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6th January

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My sister calls it displacement activity. It’s nearly a month since I sat down and did an OU exercise a tutorial next week and yet I find myself doing a myriad of tasks that aren’t really necessary. I have no excuse now, my son has lent me his working laptop, our guests have all left and I have time.

I hosted book club here last night, we’d read Daphne du Maurier’s my cousin Rachel, we had all been totally absorbed by it and hotly debated whether Rachel was a murderer or not. We didn’t come to any firm conclusion. One of our number was from Cornwall and knew Menabilly well; there was lots of talk of damp Cornish childhood holidays. The girl who normally keeps us on track wasn’t able to come, so there was lots of chatting, of weddings, the despoiling of villages with new bungalows and the number of British people coming and going. Younger son had kindly prepared some Lebanese snacks which we enjoyed along with a couple of bottles of red wine.

I did manage to do an OU exercise this morning, but struggling to find inspiration for the next Tma. Odd plots come to mind, set in various countries, but then deemed not interesting enough and abandoned.

We are getting increasingly anxious about the conservatory; we haven’t seen anyone here since the couple of chaps came on Tuesday morning and moved all the pieces of aluminium from where they were lying on the foundation to the middle of the lawn where they are now flattening the grass. I visited some friends in the village who’d had a conservatory built by the same people and they showed me all the large puddles of water that had accumulated inside it, after a wet and windy night.

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