Sunday, 18 March 2012


Today started rather badly. Nathan was running late for a singing gig in Crewe and, just after leaving the house, called to ask where to car was. “Where I parked it” I replied, “on the single yellow lines at the end of the alleyway.” I think at that stage we both realised what had happened. The car had, once again, been towed away by Haringey Council. And why? Because they’d changed the parking regulations on one side of our road without sending out any information to local residents. A simple parking ticket would have done, but they get £250 when they tow a car away, and if the regulations have recently been changed, with nothing but a tiny sign to say as much, it’s rich pickings because hundreds of car owners will be unaware of the consequences of parking in their usual spots. It makes me sick. Councils will do anything to make a fast buck these days. £250 feels like a ridiculously large amount of money. We don't have it, but I’m not going to fight it. I nearly went mad fighting the council last time.

I worked all day, and sat at the kitchen table drinking cups of tea whilst my eyes spun in circles around the ever-changing, never-ending pages of manuscript. I’m sure I'm going slightly mad.

Fortunately, brother Edward arrived in the evening with Sascha, to take me out for an Italian meal in Highgate. We had such a lovely time, such wonderful conversations, although Zizzi, where we ate, is really bad when it comes to vegetarian options. They insist on using grana pedano cheese (made with rennet) in all the dishes that would be vegetarian in any other restaurant. I spoke to the waiter, who held his hands up and said the management were aware of the problem, and had already started looking into the idea of using a vegetarian hard cheese instead. Gret news for the future, but it didn't help me in the present, so I left my morals at the door and ate the cheese. Sometimes the only way forward is to lower your standards. I eat Polo mints and jelly. I wear leather shoes. I've watched a bull fight. I’m sure I’m regularly fed vegetable soup with meat stock in it. Sometimes I even eat my own nails...
Tuesday 18th March, 1662, and Pepys was worried about his father in Huntingdonshire who had an “ague”, which may or may not have been life threatening. It wasn’t. He lived for another 20 years. I love the concept of an ague. Everyone had agues in those days. I’m going to start having agues – once I’ve worked out how to pronounce the word... Aig, Aug, Arg?


  1. Damn the parking people!! Write to Lynne Featherstone at least...xx

  2. I think it's ay-gyoo.

    At least, that's how I've always said it! It's a lovely word to cover those winter-time not-quite-a-cold-but-feel-rotten ills.

    Mind you, I deliberately mis-pronounce words so often that when I do it by mistake no one notices. Which is kind of a useful strategy, until you realise you've genuinely been saying something wrongly your entire life and no one's bothered to correct you.

    I used the word "detritus" in a sentence to my boss the other day, and he just looked blank until someone came in to rescue me with the correct pronunciation :(