However, I feel that disappointment is in order all the same. My already quite short and rare trip to England, the principal element of which was to spend a few days with my sister, but which, it was reckoned could just be stretched to incorporate a trip in one direction to spend a day with my youngest brother and sister-in-law, who would give us the benefit of their extensive insiders' knowledge of Cambridge and join us in visiting an exhibition of Persian miniatures at the Fitzwilliam Museum, and another in the other direction to take advantage of my sister's membership of the V&A, finding time perhaps to enjoy a curry luncheon at the illustrious Bloggers' Retreat with the Brothers Hyam (this one and this one), has alas now been delayed and drastically curtailed to a bare two nights, and neither of the above events will any longer be possible, at least not in the forms originally conceived.
Nothing of any value to say on the vagaries of French strike action or Ryanair's re-booking policies. I must simply grin and bear it, count my blessings in Pollyanna-ish fashion: I will at least get the two nights chez my sister, I am comfortable at home not sleeping on an airport floor somewhere, I am not missing a deathbed, a wedding or even a work-commitment, and only spending two nights means I can more or less go in the clothes I stand up in and fill my hand-baggage with treats and comestibles on the return voyage. And I'm unequivocally insisting on a raincheck for the curry lunch.
So, in this spirit of only slightly recalcitrant gratitude, here is something I have been keeping in reserve as embodying a spirit of pure delight: a blue egg! My friend A was minding her neighbour's hens a while back, and gave me some of the surplus production, including one from an Araucana. I was so impressed with the beauty and novelty of this egg, I simply cannot understand why poultry geneticists haven't been labouring night and day to breed strains of high-productivity-blue-egg-laying chickens to furnish supermarket shelves and create a market to titillate the jaded imaginations and appetites of the egg-buying public everywhere. However, a quick dip into the history and background of the breed indicates that, on the contrary, the poultry fanciers have actually diluted and polluted the blue-egg-laying gene in the interests of making fancier-looking chickens, so that the eggs can be all kinds of muddy and unsatisfactory colours. Ah well, it was altogether a lovely egg, and tasted good too, though in truth no different from the brown or white ones.