First, thank you to everybody for their comments. I hope I answer all your questions as I trundle through, but first, where to start?
I think I’ll start by appreciating your comment, Cuileann, that you would have let out your house on the promise of restoration to its original condition, but I must say at once that this is not exactly what’s happened to us. In short, flood. Major flood. I won’t go into details since the details, close up on my hands and knees and seeping into my slippers, don’t really bear much description. Suffice to say that the bottom of our house is now in a state of some disrepair and the poor dogs, having returned from kennels at the end of the filming, have been summarily despatched back. So not quite the homecoming we hoped, although I must say that the upstairs looks very nice. The purple is no more. Now we’re all Jasper Crane and Marie Therese, both Victorian yellows. Some visitors will say ‘how brave’, others ‘how lovely’, others still will remark that the line between cheerful and laughable is a fine one. All I can say is that it is very striking and the hall, though surprised by its second makeover, seems to be adjusting well to its new persona.
We also had a change of colour for our son Cosmo’s room. It’s now duckegg blue. I asked him if he liked it. ‘Like what?’ ‘The new colour.’ ‘Has it changed colour?’
I think that means he likes it.
About the budgies. High above the flood, they rose, quite unperturbed. Then came the man with the chemical/medical spray to disinfect the place and strip it out. The budgies, about whom I had, in the stress of the moment, temporarily forgotten, enjoyed every minute. Then came their real joy: the drying fan and dehumidifiers. A choir! They all sing in chorus now, day and night. It’s quite dementing, but I take off my hat to them, or would if I was wearing one. Boots are more in order at the moment.
As for India, how long ago that seems now! One day soon I shall blog about my visit, which was not meant to be research but of course always turns into that. It was just supposed to be a holiday with my gap year daughter, Eliza, the gap year, Camille, being the year spent in limbo between leaving school and starting university – a peculiarly British institution, of which I’m not sure I entirely approve any longer, but which both our daughters have much enjoyed. I did discover something wonderful in India, though. You may already be familiar with the Indian/Canadian author Rohinton Mistry. I had never even heard of him. And there he was, not personally, naturally, but in book form by my Indian bed. I read A Fine Balance and Family Matters hardly drawing breath. Truly remarkable.
In fact, paddling about in my bottom hall, I may read them again and be reminded, amongst other things, of all that glorious sun.