I carry on trying to play badminton regularly. I’ve had to miss a few games over the last month or so, as people have been off school so often, but I’ve played twice this week to try and make up for it.

I still play Simon most regularly, and he still generally beats me – in fact it was a whitewash this week – oh well I beat him last week for a change. Today I played against Mark, who hasn’t played much for ages, so I won fairly easily. However, I think once he loses his rustiness it’ll be a different matter as he’s got an amazing smash – which just frightens me – when it goes over the net ;-).

John’s been at home today, just exhausted I think because of the school play and so on this week. Rose has been to school every day this week – the first time for ages. Toby, of course, is doing his paper round, school, youth club, squash… as usual.

What Will Survive of Us is Love

Philip Larkin – An Arundel Tomb

Side by side, their faces blurred,
The earl and countess lie in stone,
Their proper habits vaguely shown
As jointed armour, stiffened pleat,
And that faint hint of the absurd –
The little dogs under their feet.

Such plainness of the pre-baroque
Hardly involves the eye, until
It meets his left-hand gauntlet, still
Clasped empty in the other; and
One sees, with a sharp tender shock,
His hand withdrawn, holding her hand.

They would not think to lie so long.
Such faithfulness in effigy
Was just a detail friends would see:
A sculptor’s sweet commissioned grace
Thrown off in helping to prolong
The Latin names around the base.

They would no guess how early in
Their supine stationary voyage
The air would change to soundless damage,
Turn the old tenantry away;
How soon succeeding eyes begin
To look, not read. Rigidly they

Persisted, linked, through lengths and breadths
Of time. Snow fell, undated. Light
Each summer thronged the grass. A bright
Litter of birdcalls strewed the same
Bone-littered ground. And up the paths
The endless altered people came,

Washing at their identity.
Now, helpless in the hollow of
An unarmorial age, a trough
Of smoke in slow suspended skeins
Above their scrap of history,
Only an attitude remains:

Time has transfigures them into
Untruth. The stone fidelity
They hardly meant has come to be
Their final blazon, and to prove
Our almost-instinct almost true:
What will survive of us is love.

Scarcroft Christmas Play and Choir Concert

This afternoon I went to Scarcroft to watch their Christmas play. It was mostly acted by year 6 children, with singing from all the rest of the juniors. John was Narrator 1 and spoke first and last. The play was about “Santa’s Christmas Special ” – a train that goes back in time and space to an ancient British mid-winter festival, Queen Victoria’s Christmas, and the birth of Jesus.

Rose is still at school, going off to Selby this evening with the school choir to sing in Selby Abbey. John and I are going to watch her later.

Bright & Cold

I went for a run today along the river. It was a really crisp, bright day. Two minutes after leaving our house, you can be beside the river; and within about five minutes you can be running alongside trees and a hedge through a field with sheep in it. It was a bit muddy today, but not too slippery.

Also today, I’ve had coffee with Michelle at the Blakeshead, and then Ted popped in this afternoon on his way home after an early finish.

Day of Treats

On Friday, I had an excellent day. It started off with Rose going to school, definitely a good start, making four out of five days last week.

I went out with Ted and Dave, first to Bob Jackson Cycles in Leeds. Ted has been given an old frame that he wants cleaning up and respraying. They had a fantastic range of colours to choose from – he chose an unusual pepperminty blue colour – a rather more restful colour that peppermint toothpaste though. The bike shop had some lovely bikes in it, and managed to make Cycle Heaven look rather expensive (it’s not as convenient of course).

We went on to have a bit of a browse around the art/book/kitchen shops in Salts Mill. Also of course, to have some lunch. Lovely wild mushroom rissotto for me, tasty looking sausages for Dave and a pizza for Ted.

Got home in time to pick up Rose – John to Nathan’s. Rose had Sarah to tea (pizza) and then Toby went out to youth club.

Most unexpectedly Kath rang to say she suddenly had a free theatre ticket that evening, and would I like to go. Managed to get Beth to babysit at the last minute and went out to see Horror for Wimps.

Eleven Not Ten

Of course, I can’t count. Yesterday’s post looked back ten years to the night before John was born. Of course it was eleven years. So Toby was doing his christmas concert at Knavesmire Nursery, not Scarcroft. The rest was right.

We opened presents this morning after Toby got back from his paper-round. John seemed pleased. He was excited and woke at five this morning, but was considerate enough not to wake anyone else then.

Scarcroft is being inspected by Ofsted yesterday and today. John is leading school council today, and showed one of the inspectors the school allotment yesterday. So the inspectors will probably wonder if any other children do anything!