Mo Mowlam, RIP. I can’t see the PM not turning up for this funeral. But he never fails to amaze me, so anything is possible.
Madeleine Peyroux "disappears" – probably to go and hide for a few months after the quite dire performance she gave for Top of the Pops the other day. She’s got a voice, for sure, but she doesn’t seem to have stage confidence judging by that showing.

Cheese, but with leather elbow patches on a tweed blazer

Have you noticed that the Open University is becoming more trendy these days? The OU is responsible for the Coast series on BBC2 which has been quite interesting. But I think they have trumped that with their Ever Wondered About Food? series that started last night on BBC2. It is lively, visually attractive, full of interesting facts, gorgeous food, a little bit of science and, best of all, good recipes. We’re going to have a go at their variation on macaroni cheese.

Women! Pah!

Victor Meldrew Michael Buerk says that women have too much power in society, citing the increasing influence of women at the BBC.
Hmm. Let’s just do a quick headcount of all the female presidents and prime ministers around the world. And also the female company directors (increasing, but still a minority). Yes, more products, policies and thinking are geared towards the needs and wants of women, but I don’t feel like an "unemployable sperm-donor making the house look untidy" yet (although Hels might think otherwise).
EDIT: Buerk "bonkers" according to Anna Ford.

Low ebb

We’re all at a bit of a low ebb around here. Both H and I are pretty exhausted by work lately. Add to that the stress of the whole Boiler Incident and the parlous state of our finances and the result is that spirits are pretty low. And don’t forget the painfully slow progress on the sale of Hels’s flat, which is still dragging through interminable legal hoops.
Even the cats are brassed off as they are currently having to share the house with an intruder as we cat-sit for the in-laws – something that I always felt was a bad idea and has proven to be difficult as their cat is a foul-tempered sourpuss who will take any opportunity to threaten or clobber our two (who would quite happily ignore her if only she kept to herself).
So, any suggestions for how to lift spirits? A seriously large cash injection would definitely help right now.

Working environment

During the rather pleasant warm and sunny weather that we are experiencing at the moment, my company moves to its summer office – the table in the garden.
working outdoors
I have to shuffle around as the sun (apparently – pedants!) moves across the sky in order to keep the laptop screen in the shade of the canopy so that I can see what I’ve typed, and every now and then I get a cat wandering across my workspace. But these are small prices to pay.

More plumbing

It’s fixed. Our man collected the part we needed this morning by arranging to intercept the courier at a motorway services at 7.30am. So top marks to him. It was all fixed by 10.30, although I had to drive to Crawley to fetch a key needed to refill the thing before I could switch it on.
But hurrah! Hot water! Baths! Showers! No more bad smells!
(No money either – very skint now).

More on plumbing

Well, we now know that the replacement heat exchanger, replacement seals and fitting for the boiler will cost us an additional £270, bringing the total bill for this problem to £350. Hmm. And the earliest it will get done is Monday morning, possibly Tuesday if the part does not arrive in time.
So I’m going to focus on the cricket (Sussex are doing well against Gloucestershire) and try not to think about it too much.
In other news, I’m organising one of my plant fairs at Pashley Manor Gardens on Sunday. Please come along – I need to earn some cash to pay the plumber!