Home again. Chilly by granny's standards - but not compared to London. Sun and cloud, hills greener after rains. birds all out. This morning the cheeky shrike sat almost besides granny, a pair of hoopoe pecked about the land beneath the bathroom window, flock of sparrows was here there everywhere. Plants also flourishing, ditto the kitchen rockpool where all species are still alive apart from hermit crabs and snails, mostly devoured by crab to judge from littered remains of their shells. Tiresome terrier and beautiful wimp back on site, still barking loudly with excitement. Feline Houdini who arrived with Granny and Beloved takes them and everything for granted, cool cat that he is. No sign of mice for him to catch. Good. No cockroaches either or flies. Autumn/winter has its merits. Last night granny and beloved lit their first fire. This morning the sitting-room still smells of woodsmoke.
The long-awaited shipment arrived in Granny's absence. There is now a book crisis. Beloved's search for bookcases this morning not successful. Books remain in boxes.
Back in London meanwhile, mouse tales continue. Beloved Goddaughter's mother declared last week, 'Nibble looks fat.' Granny going to investigate finds five little pink things in mousehouse. Nibble evidently no male, even if Chomp is. BG's mother mildly hysterical - running a mouse farm not on her agenda. Pet Shop merely declares 'Mistakes will happen,' and offers to take them back. Four days later Nibble still looking fat, BG's m reinspects mousehouse only to find a thinner Nibble and four or more new pink babies. 'Inevitable mistake' has happened twice over: mother number one was Chomp, evidently. At least it means same sex Chomp and Nibble can both remain with BG - living chastely from now on. Infants will be dispatched to pet shop.
So life starts again in all senses. Granny has that glazed sense of not quite achieved re-entry. Besides which she is COLD. (Considers putting on heaters - would that be too wimpish? Beloved not cold; he never is. Suit yourself, he says.) She has also had bad night, haunted by dreams of Margaret Hassan who if she is the mutilated corpse found in Falluja - noone is yet saying - has come to an especially awful end, courtesy, possibly, of Saddam's former torturers, getting in more practice. (This last is Granny's theory: nooone knows exactly who holds/held her.) Anyway, whoever the corpse turns out to be, it's terrible. Life is terrible. Better not to know such things - but how to avoid them in information-soaked world? (Information which Granny of course like everyone else can't stop herself looking for.)
Enough. This afternoon visit to Attic Woman. And search for bookcase. Grannyp