Cymru am byth

This is a brilliant opportunity to write and I’m wasting it. One daughter is away and my husband and the other daughter have gone to watch cricket for the day – “I suppose there’s no chance I can persuade you to come with me?” he said hopefully this morning. “Absolutely not,” was my reply. I couldn’t let there be doubt over the issue. Call me a heathen but I just cannot appreciate this extraordinarily timeless game. I don’t understand it at all, there are too many people on the field to keep up with, the scoring is beyond me (as it is for most girls I suspect) and the slang that goes with cricket is impenetrable. And one game goes on for days. Literally. Yesterday my husband  ‘liked’ a facebook page that basically makes fun of girls asking “Who’s winning?” during a cricket match. Well what is wrong with that???? It’s a completely natural question to ask of a competitive game. Someone will win (even though it’s becoming increasingly un-PC to do so). But I think the point is that you don’t know who will win until the last, tense, nail-biting second of a game that’s had you riveted to the seat for the duration. Did anyone spot the sarcasm there? No, there’s only one good thing about cricket and that’s the players in their whites look surprisingly sexy, and that is not enough to sustain me through a game. Anyway, back to me wasting time.

I’m so bedazzled by being alone for this length of time that I can hardly decide what to do first; I can’t apply myself properly to anything. I dream of time like this. I am almost always thinking oh if only I had a few clear hours alone I could do so much housework/ironing/sorting/tidying/writing, and now that I have it do you know what I have done? I have read yesterdays papers and I have eaten a bowl of pasta. Pasta is the devils work but I just cannot stay away from it. My friends are amazed by my ambivalence towards desserts, I don’t care about them at all, it’s bread and pasta that are my vices. You will be able to tell from this that I am the kind of girl who lives life on the edge. I did try Pimms ice-cream last night though. Only because I’d never seen it on a menu before and I was intrigued. It was OK.

So, Wales. Wales was great. It was my first time in the country and I thoroughly enjoyed every second. I survived the surfing! It’s harder than the blond, dreadlocked, very svelte instructor made it look. We ended up exhausted and bruised by flinging ourselves against the boards, ‘catching’ the waves, falling off and dragging the boards back out to waist-high water where we repeated the process. This went on for two hours and honestly we were absolutely shattered. And freezing. The Gower coast is very beautiful but it is not the warmest of climes to be surfing in. Definitely Calfornia next time. But it was fine because afterwards we had the luxury of the outdoor, lukewarm showers that I detest with a passion. I can’t bear my feet on the floor of those places, I will never remove my flip-flops. Even the thought makes me shudder. But it did warm us up and rinse most of the sand off. The rest of the sand was spread liberally around the flat, our beds and the seats of my friend’s husband’s Jaguar that we were borrowing. This last did not go unnoticed, unfortunately. And apart from surfing, we ate in some very nice restaurants, we visited some very beautiful places, we drank a lot of wine and Malibu (not together) and caramalised ten onions. Badly. We had a wonderful, relaxed, ramshackle few days – there were seven of us staying in a two-bedroom flat – but somehow it worked. I think mostly due to the laidback attitude of our lovely host, Gill, my friend’s mother. She didn’t seem to mind her home being overtaken by someone she barely knew (me) and three girls obsessed by first catching and then grooming her petrified cats, sand being sprinkled everywhere and the smell of ten onions lingering for days. I cannot say that my own mother would have been as relaxed….

And disappointingly my review copies have not arrived. I emailed my publishers to check on progress to be told: sorry, we’ve only just sent the book to the printers, the copies will be another 2-3 weeks. It doesn’t really matter, it just means that my carefully planned and rigidly stuck to promotion campaign gets a little behind. Which in turn means working very hard in September. Not a problem. In some ways this is fortunate, I’d be limited in what I could do, practically-speaking, because I shall be away again this week, at my mother’s house in Berkshire. Myself and the girls will bump the household up to ten, which is bound to cause tension around eating and sleeping arrangements so I can report on that next time. It won’t be like Wales, that’s for sure. But on our return, myself, plus husband and a couple of friends are going to a Burlesque night at a local theatre, which should be interesting, so I have that to look forward to.

And now that I have this written, I can return to the dizzy heights of my solitude! The excitement is wearing off now so I might be able to calm down and do something constructive. It won’t involve Twitter though because despite my efforts I still only have five followers. This does not bode well.

Next time: my mother’s house and stockings, I suppose. Not together I am at pains to add.

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