September 13th, 2007

Life And Life Only

 1. It's been two weeks (more or less) since the TV went *phut*. The engineer was supposed to be coming to fix it yesterday and we stayed in all day and, guess what? Ailz rang them after their man had failed to show and threatened them with cancellation of our contract and the phoneman said he'd give us one of the new ultra-whizzy, hundred quid set top boxes for free if we only persisted. And we said, "OK."

Then he sent a pulse down the line which brought our old set top box back to life for approximately half an hour- just long enough for us to watch a silly parlour game show hosted by Donny Osmond (Donny Osmond: I ask you?) Then, just as the News was due on the box went *phut* again. Good. I hate the BBC News. It has become so craven and stupid....

"Donny Osmond dyes his hair," says Ailz. Why, so he does! Isn't TV wonderful? You're always learning something new.

2. I cooked a duck yesterday. Before yesterday duck was something I'd only ever eaten in restaurants. What a lot of grease! And it gets everywhere. As an accompaniment we had a confit of cranberries- adapted from a recipe by Delia Smith. You know what? I'm turning into a serious cook in my old age.

3. There being no telly, I settled down in my armchair last night and started A Tale of Two Cities. I haven't read it since I was a kid- in a cut-down, kiddy-classic version.  And what a strange book to nominate as a children's classic!  It's so grim- even grimmer than Little Dorrit (which it follows in the canon). There's humour- Dickens couldn't function without humour- but there's no comedy- and the miserability and squalor of the first 50 pages is unrelenting.