These are about equal today.
First of all, it is a perfectly horrible day. There is a strong, cold wind blowing - seemingly from all directions - and it is raining at the same time.
Secondly, as I came through the door at lunch time, laden with shopping, thoroughly fed up with the weather, the phone is ringing. So I put the shopping down, remove my hearing aid, dash to the phone, only to find that it is yet another cold call. Why are we suddenly getting so many of these? I belong to the Telephone Preference Service, but this does not seem to make any difference to the number of calls I get - usually 'Good morning Mrs Thistlethwaite and how are you today?' Luckily, I am still too polite to tell them and I hesitate to say they should be banned by law because this might be doing people out of a job, but they really do come at the most inconvenient times. I am afraid I just quietly put the telephone down on them.
Then this afternoon I needed to use the internet. First of all to submit our VAT return. The site just would not take it and kept telling me I had made an error. After trying four times, I decided to try once more and then abandon hope - and hey presto it went through like magic. Then I tried to buy a Christmas present for my grand-daughter on line and each time I got to the checkout it told me that my card number was wrong. I tried this three times and then gave up. Then I tried another site with another present in mind. I got right to the end at the checkout and it told me I had to enter my password and I haven't got one as I have never bought from the company before. I gave up and shall use an old-fashioned stamp, cheque and envelope.
So, before I expire with frustration let me tell you about the three things which have kept me sane today, made me laugh and filled me with joy. First of all - dawn. Imagine me sitting up in bed, drinking my early morning cup of tea and looking out of the bay window in our bedroom, which faces South and East. Deep strips of crimson cross the sky; in front of them bare trees line up along our neighbouring farmer's driveway; along come the morning rooks - about forty thousand of them, we estimate - who roost in Forty Acre Wood and fly in front of our farm to their feeding grounds each morning at this time of the year. Great flapping pieces of carbonised paper is how Ronald Blythe described them - believe me it was a sight to behold.
Later, driving to the supermarket, there was a stretch of road where so many beech leaves were falling in the strong wind, that it was like driving through a shower of pennies. That was a sight to behold too.
Finally, a story in today's Times, which, if you are also a certain age, will make you laugh and also maybe have a slightly guilty feeling of deja vu. Sir Peter Hall,founder of the Royal Shakespeare Company and former director of The National Theatre, now in his early eighties, had gone to a West End Performance of Chekov's 'Uncle Vanya'. By the final act's soliloquy, he had fallen asleep. He awoke suddenly, after dreaming, forgot where he was and shouted 'Stop, stop, it's not working. It's just not working!' He says he is mortified. So would I be too - but can't help feeling - there but for the grace of God.