DAMN. I picked the wrong year to give up buying clothes. What did I say at the outset? What did I predict would make me abandon my resolve? I believe I said that losing my entire wardobe in a house fire might do it. Or some big function deserving of a new outfit.
So now the chancellor is going to be the next dean of Liverpool. This means a HUGE installation service in Liverpool cathedral requiring a shopping spree WORTHY OF MORDORRR, as Saruman almost said in LOTR.
And horribly, while we were on the M6 yesterday afternoon heading for Liverpool (for the grand unveiling of the new dean this morning), the chancellor's phone rang. It was his PA to say there was a major fire in cathedral school adjoining our house, and the Fire Brigade wanted to know was anyone at home? The IT room had gone up in flames. Nobody was hurt, and the school's evacuation proceedures were impeccable. I had to ring our son and warn him he wouldn't be allowed into our house when he got in from school. Five fire engines in the Close. Our son overheard the precentor say to the dean 'Well, let's hope there's no CRISIS before you go off on sabbatical the day after tomorrow.'
Well, eventually the fire was brought under control, our son was allowed in to the house (but not out); while the verger who was out of his house was not allowed in. Lath and plaster walls and timber framed buildings will now always send a shiver through me when I think about them. There is serious damage to the school building, and great sadness about that, but immense relief that it wasn't any worse.
And not for one single moment did I think That would have been a cast iron excuse for clothes buying. Any more than the chancellor thought My bible commentaries!
But pity me, people. I'm moving to Merseyside; home, surely, of Britain's smartest women. Women who are rumoured not even to put out their bins unless they are in heels, make up, and they've done their hair. I'm going to look like a bag lady. Just like I predicted back on January 1st.
But hey. Sad though I'll be to leave Lichfield, I'm going to love Liverpool. I can feel it in my bones.