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England are not yet good enough to go home - the theory goes like this - we always start the World Cup badly - get worse before we get better then maintain an upward trajectory until we exit in noble and brilliant failure. And so on that basis we have another round to improve before we gallantly go out - Please don't put any money on it but I think Germany the old foe will come off second best on Sunday. Here is praying!

Good evening,

We've got a new clothes line at home (yes, I lead a very tiny life). It was on special offer -better than half price, actually- & it came with an array of extras & easy to follow instructions which made it impossible to resist.

It turned out that although the financial cost of this piece of domestic kit was relatively modest, the emotional cost of installing it was huge. I am appalling at any form of DIY so a job like this is always fraut with the fear of failure but, at the same time, underpinned by the desire for an instant & successful result.

As you know the weather's been very dry for quite a while & as we're on clay the ground is like rock, making the digging part of the job exquisitely unpleasant. Watering the area only served to turn the top 2" of soil into a thick muddy soup which sat on top of the unchanging hard core.

After what felt like hours of digging, swearing & ultimately hammering the task was accomplished. Of course I hadn't used a spirit level & of course the post is at a slight angle & of course I won't pay any heed to the instructions which declare that any rotary drier not at a precise 90 degree angle to the ground should be removed & installed again correctly.

Conditions for the weekend look great. Hot, dry & sunny; perefct for a few loads of washing, in fact....

Hope to see you later,


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