Dec. 6th, Cotherstone

What a week. I have worked my tush off – rather more than I should have, probably, but I’ve done almost everything I set out to do. The potting shed is now a carpeted, furnished bedroom (only missing the bed, and curtains – oh, and the wardrobe), and a lovely room it is too.

Mick Carr came and took away sundry items, and in return will bring us a single-size wardrobe. And Moppet is making us curtains for both up and down stairs, with Peter Atkinson putting up the poles I bought, and the wall bracket lights (he thinks he may be able to use the old ones from Saltoun, which would be lovely!)

I put the upstairs back to rights, after the chaos of construction work followed by cousin David’s 3-month occupancy – both things I’m very grateful for, but tonight is the first time I feel the place cleared of the clutter and the piles and back to the peaceful place it was.

Also, and most importantly, today I finally sent off the Luristan bronzes and pots to the Ashmolean, after nearly 4 years of searching for a home for them – patience and perseverance… I am so pleased… they will be a collection in Mum’s name, and the money will be used to put a headstone, finally, on her grave in Skokie, so her name will be on both sides of the pond – only appropriate! Dad will probably be rolling in his grave (not that he has one!), Cambridge man that he was, but they were mum’s, not his, and the Ashmolean is the very best place for them – the biggest collection of Luristan stuff in the country – it’s not called the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology for nothing! I only hope they get there in one piece – I wrapped them in miles of bubble wrap.

I haven’t taken a single walk, except down to the river Sunday morning – too busy or too tired – but it’s been bitterly cold – next year…

Dinner with Jeff and Carol – his cancer is coming back, I fear, he will likely be starting chemo again in the new year. So unfair… Dinner with Mary Matthews and friends, very enjoyable folk… and I sang in the Messiah the following night at Barney School Chapel – really fun. Sunday lunch at Phil and Jane’s, supper (and bath!) at Stopover this evening… friends… the balm of my life…

And so to Menorca for a month on the finca with sis … plus a 2-week visit from Pesha, who will en route from Cairo to Istanbul, to start her new chapter – Happy Solstice! Bon Nadal! y los Reyes! So much good to be thankful for, to help balance the fear and anxiety about what’s ahead for the world. Stand and be counted… No more complacency, just tons of love and hope…. and resistance where necessary!