Sunday, 25 March 2012

Re-gift Autist

We're traveling along the M25, on our way back from Lewes. The moon is the merest sliver in the sky. We've been with Meriel and Hilary all day, enjoying the sunshine in East Sussex.

I felt very guilty having to wake Nathan up this morning: he's been working ridiculous hours recently, and could've done with a longer lie in. I went out and bought croissants and orange juice, in the hope that the smell of freshly-baked pastries would wake him up with a smile on his face. It didn't seem to do the trick: he's been like the walking dead all day. He also seems to have lost all filters and become a little bit autistic. At one point today, he gleefully pointed out to Hilary, that I had re-gifted one of my Christmas presents and given it to her son, Jago.
He didn't seem to notice my frantic signalling to get him to shut up! Still, it does seem to have become one of Jago's favourite toys.

We arrived at Hilary's, and immediately sat down to a delicious lunch of gnocchi with spinach and broccoli, ricotta and Parmesan cheese. Recipes at the end of the programme.

Jago seems like a very happy chap, and it was a pleasure getting to know him. He's been brought up with a lot of music in his life, and every day, his mum plays the piano and sings to him. This can only be a good thing, and will ensure happiness for the rest of his life. Today, Hilary introduced us to a song by Samuel Barber, that none of us knew, but was absolutely delightful.

We drove in convoy to Tide Mills, which is a deserted village on the south coast, that we visited last summer. It's a curiously atmospheric place, with a shingle beach slipping down to the seafront. Rabbits run around in the ruins of what was probably quite a large village. To reach the beach, you have to cross over a railway line. It's completely unspoiled: there's not an ice cream van, or a bucket and spade shop in sight. We discovered the perils of paddling in the sea in March. When your feet are frozen solid, it's almost impossible to navigate a shingle beach, because every pebble feels like a needle in the sole of your foot. We ate Jaffa cakes and drank Ribena, as the sun began to set.

We went back to Meriel's house, for tea, and ate a communal meal of lentil and carrot soup, with crushed potatoes.

As this is being typed, we're driving along the section of the A40, where all the street lights become really really short, as we pass the end of the runway at RAF Halton. I've always found this to be a rather unusual sight, particularly at night, when driving through it becomes something of an optical illusion, which could induce epilepsy!

On the 25th of March, 1662, Pepys wrote such a short and boring entry in his diary, that several editions of the work omitted it all together. In simple terms, he sat in his chambers all day, writing letters, while the two Sir Williams discussed victualling.

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