“Dad, I can't find Edward.”
“Or Woolly Mammoth. Come and help me look for them.”
We're in the very first grey glimmers of dawn, and sleepy birds are just getting up. Edward (the small stuffed lion) is missing in action – in Lara's bed.
If it's not one damn thing it's another, with that child. Absolutely no respect for the REM cycle.
For diversion yesterday we hit the Derby Street so-called Chocolate and Coffee festival. Barely a stick of chocolate or a cup of coffee anywhere. There was one chocolate fountain (at which Lara got something dipped but relinquished in sticky disgust). Somewhere they might have been one stall that sold coffee. The rest was the usual tat-junk-food medley. Minor excitements were sightings of a paella pan with a three foot diameter and a Great Dane puppy of such gorgeous Weinmerana grey pelt that he formed quite an obstruction in the traffic wherever he went with people thronging round. Also Lara did get a free balloon (pink) but it was relatively short lived as it made a break for freedom in the park later on.
Ah, heaters. Well I'm off to find them in the lock-up right after this, but they're pretty much useless in this house. It's so badly insulated they have no effect whatsoever, it's much easier to sit with hot-water bottles and extra clothing. The house is cunningly designed to be colder than the outside in winter and hotter than the outside in summer. It does admittedly keep one dry but that's about the extent of it. Ian will no doubt want to take one in to work, though – I believe his office is of somewhat better construct.
And Pie, DON'T get any ideas about buying books. The whole point of the exercise is that I'm meant to be able to get hold of fresh books either for free or virtually nothing, because of the whole reviewing thing. Postage to Australia is prohibitive, but with Kindle they should some whizzing down the ether on gratis wings, eager to be read. (He, he, he, evil cackle, come here little bookies, nothing to fear...)
For dinner last night, Ian made us a lovely roast pork dinner with the CRISSSSPIEST CRUNchy CracklinG ever. On a scale of 1 to 10 on the Crackle scale it was about 50. Incredible. No salt involved, no vinegar, just baked off the meat to start with and crisped up afterwards.
Dinner was also served with 'Balloon Stew' prepared by Lara. Consists of a shrivelled purple balloon, a twig, a home-made paper bag constructed from two sides of A4, and a tomato. Eating instructions were:
“Eat the tomato, leave the stick and pop the balloon – THAT's how you eat Balloon Stew!”
She really is completely off her rocker. We complied. Quite tasty, actually.