February 4th, 2004

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A pleasant afternoon.

I had no great need to go into town today, but the weather was far more clement than at the start of this week, and it did give me a chance to use a 10%-off Lush token (and that really is, I suppose, a very good reason).

Lushing was done. As I predicted, having a Lush shop almost on one's doorstep is perilous to the finances - but oh so, so rewarding to the senses. I bought two of the new bath ballistics: Bon Bomb and Fox in the Flowers. Fox in the Flowers really does smell like a hay-meadow full of wildflowers, and it was all that I could do, having put it in my basket, not to run home immediately and use it. That's for tonight's bath, I think. What else? another bottle of Chai shower gel; Bathos and Turbo Bubble bath foams; a block of Trichomania shampoo - and, delight of delights - a Soft Coeur honey and cocoa massage bar.

The realm of the senses may well be a veil of illusion over unending suffering, but it's a very nice veil, and who needs philosophy when one can have a glorious bubblebath? [Discuss. It is suggested that candidates take no more than one hour over this question.]

Then a little more mundane shopping. An acceptance card for Nana's invitation to her 80th birthday party. I found a Braun hand-held blender on sale for £10, so I snapped that up speedily. The market yielded mostly vegetables today: yellow peppers, fresh thyme, very good mushrooms at a pound the half-kilo which I bought to slice and freeze, and creamed coconut. I forgot the juniper berries, but no matter, they can be got another time, and there's always gin if I need a splash of juniper flavouring. There were no green beans to be had, but I remedied that later at Sainsbury's.

It seemed sensible to take a little break at that point, so I sauntered to Browns for a cappucino and raspberry cheesecake, which was very good. The newsagent had run out of the Guardian, so I settled for a copy of the new tabloid-sized version of the Independent. It's still not as sound on most things as the dear old Guardian, but it didn't put me off my coffee too much.

Oxfam yielded a first edition of Daniel Gregory Mason's Music in my time, and other reminiscences, which looks to be rather enjoyable, and a snip at £4.50. Then to Sainsbury's, where I picked up green beans, a pot of single cream, and a couple of haggis at a very good price reduction. Too bad for those who think that haggis is only to be eaten on Burns' Night, and all the better for the rest of us.

Cubed chicken is now gently steaming over a layer of onions scented with cardamom. I don't yet know what it'll turn into, but it seemed a good place to start. Perhaps a little cream and toasted almonds; perhaps not. We shall see...

And now it's time for a large mug of green tea and a relaxing lie down with Daniel Gregory Mason. Life is very good, you know.
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