more years.

Make last effort to finish Bring Up the Bodies before returning it to library. Do not sadly share friend’s opinion of its brilliance, but it does bring back happy memories of daughter dressed up as Jane Seymour when Doing The Tudors in primary school.

Life beginning to feel very summery; countryside like a Monet landscape, garden in full bloom, constant cricket chatter in background, and first raspberries appearing. And only two more days of GCSEs.


Good companions

Monday morning walk with friend; discuss Parish News, alliums and largely unsuccessful attempts to interest teenage children in Family Outings at half-term. Discover that will both be on holiday in more or less same place at more or less same time in August and provisionally arrange to meet for Beach Picnic. Feel duty bound to reveal advice in newly-acquired guide book that chosen place should at all costs be avoided in July and August, but we agree not to let this worry us.

How To Be A Heroine and current discussions about English Literature syllabus prompt me to dig out own reading diary, laboriously recording all books read from early teens to twenties, in order to discover The Books That Shaped Me. Memories of dusty classics and Penguin paperbacks and sporadic waves of enthusiasm for particular authors come flooding back;  I was apparently shaped by improbable mixture of Anthony Trollope, P G Wodehouse and early Margaret Drabble.

Lunch Club

Have agreed to help at weekly pensioners’ lunch in village hall; do best to fit into what is clearly Well-Oiled Machine and am told several times How Nice It Is To Have A Youngster. Discuss street lighting, Hong Kong, and Ridiculous House Prices (things apparently more reasonable when fellow-waitress bought her first house in 1949).

Go to village library in afternoon. Feel guilty that have not been for some time, and take out far too many books in attempt to compensate. Plan to do some Serious Reading this evening, but find that intellectual capacity quite exhausted by efforts to help children revise The Limestone Cycle and The Principal Causes Of The English Civil War, so instead just eat all remaining Easter eggs and look at cushions on the internet.