I gave myself, as ever, an impossible list of things to do today. The book I'm presently reading is about the Leeds Pals. I ordered it from Amazon assuming it was the size of an ordinary book, and was astonished when it arrived to find it had the dimensions of a small coffee table.
It's nevertheless wonderful reading, and filled to the brim with tales of sadness and hopelessness including the story of the wife of a man who was labelled "missing in action" who kept his room in their cottage made up for him for the next fifty years hoping he'd return. These Madam Butterflyesque stories never fail to draw me in and make me feel a little sad.
Water started pouring through the ceiling again, so we stuck a saucepan in the middle of the sitting room, and hot-footed it downstairs to see the landlord's wife, who was horrified and immediately arranged for a little man to come over. The little man was every bit as tiny as we'd hoped, and arrived with an even smaller version of himself with sallow, nicotine-stained eyes and grey skin like an elephant's trunk. They bolted into the loft, and before I could say "fabulous, darling," he'd jumped out of the dormer window and taken a broom to the guttering. Fearless.
After a late lunch, we went to the gym, and I wriggled around on the treadmill like a jam roly-poly. Now September is here I have no excuse not to get fit. The older I get, the more I understand the concept of barrel-chestedness.
I took my enormous book with me and tried to read it whilst cycling, but it was so large, it kept catching on my elbows and frisbeeing off towards the Man Mountain precariously balanced on the bike next door.
I left the book on a bench in the changing rooms and returned to find it had become an unofficial shelf with two iPhones and a Blackberry belonging to complete strangers sitting on top. One assumes the owners had seen the book, thought "that's not a book, it's a purpose-built shiny tray designed to keep electrical equipment from soaking up the sweat on these gipping wooden benches" and behaved accordingly.
Oh well. I'm glad the book has proven to have a number of uses...