Taxing times at Hedges Towers. As some of you know, BH is off on his Annual Italian Jaunt, visiting lovely places, eating lovely food and indulging in the twin cultural pursuits of opera and football. Oh, and a further visit to the Maserati factory in Modena, just in case this year, they might be giving away free samples.
I did seriously think about joining him for a week, despite my known travel phobia, but then I fell foul of the Passport Office, who wanted to charge me an inordinate amount of money to renew my passport and have now refused to send back my old one plus the photos I paid for. So I am confined to the Kingdom of Westfield (population: 2) - if you remember, we seceded from the rest of Harpenden in a defiant gesture against what we see as a ruthless and totalitarian regime.
I could, of course, issue my own passport, but the printer is playing up (see below). However, I may start opening diplomatic negotiations with Scotland, should the Yes vote win the day on Thursday. I am happy to offer the newly refurbished shed as a Caledonian Consulate and I'm sure, once we have our flag and anthem worked out, we we can all come to some mutually amicable trade arrangement.
Be that as it may, the usual Things That Go Wrong thing has kicked in. Keys have walked. My mobile phone vanished for 24 hours. The 2CV has had carburettor problems, which Big Dave assures me have been 95% sorted. The 5% is waking me up at night though. Along with everything else. This always happens whenever I fly solo: I am wide awake at 2 am, over-thinking and focusing obsessively on stuff. It's a form of Attention Surplus Hyperactivity Disorder, thought after a week of broken nights, it all feels more like one slice of a madness sandwich.
Were this not enough, I am also being re-awoken 4 hours later by the Astonishment of Kitten, whose arrival is heralded by crashes, squawks and the thunder of tiny paws. It is pretty well impossible to be cross with a kitten, but one jumping ecstatically on you at 6 am could prove the exception to the rule. If I could only train her to make and bring up a mug of coffee, she'd be slightly more welcome.
Meanwhile paperwork piles up, disasters rain down, the grass continues to grow and I get increasingly irate with Classic FM presenters: It's anTITHesis, for goodness sake - any alternative proNUNciation is totally abHORrent. Ah, the joys of flying solo.