Today began with a visit from The Gas Man, arriving off the ferry before I'd had my breakfast, here to check the boiler which happens to live in our dining room (our house was built to be twice the size, but the building was divided down the middle in the early years of the last century, so our kitchen is euphemistically known as "a galley kitchen".) I took my cereal and toast and tea and disappeared to the sitting room to watch Alastair Campbell roasting Grant Shapps on GMB. Things I miss through not having a telly in the back of the house ...
The main focus of the day, however, was my first dinner party since two weeks before lockdown. My bestie and her man have just left after an evening in which even eating didn't stop us talking. I decided I'd got into such a culinary rut that I'd break out into new ideas: a tagine of chicken with spices, green olives and preserved lemons, along with a big dish of mujadarah (so big that Di's taken a doggy bag home for lunch tomorrow!) and roasted carrots with lemon juice, honey and cumin seeds. We drank pink champagne and white wine, and finished up with Scottish strawberries and raspberries. And coffee, and chocolate ...
As a little ritual, a gesture if you like to show we cared about each other, we'd earlier exchanged photos of the lateral flow tests we all did this morning, and revelled in being together, relaxed and cheerful and very full of food.
In the midst of it all came the news that my granddaughter's passport has arrived in all its blue britishness - crazy for a half-French child - and now all that remains is one last test and they're good to go.
On quite another note: I don't know about Edinburgh folk, but here in Argyll the grass pollen levels are high and my eyes are streaming so that I can barely see to blip. Blame that, the food, the bubbly - all three things conspiring to make this rather a factual account of what was a long-anticipated event.