Sunday 19th June 2022

Dear Diary,

Thought it was time I popped in to say hello and scribe a few lines. Oh stop moaning! I know it’s been ages. I have my reasons, including busy-busy, tissy-tissy, and also, after a good stable patch, fizzy-fizzy. It happens. I’m good now.

The tissy-tissy involved Ruby, Shane’s niece. What a turmoil. She’s been off with me for some time and it came to a head a short while back. The whole business upset and hurt me more than I can say, and not just on my own account. Ruby wasn’t in a good place and my heart ached for her too. Maybe I’ll chronicle it one of these days. (Ignores hysterical laughter.) Shane says Ruby has a lot of growing to do and one day she’ll remember how much she loves me. I’m not so sure. She blames me for hard times in her own life, and though I know I’m not responsible, it still stings. It’s made me cautious regarding kids. Eileen’s nephew and his wife, with whom she’s close, have a busload of ankle biters of varying ages. I used to really enjoy their visits to her house. They seem to enjoy being around me too, but then so did Ruby once upon a time.

Dramas aside, life is generally okay. Shane has scaled back on work. In reality, scaling back in Shane language, means him spending the odd extra hour at home with me. I’m not complaining. I love it.  Odd hours suit me. I don’t think I could cope with him at home every hour of the day. I’ll have to move into the summerhouse if and when my beloved dictators decide to retire completely.

Dick is in his element at the mo because it’s racing season. We spent last weekend at his ancestral pile where all things horsey are heartily approved of. Honestly, his folks get more and more barmy as time goes on. His sister has decided she wants a baby after years of saying she’d rather breed horses than kids. Dick’s dad managed to offend his daughter by offering the opinion she was a bit long in the tooth to start foaling. ‘Should have started earlier, old girl, most broodmares are retired by the time they reach your age.’

Linden told daddy to keep his opinions to himself and carried on sharing intimate details of her ‘conception quest’ with anyone who’d listen, and also those who didn’t want to listen. Her partner Reuben isn’t that keen to my mind. He’s worked out that raising a child costs the equivalent of several dozen thoroughbred racehorses. Ula, Dick’s dad’s ladylove, has gone full pagan, invoking charms and spells to make Linden fertile. I didn’t know where to put myself when she offered to bless Reuben’s sperm. Dick’s mother cut in with a crisp: ‘not at the dinner table, Ula.’ I was glad to get back to normality, or what passes as normal in our house.

God, I can’t believe it’s June already. We’re heading for the summer solstice. There’ll be Christmas cards in the shops any day now. Here in my portion of old Blighty the weather has been complete and utter shite thus far. I’ve written to the weather people to complain and demand better conditions. All we seem to get is rain, cloud, more cloud, wind, more wind, a blast of oppressive heat and then cloud again. And I’ve got chronic greenfly, not personally, but in the garden. There are billions of the sap-sucking little fuckers this year. They decimated my honeysuckles. I didn’t get a single flower and all the leaves turned black and brittle. They were an unsightly mess. ZZ said there was only one way of dealing with such a serious aphid attack and that was to cut the affected plants right down to the root. Sadly, I had to agree. I hope they return next year, sans greenfly.

For a while now, I’ve been considering doing a degree with The Open University. Shane’s father would be pleased, in so far as anything I did could ever please him. It was the reason he willed me a sum of money, to get proper qualifications leading to a proper job. In his view, housekeeping is no career for a man. Thing is, I love what I do and I can’t see me doing anything else, not now. It’s a shame there isn’t an actual houseboy degree. I reckon I’d smash it. I’ve been discussing the subject with the men folk and they have pledged their full support if I choose to go ahead. I’m just not sure. I’ll need to do an access course first and then decide what degree to go for. I’ll probably opt for an open degree, which means I can choose to do modules from a whole range of different subjects. It would suit my taste for variety. I need to look into it further and, as Shane said, make sure I’m committed to following through. Ho-hum, decisions, decisions!

Enough chuntering I think. We’ll be setting off to Leo’s place for Sunday lunch presently. Just remains for me to thank those of you who sent emails and also birthday greetings this month. I had a really nice day.

Shane, he who must be obeyed, is bawling for me to shift my arse or we’ll be late.

Enjoy your summer/winter, or whatever season it is down your way. Take care and ta-ra for now. X


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