Five Tulips

A grey, drizzly day, but dry enough to keep on painting chairs outdoors. At last got the sticky, gaudy yellow sanded down and re-painted with a warmer, matt yellow, left from the window shutter. Tried another red, left from the shelves, but didn't work. Need to buy more paint, I guess, for the remaining two chairs, which are sanded and ready. But that involves a drive, and Mike had to do a two-hour round trip yesterday to swap the toilet he bought, which was cracked.

He's done more drilling for the Padre, and then he's laid the first layer of concrete to level the first bit of floor in the next room, which means we don't have to walk over rubble to get to the loo. But does mean more upheaval, as shelves and washing machine now jumbled somewhere else.

- finishing two good books - The Essex Serpent, by Sarah Perry (great on different sorts of love); and God is Stranger, by Krish Kandiah (absolutely brilliant on how the God of the Bible is way stranger than we think, and how we meet him in strangers)

- having the next book ready to be read, another historical novel by "my friend, Isabel", about Maria II (born in Brazil), in Portuguese this time - riches!

- wood fire blazing, warming the house, to be warm in the cold is such a privilege

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