Ponderous German friend gone - better than ponderous as a matter of fact: a nice man - and considered bright by Beloved which is saying something. (Granny is not sure he'd say the same of her.) Even so, she is glad to have no more discussions at breakfast over such weighty matters as functionalism and identity theory. (No, she had nothing to contribute. How did you guess?) When she was a child, conversation at breakfast was forbidden in her family. Her parents hid themselves behind newspapers, only emerging -briefly and loudly - if a voice was heard. Butter, toast, marmalade etc, sat on a dumb waiter - a kind of swivelling tray - in the middle of the table so that they needn't be requested aloud. This past week, burying her face in her coffee - alas no newspapers here - Granny thinks her parents had a point.
Not that, necessarily, those behind papers were unaware what went on in front of them. Beloved has a nice story about breakfast among fellow dons at his Oxford college - then and probably now English to the point of parody. A very junior academic newly arrived from Germany and both baffled and intimidated by the silence, by the array of newspapers and faceless bodies, reached out timidly for the sugar. He was about to dump a spoonful in his coffee when a voice barked out, "That's salt not sugar." Whose voice, from behind which newsprint, he never discovered. But his coffee was saved at least.
One thing Granny notices. When women visitors come they get into the kitchen before and after meals, see what help is needed and do it. When men come they wander in, look around and ask 'what can I do to help?' Much simpler to do it yourself, really. Granny mostly did.
Beloved is due to go back to London next week for medical stuff. Granny who is kind like that went onto the internet to book his ticket for him. Unfortunately, having to repeat the exercise for some reason before she'd got right through, she didn't realise the site had gone back to default mode and booked him the wrong way round - from London to Arrecife and back, rather than vice versa. An expensive mistake: airlines are not indulgent about such things - all she could do was rebook him and cancel the rest for very little redress.
Though the sun continues to shine, Granny is NOT popular. Shame. She will let him book his own in future.
Meantime, for two days while he is away she is off on an adventure - let's call it a kind of rave -of her own - . She'll tell you about that next time.