Monday, October 31, 2011

So October has been.....

A fabulous month.
Fabulous because .........well...... yet again the fates were kind and nothing happened.
Which is good...no death, disease or destruction and for that I am truly truly thankful.
I like nothing happening.........
We visited London, we visited Seville, we had family lunches and went to work, we watched the telly and did the 'clean the house, pay the bills, rise in the mornings and fall into bed in the evenings' thing...which is good ......
so as October ends and we step into November I say a little thank you to the moon and the fates and look cautiously to the future...............
I wish you lots of 'Ordinary'......'Ordinary' is good.
How was your October?

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Tapas and me? that would be a no then...............

I am going to own up now to NOT BEING VERY NICE.
Not being a very SHARING SORT OF PERSON.
I am not proud of this fact.
I am ASHAMED (honest... but ashamed) that in a group of people having drinks and conversation in a bar in Seville, my mind is not focusing on discussing the beautiful sights we have seen that day, but on keeping an eye on that piece of Fritata that is sitting 8 inches from my right hand and is only roughly suitable for 3 or possibly 4 decent mouthfuls. That, as I don't like fish, hardly eat meat, and love cheese/potato/eggs/tomato and any variant of these, that fritata is MINE.....................
Sad, I know, but I have reason to feel as I do.
Let me explain.
Every year we go away with the same group of friends.
We have a lovely time.
There is a fly in the ointment though.
 Our friends eat a lot.......I mean, we eat, but our friends seem to just eat all the bloody time.
At the airport before we go.
On the plane.
Once we arrive at our destination.
After 20 minutes of sightseeing.
A snack.
A coffee.
Nibbles.
Lunch.
More coffee.
Another snack.
Afternoon tea.
Nibbles before dinner.
Dinner.
Coffee.
More snacks.
Something before bed.
It just goes on and on and on.......................................
and if I only eat cheese and potato stylee foods, do you not think they could keep their forks AWAY from the only tapas item on the table that I might eat?????? but NO...they dig in to that too!!!!!!!!!!

YES I am ashamed of myself. Please stop mouthing SELFISH COW to the screen. I KNOW.

Yet, the fact is, tapas is not for me...if there is one plate of something I like amongst the various plates on the table then THAT BIG BOY IS MINE AND KEEP YOUR FORKS AWAY...GGGRRRRRR.


Other than that Seville was beautiful.
Will bore you with the photos on another post.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Just a bit of this and that.......

It's good to start the day on a cheery note so have just had a bit of a sing song with the mister....and our song of choice was ' Hole in the Ground'  by the genius that is Cribbins.........we did consider  'My Bruvver' by Terry Scott, but let's face it Cribbins was always going to win out...so a little dance on the landing to get the joints going whilst singing 'you can't dig there...dig it elsewhere....your digging it round and it ought to be square..' with a cup of tea is a pretty good start to any day in my book.

What else is new?

I bought a 'new to me' Per Una mac in a charity shop yesterday....and was trying some cords and shirts on in the changing 'room'.  Ah yes.... the 'changing room'.....sometimes a clean room with a door and sometimes a scruffy corner with a curtain that doesn't close and is hardly offering any privacy at all. This one wasn't too bad, but the whole time I was there I could hear a chap whistling immediately outside the door and he stayed there for a bit too long and I started to get a bit hot and bothered. I mean at one point I had only my knickers on and my hands across my boobs like Babs Windsor and found myself thinking 'well if the pervert catches a glimpse of something should it be tits or second best knickers?' Anyhoo, after deciding that yes I would buy the M+S cords and Boden shirt I was dressed and emerged into the shop looking for the 'whistler'......he was bald, sweaty, smelly and wearing a pleather jacket and looking through the ladies undies...........I thought that Fate had been unkind enough to him without me giving him a 'stare' so left with my 'new clothes'.

I walked for two hours in the late Autumn sunshine yesterday, around the local area, and as there were so many 'for sale' boards up I was driving myself mad with wondering how I could get my son and daughter on the property ladder....assuming that that is where they want to be...which I am not sure about. My son and his girlfriend have been renting for two years now and it drives me mad to think of all that 'wasted' money, that could have been spent paying a mortgage. I am beginning to think that they are becoming more and more resigned to just renting and never owning, and as the mister points out  'if we were to help them with a deposit, we have to do the same for our daughter..' and I'm not sure we have enough funds ourself to do that.....and also....it's not my business is it? Am I in danger of becoming interfering? should I just let whatever is going to happen happen? sigh......

My ma and pa are in fine form at the moment, which is wonderful, but also quite a novelty....I am slightly afeared that, as this is not the normal way of things, there might be some big disaster looming. But hey...I shouldn't look for trouble should I? It will turn up unannounced in its own good time....

I have the song 'Dolphins' by Fred Neil on my mind, along with 'The Beast in me' by Nick Lowe......both excellent and very 'sing along in your head'.

