I seem to spend most of my life travelling on the M23 between London and Brighton. There's a beautiful light in the sky, the sun is slowly setting and the clouds have turned a strange milky orange colour.
We've been to Lewes today, helping Meriel to move. Meriel's house cuts into the side of a hill, and there is amazing potential behind it to create a rather magical tiered garden. From the top of the hill, you can see from miles across Lewes, and I've been encouraging her all day today, to create a little terrace up there, where she can sit with a glass of wine of an evening.
New beginnings are always both daunting and exciting, and Nathan and I both wish her all the very best for the next chapter of her life.
My task today, was to clean Meriel's oven, which had been in her garage for the last year. It's amazing how much damage a garage can do to an oven, but it's astonishing how quickly you can reverse that damage with a scouring pad and a few bottles of heavy-duty cleaning materials. Meriel tends to favour touchy-feely-greenie-squirting things which don't seem to touch the sides when it comes to removing ground-in grease. I went out and bought some hard-core Cillit Bang, and told her that I wouldn't be satisfied until I knew that at least 30,000 fish had been killed by the byproducts of my cleaning frenzy. I think it melted the oven on first squirt, but sometimes there's little point in being green!
We were hoping that we might bump into Fiona whilst we were down in East Sussex, but randomly, she's back in London.
April 21st, 1662, and London was buzzing with the news that the future Queen of England had arrived at Portsmouth. Bells were ringing in several of the churches, and Pepys was running around like a mad thing, trying to put final touches to his plans to go down to Portsmouth to greet her. He finally confessed to Elizabeth that he had wanted her to go to Brampton, so that he could get her out of the way in order to make the journey down to the south coast. Elizabeth was having none of it, and refused point-blank to go.
The Royal court was understandably all aflutter, and the King's various mistresses were all falling out with one another.
Something was in the air...