They have some amazing widgets, my parents, like the widget that enables their computer to photograph a surly beagle untimely plucked from 'neath his quilt.
It's 10.30. It's a Sunday morning. The valley is a low sea of fog and the hills have their heads in the clouds and everything outside is drippy and wet, and it's the shortest day of the year, and the black cockatoos are screeching like mad spirits, and why would any self-respecting dog be out of bed? I blame myself and my parents' amazing widgets.
My Aged Pa - he of death-defying quadruple-bypass fame - is having a state-of-the-art all-synthetic hip joint installed on Wednesday. It's been on my list of ambitions for a while now, setting up a seniors' nightclub called Hip Joint (this is after I move to Tasmania and change my name to Charlotte), but now that the Aged P. is staring down the prospect of six months swiveling around on crutches, hip replacements aren't looking quite so festive.
Because I was examining a wee thesis yesterday, the Aged P. and I got to discussing the thesis he submitted in 1970 on economic determinants of urban form. I've stolidly resisted reading it for thirty years, but I started on it yesterday evening, and it's excellent, with lines like "the hinterland of today's cities is the whole world".