We went into Manchester yesterday to have lunch with a host of old friends. So old that Phil was at school with most of them. When we arrived, we pretty well had the city centre pub to ourselves. A copious buffet lunch was served. Nostalgia was in the air, as everyone caught up with what we had all been up in the last too many years to mention. And suddenly it was late afternoon. I went downstairs to visit the ladies' room (why are ladies' toilets in old pubs always freezing cold?) and it was like descending into a Bosch painting. Bodies were squashed together. Faces leered up the stairs at those descending. And the noise was horrendous. Friday afternoon / evening in a city centre pub! What else should you expect! It's a good job we had met for lunch. Had we met in the evening, I doubt we could have heard each other reminiscing!
Somewhere in the middle of all this nostalgia fest I checked my phone for messages. Or maybe I just wanted to find a photo to show someone and discovered messages on my phone. Three or four consecutive messages from the second grandchild, aged eleven. The first asked me if I could go round to her house and talk to her. The second explained that she had accidentally sent a message to her mother, a rude message intended for someone else and never meant to be sent at all. Writing the message had just been a way of relieving stress about a grumpy teacher. The third expanded on this, explaining that her mother might think the message was really meant for her and that would be a disaster. And finally the last one said," GRANDMA, ANSWER ME!!!!!" That's how you shout in text-speak. I couldn't do anything except send a consoling text as I was busy in Manchester. By then, though, everything had calmed down and all was well again. But sometimes the whole texting and messaging thing gets a little out of hand.
On that subject, I was reading today an interview with a young actress, Maisie Williams, who has become famous playing the role of Arya Stark in "Game of Thrones". Apparently, when she began to be famous, aged only about 13, she suffered a lot of cyber-bullying. People sent her vindictive messages on her phone and via Twitter, including people she was at school with. How sad that her schoolmates - she was at a school specialising in performing arts - should be so jealous of her success.
She seems to have come through it though and appears to be a fairly well-balanced seventeen year old, doing normal seventeen year old things but with rather more money at her disposal than the average teenager.
In the interview she spoke about one of her brothers having a job - with the a lingerie company, I think - which she found amusing or, as she put it, "so jokes". When did we start using nouns as if they were adjectives? I almost ranted about this yesterday but got too busy to do so. Yesterday's provocation came from the headline, "Why kissing is so fun!" "SO FUN"? Surely that should be "so much fun" or "such fun". I keep hearing "fun" used in this way. People say things, "This is very fun". I have not yet heard about things being "funner" or "funnest" but I expect to do so any day now. The article about kissing was not very satisfactory: some talk about how we swap microbes when we kiss and things about pleasure centres in the brain, but nothing new or excitingly interesting!
Today has been a run-around sort of day. I did a run around the village this morning in the fog. Yes, damp, even dank, fog had descended on the place and made it feel very cold indeed. Later I set off, in sunshine, amazingly, for the local supermarket. En route, I walked through a hailstorm. Fortunately I had arranged for my daughter to meet me at the supermarket; I had far too much stuff to carry home on the bus.
Later still we went out looking for a Christmas tree. It's actually quite hard to find one that is not six feet tall at least. There is a mania for putting up a tree that totally fills your living room. The one I finally bought was described as small. OK, it's not as tall as I am but even so, I would have preferred something even smaller. But it was raining hard and we could not be bothered to trail round to another place in the increasing gloom of the end of the afternoon.
So, a tree has been bought and set up in a corner of the living room. Tomorrow the grandchildren can help to decorate it. Christmas has officially begun in this blogger's household. Mince pies can now be eaten!