There's a gale blowing outside and I've been soaked in the rain once again. The house is dark and the air smells vaguely of both peat and eggs. Seagulls are wheeling distantly over head and the trees are winding their bodies down; the sound is like a platoon of fat men marching across an endless plateau of crisps. It's August in Belfast.
I got soaked yesterday too but that was on a fun family excursion and I was sporting a pack-a-mac so it was fine. It was Stephen Mullan's last day in Ireland so the family made a trip to Gulladuff and we commemorated it with a walk up a Cairn that I forget the name of. It was great to get some exercise, some quality time with the Mullans and a look at the big stupid, Dali skies they have over here. The skies are too sky-ey; weird, fiddly bits of filligreed cloud, too nuanced and cleanly delineated to be real. The sky here reminds me of the hyper-realist matte paintings of "Black Narcissus", brilliant colours and crisp purple shadows where the sun breaks through cracks in the clouds, picking out the fields like a spotlight. It is very beautiful here. When the sun's out.
In the evening I treated myself to the only bottle of Meerlust Rubicon I've ever seen in Ireland. It was a delicious end to a day.
I've been feeling quite desperate recently and haven't been shy about it but I laughed a great deal on Friday. I had been moaning vehemently on Facebook* about the lack of available foods here, especially when it comes to seasoning my fancy-pants soups. I thought nothing of it, I rant therefore I am. But on my return from the head-shrinkest I found a very carefully put together package. It was from my old work colleague Jodie and contained: sage, oregano, shallots, some Bisto gravy granules (!), angel delight, marsh-mellows, two terrifying looking packets from Germany containing I don't know what and a Wham bar - with a note apologising for the inclusion of the wham bar as she knew the perilous condition my teeth were in.
I was delighted. The shallots are going into tonight's soup.
Once again I am reminded of the tremendous quality of my friends.
Dr. Who returned to our screens last night. The first one of the revamped series that Kelly won't have seen. These are the unexpectedly sad things that leap out at you when you least expect it. I didn't expect Moffat's shark vaulting exercise to have quite such an emotional undertow but you can be sure that he didn't put it there. It's all Kelly.
*I'm on Facebook strike at the moment. Well not strike exactly - I'm still reading what's going on but I'm not really writing anything on there. I was finding that I was spending four or five hours a day on there and really that' too much time. I'm stepping back from Facebook. I just want to live!