dressing gown stuff
11.45 am and Granny is still sitting here in her dressing-gown after hard week, entertaining on and off a group here to discuss - wait for it - rat's whiskers. (Turns out they are the most sensitive whiskers of any animals studied and if replicated - if they can be replicated - by robots could be very useful in macro-cosmic matters - cleaning sewers etc and microcosmic ones - keyhole surgery etc.) 40 odd people, biologists, physiologists, roboticists, computer specialists funded by the EU, came from all over Europe, to pool their research on said, sensitive whisker. At some profit to Beloved who helped organise the event and acted as driver for the scientists' time out sightseeing, and also to Granny who together with him put up the organiser and his family for three days and cooked a lunch for the computer team yesterday.
All this on an island where the weather has improved - lunch was eaten outside yesterday; a group of mainly young scientists due to fly back to snowbound Sheffield that very evening sat in sun hats borrowed from granny (the runcible yellow one from Mallorca, the elegant straw from San Diego, given Granny by an American friend, the green baseball cap labelled Lanzarote -she kept the sun-defying Aussie one for herself) and couldn't imagine why she was talking about it's being winter here - they laughed. 'What do you mean, winter?' (Though maybe they would have appreciated the point better had they sat round the fire in the evening with Granny and Beloved and found themselves glad of it. But by that time they were being entertained by Monarch Airline. Lucky them. Granny is being ironic here. Maybe you didn't realise.) There was a lot of washing-up, afterwards. It's still being done.
Nice creatures, rats: in the right place. (No she is not being ironic this time. She likes rats: in the right place, ie not five feet from her - as they say - anywhere in London, or in the chicken run eating Beloved's chicks, or infected with plague-bearing fleas.) And very clever. Wherever they are.
As usual when visitors arrive Granny has had to shift her clothes round the house and now can't find anything, apart from said dressing-gown - and, of course, the sun hats which decorate the hall when they are not decorating her or scientists' heads. That's her excuse for slovenliness, anyway. She'll go and have a shower now and try and locate her knickers (clean ones, please note, nasty anonymous commentator on last post, now eradicated, she is not that dirty an old woman. So there, you dirty anonymous thing.)
Domesticity. And elsewhere all that snow and the unutterable horror of the fires in Australia. Thank god it's not in the area where Beloved not-so-little Sister lives - but that doesn't make it any less heartrending as far as those other poor wretches are concerned. Oh the fragility of life - yet still, on Channel 5, Neighbours in all its Aussie banality keeps on coming round just as if it wasn't.
On this island meantime, there are now more than 16,000 people unemployed. A large chunk of the indigenous population. Keep on coming scientists/whisker researchers and all: the island needs you.