Monday, 11 November 2013

It's that time of year when the holly starts to show its berries and yesterday was so beautiful – all blue sky, no clouds, but with a real winter bite to the temperature – that, like homing pigeons, we felt compelled to head back to the Ashridge Estate. In a nutshell, plenty of deer, including a fabulous stag who simply stood on the side of the road as we inched past in the car. Definitely a day to be out walking.

Before I go any further, a big thank you to the lovely 'fellow Londoner' who found my son's phone on the tube on Friday evening and then took all the sensible steps to reunite it with him: texting the obvious numbers to say it had been found and was in safe hands, and making a plan with me for him to pick it up. Turned out this kind stranger was an intensive care neonatal doctor who works 12 and a half hour shifts, 9am-9.30pm, and she still took the time and effort in her off hours to make sure a stranger got their property back.

There is something about kindness, particularly the kindness of strangers, that is touching beyond words. To this woman I say, I know a box of M&S chocolates doesn't equate, but I hope you enjoyed them and may good karma follow you all your days.

And so to Monday and the second one in a row when I'm not expected in an office. Is one of those freelance things, where the days just fall like this once in a blue moon. Almost afraid to say it out loud, so will whisper it, but I quite like not going out to work. Having said that, days off spent at home are hardly 'off' at all, filled with all the chores put off when there isn't time, like painting my bedroom, renewing my US passport (they actually misspelled my first name - somehow you don't expect that!), submitting tax info, yadda, yadda, blah, blah. Not to mention the work that still goes on with the magazines I edit, which can be done from anywhere. And the short stories and the novel writing... So, the time gets sucked away before you can say, "What? It's dark already? At 4pm?! Noooo!"

A picture taken as the sun began to dip yesterday.

Sending thoughts and strength to those affected by the typhoon in the Phillipines.

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