The digital TV man came yesterday. Tom has finally been allowed to have th slimline telly he has been hankering and saving for for ages, on the basis that now he has constructed the terrace outside there isn't a spaniel's weight of dust, mud and builders rubble being walked into the room every hour or so to make its way into the workings of any highly-strung and overbred electronic appliances in the vicinity, and now he's done up the living room there is a reasonable space to have one in. Neverthe less I am convinced they make these things of the most dust attactrant materials yet known to man. Having acquired this altarpiece of the digital age, we couldn't possibly continue to content ourselves with the four terrestrial channels we have filched out of the ether from the stray signals emanating from the Channel Islands. Anyway, they will disappear eventually, we're told. Only now this means we need a Free to View card, which means beseeching kindly relatives in the UK to obtain one for us etc etc.
So, in comes the excellent A, who despite clambering about on our roof in sub-zero temperatures remains cheerful and his handshake warm. Our friend Fi said after he'd been to them, 'Couldn't recommend him too highly. Do you know, he even had a pair of indoor and outdoor shoes which he changed every time he came in or out of the house!' As a somewhat more houseproud person than myself this was clearly a big plus for her, but we were quite impressed too. In the course of his visit we learned that his wife had up sticks and gone back to England in the last six months to live with an old boyfriend, leaving him and too well-grown but still at school children, which, whatever the two sides of the story, seemed a damn shame. The three of them seem very solid together though, by his account, and he's clearly proud to bits of his kids.
He arrived while I was out attempting to run a few local messages, as they used to say, as did, unannounced as usual, the equally excellent Jean-Michel, who always reminds me of Stevie Smith's 'cat who gallops about doing good'. He it was who, on hearing that we were interested in buying a digital camera some 18 months ago, appeared at our door with three holdalls and gave us a presentation on the various features of compact, bridge and DSLR, then looked up reviews on the Internet, then bought our camera for us from Pixmania, then appeared once more for an after-sales follow-up visit... I had a call while standing in the pharmacy buying tartaric acid (for gluten-free baking powder), and pledged to be home in ten minutes,because J-M was, as always very busy going to and fro in the world and walking up and down in it.
To cut a long story very slightly shorter (I'm sure you're all busy with Christmas too and I have prevailed on your patience long enough), we tracked down the page on the Pixmania site in French which asserted the camera was guaranteed for two years not the basic one year from Canon, and off he went bearing away our camera, having drunk milkless tea and chatted cameras for a good half hour, busy-ness notwithstanding, a man with a mission. A man with many missions. The cheapy compact should arrive today.
So that's good news. Now, just to round things off and bring a smile or two - well it did to me anyway, a couple of pictures of the Princeling, who, I think you'll agree, at two months shows a preternatural elfin sagesse, and as much deliciousness as ever. (I think his dad took these). I am definitely going to consider myself his Godmother in all but font water. His grandmother has just winged her way across the Channel bearing a large Christmas pudding with which to traumatise his French father, and we'll see them after Christmas.