Well, I’ve done it, and I’ll freely admit that I blinked back a nostalgic tear as I posted the following on our town Facebook advertsing page last night:
Do you know of anyone planning to study for an English Language or Sociolinguistics degree? I have a pile of relevant textbooks and can’t bear to throw them out. Free to collector.
There were twenty of them (some bought new, others second hand). Within the hour I received a lovely message from a young lady who is in her second year at Birmingham University. She’s studying English language and is undertaking a module on sociolinguistics – she’d be delighted to have them. We agreed that she’d pick them up from my doorstep today. There was a tap on the door and when I looked out there was a large box of chocolates, and at the end of the path there she was, with her mum and they were both full of appreciation. After that it didn’t feel so bad to have let them go. Another bit of downsizing/clearing out achieved.
I sent my daughter a text to tell her that I’d found a taker and she, perceptively, asked if I’d ever looked at them since finishing my degree in 2016. I pictured the single raised eyebrow (something I’ve never achieved myself) which I know would have been the accompanying expression as she read that my confirmation that actually I had, and that I’d also held onto a couple of favourites. ‘Who knew,’ she wrote, ‘that there was such a thing as favourite sociolinguistic textbooks?’
Shortly after, another tap on the door. This time the Hermes driver who was delivering a couple of bits and pieces that I ordered from Superdrug. As I’d have had to pay for postage, I thought I may as well buy something else to make up the amount to the free-delivery limit. The perils of choosing nail polish online – the soft lilac-pink I chose turned out to be an almost invisible pink with no discernable lilac tone. In fact its exactly the same colour of the base coat I usually use. The moral of this story is to stick with what you know. Until I feel ready to venture out for non-essential shopping, I shall make do with what I already have.
Daughter in Law is despairing that she still has another seven weeks to wait (and even that is subject to variation) before she can return to hairdressing. We understand the reasoning behind a phased return to normality but it doesn’t pay the bills. As soon as the April date was announced her diary started to fill up. If it’s like previous lockdowns she will be working up to 12 or 13 hours some days and will barely have a day off whilst she tries to keep her clients happy. My roots are dire – I am already booked in near the start of the queue!
We’d planned to book a cruise for my ‘big’ birthday this year – a week in the Norwegian Fjords but no way, even if allowed, will we feel ready for it so we’ve decided to re-visit Whitby in North Yorkshire. We were really taken with it after spending few hours there in 2019. I spent several hours trawling the internet for hotels that had: good reviews, on site parking, a bath rather than shower only (I appreciate the practicality of showers but far prefer a soak), and armchairs or a sofa in the room. The latter may sound like an odd one but years of staying in hotels either for work or pleasure has made this an essential requirement. We both hate having to sit on a bed to watch TV or read. There were some that offered seating but every one was rejected for one reason or another (yes, I’m fussy but this is for a special occasion and I want what I want), I turned my thoughts to self catering which is what we always do in Devon. It has a lot of advantages, the biggest being freedom. We choose when we eat, when we come and go and we have space to move around – essential if the weather is bad. I actually do comparatively little catering as tend to eat out. After again rejecting several here is what I finally booked – a house that has a balcony off the bedroom with views across the River Esk, a couple of miles from the center of Whitby and close to the Grade II listed Larpool viaduct. Let’s hope that we are able to go! Husband will enjoy the photo opportunities.
And finally….elder son sent me some interesting photos last week of a lane near his house where icicles formed as cars splashed cold water onto the roadside on an icy day. I’ve seen icicles of course, but never ‘growing’ up from the ground. Fascinating!