The library, to my delight and amazement, lends out DVDs free, and has a rather good selection of opera performances. Wine in Germany is not subject to half the tax it is in England, and it is therefore possible to get very decent bottles at what feels to me a bargain price. A bit of slithering along pavements slick with rain and leaves (this downpour is putting paid to the last forlorn hopes of leafy survivors, clinging desperately but in vain to the grey branches; roads, cars, pedestrians who stand still long enough, are all covered in an autumnal carpet) and I achieve both my aims.
Thus fortified with the entire Ring cycle (Bayreuth, Barenboim, 1991/2, if anyone's interested) and a juicy Shiraz, I am battening down the hatches and intend to ignore the world for a while. (Well, battening down most of the hatches - spent the morning varnishing my horses' heads, and got quite high, to the point of accidentally varnishing my hands, so have had to leave the doors to the balcony open...).