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Downton yes, Vinyl no, John Oliver forever

Record cold on Valentine’s Day – the coldest since the 1800’s. The kind of cold that when you go out, your eyeballs burn. But luckily, besides buying some groceries for my dinner party, I didn’t have to go out. Wayson came over with roses, JM and Richard brought dark chocolate … love.

How wonderful it is to have friends for dinner on a cold dark winter night. Jean-Marc and Richard, Gretchen and Jack came; I roasted two chickens with lemon, rosemary and veggies, and made my favourite Yotam Ottolenghi recipe, parsnips and sweet potatoes in a caper vinaigrette. Fresh bread, very good red wine, lots of animated talk – G and J are ex-pat Americans and Richard is a politics junkie, so major discussion about the current situation down south.

And then, after dessert – Downton, the most delicious treat of all. So much fun, however clunky it is – didn’t we KNOW something was going to go wrong with those cars? Tom’s girl has obviously appeared – an editor, no less, a working girl after my own heart for that sweet man. Everyone’s plot line is settling into place except poor Barrow, such dark clouds for him. Is he meant to show us that not everything in life resolves neatly? I do hope there’s a tiny bit of happiness for Barrow. Only two more shows, how I’ll miss our Sunday gatherings.

We watched the new HBO show Vinyl afterwards – directed by Scorsese with input from Mick Jagger, about the rock world in the Seventies. I hated it, despite the great music – loathsome people behaving loathsomely, who needs it? There’s enough of that on the news. Won’t watch again. And then John Oliver at 11 – another treat to watch him eviscerate Republicans. Never enough of that.

Today two more Valentines – one, I loaded the huge stack of dishes from last night into the new dishwasher and, with trepidation, ran it for the first time. It worked. The dishes were clean, even the cutlery, a treat I haven’t enjoyed for a long time. Imagine, a new machine that actually works!

And then a present in the mail from Lynn in France – a bag she ordered for me and a beautiful sparkly necklace. I am feeling the love. It’s milder too, not so viciously cold. There are leftovers. There’s wine. I played the Bach aria I’ve been practicing without as many mistakes, and it floods my heart with joy. Family Day today and I’m solitary, talking to no one, not even family. That’s good too.

Hope your days, yesterday and today’s holiday, were full of warmth and the gifts of friendship. And here’s my gift to you – a beautiful song from a beautiful man:



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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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