Had it not been for the news from a Mali, I’d have said it has been a pretty good day. Domestic, but good. Even before I was out of my pyjamas, MasterB and I were glued – metaphorically of course; I would never be that cruel to my cat and masochism holds no attractions for me – to the bedroom window.

Here’s why:

And all at the same time in the same tree. I know a lot of people don’t like crows, but I do. The way they swagger; their loud communal living; their curiosity. I prefer black crows to magpies, whose glossy plumage makes them look like self-satisfied bankers, not a look that appeals to me greatly, but never mind that.

A couple of weeks ago, I thought I saw a flash of green feathers above the garden, but this morning was my first proof that parakeets have colonised this patch of south east London.

It was the squirrel that caught my attention first of all, mainly because although I see squirrels fairly frequently, by which I mean every day, in the garden, and they give MasterB a very good work out, this is the first time I have seen one in the tree on the same level of my window.

MasterB chattered, and I grabbed my camera.

Watching the news about Mali, I was struck by what a beautiful country it seems. I know the news item wasn’t supposed to be a travelogue, and reservations for holidays in Mali are likely to fall, which seems a pity and a success for the terrorists. Apparently ticket sales for music events in Paris have droppped by eighty per cent.

My love affair with the dishwasher continues. My storage jars are slowly taking their turns and reappearing in the cupboards all shiny and lovely.

But the big moment today was rediscovering the sitting room floor from under all the boxes and crap that was in my old kitchen. I dusted polished and vacuumed. By the end the room was clean and I was filthy. I got so carried away I even washed the sofa covers which dried in the stiff breeze outside and were back in place by teatime. There’s still all the other crap, but that’s another story.

Oh and I have a very cool Joseph Joseph sink protector, soon to be joined by an equally cool Joseph Joseph Flume drainer mat. These are helping me to come to terms with the fact that modern sinks are too woossy to be used au naturel, though I still find it very odd.

It’s been really mild, and I am warm and cosy tonight but everyone says it’s going it be very cold tomorrow, so I am going to put the heating on at last. You might wonder why I don’t wait until morning, but I have storage heaters, and the downside of this otherwise effective form of heating is that you have to be proactive about the weather.


Dishing the Dirt

I don’t know what I expected. Certainly, a dishwasher wasn’t my top priority when I began to think about a new kitchen. Maybe the novelty will wear off, but at the moment I am loving it. Super clean glass jars; MasterB’s Catcher cleaner than it has been since I bought it; gleaming saucepan lids; the rotation of plates, mugs, glasses; the full size cafetière that I hardly ever use these days is living in the dishwasher in the hope that the ingrained coffee stains will lessen and it can be passed onto a charity shop.

Celia came round to help and advise me the first time I used the dishwasher. She was completely au fait with the vocabulary which had left me adrift. I had been to the shop and bought the tablets, the freshener and the rinse aid. How to use them was a mystery.
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