Days 107 and 108 produced a revelation about dishes and a talk with The Chronicle of Newcastle-on-Tyne. I was having a soap moment, or a soap day really - a day in which I finally announced at the table that everything tasted like soap. "Have you maybe not been rinsing the dishes?" I asked Dear One. I know he does things, sometimes, with less thoroughness than I might do them.
"I never use dish soap," he said, causing a round of laughter over the Lancashire hotpot, Esther's birthday dinner.
"You never use dish detergent?"
"You wash the dishes without any soap?"
"I use hot water and a cloth. It's one of my little secrets."
This confounded me yet at the same time it did not confound me. It fit in with other aspects of Dear One. "Just to confirm," I said, "for fifteen years, you have never used dish soap?"
What can you say to a thing like that? "I guess," I said, "I'm still here."
The other new thing was that I got a call from my hometown newspaper, The Chronicle in Newcastle-on-Tyne, about the Orange Prize shortlist. They asked me for a photo of myself when I lived there as a kid. I sent them a few, including this one of me and Grandma Winter. I don't know how to make it not be sideways.