I realise I’ve been neglecting the blog. To be precise, I’ve been neglecting everything. My beastly novel is on the home straight, 136,00 words since the beginning of March, only four chapters to go. Since I seem to be psychologically incapable of doing anything else till I finish the damn thing, I am desperate to get rid of it. The Northern Professor went off to Finland for a few days, and once I was left to my own devices, I wrote 7,000 words in a day and went to bed at three o’clock in the morning in a very strange state of mind. I have, I think, started dreaming that I’m Helena, it’s all very odd. Meanwhile, almost everything I don’t have to do anything about isn’t getting done. — What’s happened? Well, the NP came back this evening, with a good many lumps and bumps: they have mosquitos the size of swallows in Northern Finland, and thanks to the International Campaign Against Terrorism (huh) & consequently not being allowed to carry liquids, he couldn’t take a bottle of Avon’s Skin-so-Soft (which works, see previous blog on the topic). Mosquitos aside it sounds as if he had an interesting time, and caught up with our friends in Tromsø, which is always nice. My bright vermilion, fringed poppies (Turkenlouis is the variety) have come out side by side and simultaneously with the Tibetan poppies the colour of Morpho butterflies, you’ve never seen anything like it. Our new gardener is planting the dahlias, a bit overdue but the season’s been so late, cold and wet. Otherwise, if anything at all has happened, I haven’t noticed.