I’ve written about the quiz books before. Daughter invested in a couple some years ago, and they rather saved Christmas. It’s good to have something like twenty questions to whip out when the conversation dries up.
She got them out again when we were confined to the house all those weeks ago, but after a couple of sessions she concluded we’d done them all. Or mostly.
The internet was consulted and soon there was another pub quiz book on the way to us. This one is ‘the same’ but newer and bigger. She tried buying it used, only to discover someone snapped it up right in front of her eyes, as she was ‘thinking about it’. I said I felt the positive effect of such a book made the cost of a brand new one perfectly OK.
This time round, we go through the book methodically over tea, working our way through the easy section. The medium section is looming closer every day, but I dare say we will manage.
I have no idea who Blur are. But I live in hope that one day the right answer will turn out to be just that. I don’t even know when they were, so when Daughter scoffs and points out I’m in the wrong decade, I can’t do much about it.
“When he gets older losing his hair
Not so many years from now
Will I still be sending him a Valentine
Birthday greetings bottle of wine
When he’s sixty-four
I’ll be older too”
Yes, well, you get the gist.
One of us has reached that far away pinnacle of old age, and it wasn’t me. (I remember back in the 1970s counting forward to the year 2000, marvelling at the very old age I would have got to then. Now I think about it, it wasn’t so bad…)
And no, I don’t generally send him Valentines. I don’t think he’d want one. This year Daughter and I shared a birthday card, even. But it was mathematical, and that’s what counts. (See what I did there?)
Son and I had the same idea for a present, but luckily not identical. Let’s just say Bookwitch Towers will henceforth be equipped with both Private Eye and The New Statesman. And coffee, and socks adorned with mostly mathematical stuff, but the odd taco and pineapple did shoulder their way in too.
Thank goodness for authors who send out newsletters. Stephen Booth reminded me just in time that he had the perfect gift. His new-ish, standalone crime novel Drowned Lives in hardback, with any dedication I wanted, posted directly to where it was wanted.
So that was that.
(So far we have resisted singing that song out loud. Might not be able to keep it up, though.)
In this day and age when we rarely work at the same thing for our whole working lives – if indeed, we have jobs at all – it’s refreshingly unusual when someone does. Someone normal, just like you or me.
Like my youngest half-sister. As some of you will recall, I have several half-sisters, but I didn’t know them when we grew up. This one, B, is very close to me in age, so I can sort of identify with what she did and when she did it.
Which is why I am right now trying to visualise myself still doing the job I trained for in 1976. It’s not even there now, so I couldn’t if I wanted to.
B started her job even earlier, at eighteen. And now she has retired after 44 years of driving underground trains in Stockholm. Imagine that; my sister, the train driver! It has a certain wow factor about it.
Today she officially moves into her new home. My address book has been suitably amended.
And it seems she got married on Saturday. It’s all go.