No church today. In any form. But, on the grounds that cleanliness is next to godliness, I have done my bit for the Great Hereafter and vacuumed the car. Yes, astonishing, isn't it? In the middle of yesterday's clear-out, Lord H found the car vacuum, recharged it (my, how thoughtful ...) and so today I have used it. But, ye gods, it doesn't last long, does it? Or maybe it's the amount of mess in my car that did for it. Hard to say, really. Anyway, we are recharging it again, in case I get the urge in another ten years' time. Ho ho. Even more astonishingly, I have actually dusted and polished the inside of the car as well. Which just proves, twice, that the age of miracles is not dead. Yet.
Apart from that, I've done some writing, and now have Simon through the first of his four final tests. And I think I'll put a sex scene in the next one (or rather an almost sex scene) as, hell, it's about time I wrote one. And I deserve it. If nothing else, it'll take my mind off my growing horror at tomorrow's book circle event for A Dangerous Man (http://www.flamebooks.com), which I am now dreading on the grounds that (a) nobody will turn up, and (b) if they do, they won't have read the book so the discussion options will be zilch, and (c) somehow they will be able to tell that I've only sold about 50 copies so am not worthy of their time. Hell, I might even get that tattooed on my forehead before I go in - it'll save all those accusations ... God, how I hate this part of it - yes, I know it's great that I've been invited and I am pleased - it's just that my nerves will be shot to pieces by the time I get there, resulting in me gabbling like an idiot, going as red as a stressed tomato and looking like a klutz. Hmm, so no changes there then. Nobody will notice the difference. I will have to remember to take my calming pills, my Rescue Remedy spray and ask where the nearest loo is. Last time I had to do a public book event, I had to go to the loo five times. In the last ten minutes before it started. Ah well ... I think I might leave my kidneys to Science when I'm dead. I'm sure they'll find them fascinating.
Sorry, sorry, I'm blabbering, I know. There's just not enough TV on tonight to keep my mind off it. Sorry ... Even "Ugly Betty" has ended on a sad note, though was as classy as ever.
Anyway, the good and sad news is that I've just finished Stef Penney's The Tenderness of Wolves. It's bloody marvellous. I'll say it again, in case somebody missed that at the back: it's bloody effing marvellous. Read it. You won't regret it. Wonderful, wonderful stuff. My only problem was (a) reaching the end and feeling devastated that I'd done so, and (b) even though the end was great and perfectly judged, I felt there was something I'd missed in Mrs Ross's name. I didn't get what it was. I desperately wanted it to be Amy (for reasons that will be apparent if you've read it), but I am not sure. And I desperately want to know. So if there's anyone out there who can put me out of my misery, please email me via my website (see below) so as to not spoil the surprise for anyone else. Thank you.
Still have to ring Mother tonight - suspect it's safer to go light on our current church difficulties and be nice, happy daughter. I think that will be the easier option all round really. And of course there's Stephen Fry's "Kingdom" - but I thought last week's episode was really too bland (though Lord H enjoyed it), so I'm hoping for more wit and sharpness this week. We'll see.
This week's haiku (well, it's not a haiku - more of a short poem, but it is what it is, I think):
My walk a little less steady now.
Birds fly through broken clouds
and all the land is water.
Today's nice things:
1. Vacuuming the car
3. Stef Penney's book.