12 December, 2006

are the hands on your clock spinning around?

I remember last year I looked down at my aged, aged Rolex, a present from John on our first anniversary 17 years ago, and the hands were literally spinning around, like in a cartoon. Needless to say it's been spending a lot of time in the repair shop. However, now it doesn't seem to matter what watch I wear: the hours simply fly by in a haze of holiday preparation, end of term madness, and laundry. And dishes. What is it about Christmas?

John's mom arrived in a flurry of luggage, last Thursday, laden with all sorts of crazy things like all the silver Reed and Barton bells she has given us every year of our marriage, which we left in Connecticut. Yes, I was desperate enough last year in the upheaval of packing to come to London, that I left all 16 of the bells in Connecticut. It was but the work of a moment to telephone dear Anne and David across the road, have them creep into the foyer of Red Gate Farm, locate the bells in a cozy Christmas cupboard under the antique bookshelf, and FedEx them to Iowa, where they were efficiently packed by Rosemary and brought along to London. Whew. However. Our tree, so lovely the first day, even the second, decided thereafter to go on strike and not soak up any water, so now if you even look in its direction, needles fall off. So no silver balls for him. They are reposing now on my kitchen window sill, awaiting Plan B.

And remember what I said about how nice it was to have Christmas without the ugly spectre of moving hanging over our heads? I spoke too soon. The powers that be at Grosvenor Estates, our lovely feudal landlords, have seen fit to raise our rent 18%, whereupon we did not actually spit on them, we did tell them some polite version of "not in this lifetime," and so now have until January 19 to find a new flat, move out of this one, and into that one. Which, forgive my Anglo-Saxon, sucks. Long story short, our holiday shopping this year includes real estate.

But enough of that. I have a butler reading my blog! Who knew there still were butlers, and it seems a bit anachronistic that he blogs, but there you go. Mr Fielding of some stately home, and he likes my "food diary"! He keeps a blog of his own, which I have perused only a bit, but find totally absorbing. Do go on. I have no recipes for you today, and frankly right now I must run and go shopping with my parents-in-law... whew again! Everyone's in a hurry. There were fully 20 people in line at Starbucks this morning when I was having a gossip with my friends Becky and Amy, and in strolled Angela, apparently a frequent customer. She sat down with a sigh, and in stentorian English tones caroled to the barrista, "Harold! My tea, please!" We watched her in stunned silence. Finally I said, "You know, Angela, that's the first time I've ever seen someone jump a queue from a seated position." And she's so English, she made it charming.

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