We’re back to grey and gloomy here in Saddleworth. I got up early and walked in the drizzly rain to Uppermill first thing this morning with an agenda in my head: the Italian delicatessen for olives and dried tomatoes, and incidentally some very nice almond buns; the baker’s for some very nice rye bread; the Italian fruit shop (is the place becoming totally Italian?) for English Cox’s orange pippins apples that I can’t seem to find anywhere else; and possible the co-op depending on how the time went. The time went too quickly and the last item on my agenda was abandoned in favour of catching the bus back to Delph and doing the co-op shop there - milk, fruit juice, newspaper. And it all worked fine.
I wanted to have the morning sorted as my daughter had half a plan to come round with the eldest daughter after she had taken said daughter to have her hair cut. Since she went off to live independently we don’t see enough if that young lady. But there she was with a new hairdo, a sort of pinky-ginger colour, a fine colour for a young lady of 22. Her small sister insisted on showing off to her that she now knows the names of most of the chess pieces. The very smallest member of the family is learning to smile and begin to be sociable in time for larger family gatherings at Christmas. We saw the middle daughter yesterday. All we need to do now is pry the teenage grandson away from his computer games and actually get him to talk to us. On the whole though, the family thing is working out fine, much better than it is for some famous, even royal, families.
As the House of Windsor deals with the problem of Andrew, I wonder if they have thought of consulting the House of Borbón and asked how they dealt with the case of Cristina. I remember having displays of pictures of the wedding of the Infanta Cristina to Iñaki Urdangarín in my Spanish-teaching classroom. They were created Duke and Duchess of Palma de Mallorca and much was made of how their marrying in Barcelona and later announcing first in Barcelona that they were expecting a child was a sort of unifying factor, linking Catalonia more firmly to Spain.
Even before that unity fell aport very spectacularly amidst demands for independence, the Duques de Palma de Mallorca had seriously blotted their copy book and Iñaki and Cristina were being accused of corruption. According to wikipedia Cristina is still sixth in line to the Spanish throne but in 2015 King Felipe took the dukedom away from his sister and she doesn’t get to appear in royal events. So maybe they could do that to Andrew and he could no longer be the grand old Duke of York! The two royal houses could compare notes!
That’s enough of that.
And to finish off, Here’s another twist on the gender question. I read that one of the oldest providers of school uniforms, selling uniforms for Eton, St Paul’s Girls’ School, Westminster Cathedral Choir School and the Royal Ballet School among many others, has decided it will no longer sell boys’ uniforms and girls’ uniforms but will market gender-neutral uniforms. Quite how that will work, I have no idea but it’s time someone pointed out that equal does not mean the same; it means being treated equally!