The mister bought a bread maker in Lidl. He loves gadgets. We will have 'home made' bread for a week or so and then the breadmaker will be put in a cupboard. Like every other gadget. The leaf blower/sucker sat in the shed for years until it seized up. Thankfully he doesn't like pasta or we would have a pasta maker and as neither of us drink coffee we don't need a machine for that. But a breadmaker?  I must say I am not convinced that it is a good buy. Last night we had 'bread' and cheese.....but the mister nearly put his back out carrying the loaf to the table.....heavy was the right word I think. A work in progress maybe? Watch this space.

Tomorrow morning we are flying to Seville with friends. With Ryanair. I always get the vapours when we fly with Ryanair. We are taking hand luggage only (for 4 days) and as my son is lending me his DSLR camera and I would quite like to have a change of clothes and a handbag I am dreading the packing that I must do later on. Can I put my handbag across my body and they won't try to make me put it into the suitcase we bought because it said 'cabin suitable'? and can I have the camera around my neck?  We have a small suitcase each and now because I have had an email from Ryanair reminding me that I have been cheap and opted only to take carry on luggage, my case must be only certain dimensions and only big enough for a change of pants and a jumper...OR ELSE. The 'or else' being that we will have to pay £40 if it doesn't fit the cage at check in.............we used the same cases with Easyjet and they were ok then but I have a bad feeling about this time........oooh I need to calm down....I am not a smuggler or international crime captain and yet feel nervous already? WTF.....

I am not really sure that these witterings should have been put down in black and white, but as a way of 'emptying my mind' and capturing memories for when I have dementia/alzheimers, I will continue to just tap tap away at the keyboard...although I have been wondering about making this blog less vanilla by being a bit more honest and not filtering so much.....but as my kids and sister know it exists I do hold back ....mmmmm....will give thought to that.

Madame De Farge? In case you are reading... where are you? and Diney? and Alison at Deerbaby? or Life between books? are you all blogging away somewhere else? or tweeting and whatever the next thing is? I accept that you may not be blogging any more on your original sites...but if you are up and running somewhere else I would quite like to 'hear your voices' again? if not then enjoy your 'blogging break' and take care.

There is a full english breakfast with my name on it calling to me....veggie sausage, toms, eggs, bacon, beans, mushroom, toast.......cor have just made myself hungry thinking about it!....must get dressed!

Enjoy your day x

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

That there London........

We had such a good time yesterday. We walked and walked and walked and thoroughly enjoyed seeing London on foot. I think if you wander around, taking time to look up and around, and are happy investigating little streets and alleyways you can experience a place that you would never know about if you took a quick tube ride. Not that I am against using the tube, it is a marvellous thing, but on our trips to London we like to walk, and explore and meander around at our own pace. My initial intention had been to see the round reading room of the British Library. I have always wanted to see it for some reason, I'm not sure why, and I was a bit sad that we didn't see it.....in one way......but did in another.  Sort of. We began at the British Museum, and oh what a wonderful space/place it is. The Great Court is beautiful and I would be happy there whatever particular exhibits were on show in the various galleries and rooms. As I walked in it made me gasp and ooh and aah like a child......again I don't know why, as I don't exactly know what it is about the structure that pleases me...it just does. Light and space and lines and curves and I loved it. Also on my list of things I want to see is a Moai/Easter Island statue, and there in front of me he was......big and mysterious and fabulous, and although I know you aren't supposed to, I had to touch it. I also loved Cradle to Grave  by Pharmacopoeia, it reminded me of something very similar I'd seen a couple of years ago at MoMa in New York. A whole life displayed in an unusual way. The museum is like a big box of chocolates, in that there is almost too much choice........so we saw bits and pieces and will return another day.
After that it was Somerset House (will return for some Ice skating maybe?) and then across Waterloo Bridge (with a kiss along the way, because I love remembering the old film), the South Bank, The Tate, St.Pauls and a drink before home........and as I sat in the pub, just before we caught the train home I realised I was sat next to a picture on the wall of ... the round reading room of the british library...... so I did get to see it...sort of....until next time!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

At it again. I need. To. Move. My. Arse.

Saturday.
Lovely lovely Saturday.
No work to go to.
A free day.
Up early.
Cup of tea.
But I am troubled.
I have been sat here .....for some time ........
I have been sat here for .....ahem........3 hours.
Yes I know.......lazy bugger....I will answer to that name today.
I have been  reading blogs. Knitting. Looking vaguely up at the sky and contemplating the Universe. Thinking that I really should get off my arse and start the day.

pause

 Getting dressed would be a good beginning. Then maybe one or two of the jobs that need doing, and then going to get some potatoes from the shops (and cake...always cake) and then ironing. I do think that I can feel the stirrings of a wish for some activity.....so maybe once I get going I will be very productive?
 PLEASE  tell me I am not the only person to be sucked into the black hole that is time spent on the laptop.
Where I waste time.....

Friday, October 14, 2011

Reflecting..........

I bought this lovely mirror  a week or so ago. I do not need a mirror. I should remember that my house (and garage) are already filled to the rafters with 'delights', which is my word....or 'rubbish/tat' which is sometimes  wot mi usband says. Although to be fair, after living with me for 30 years he acknowledges that most of my 'bargains' are pretty good..and he likes the mirror.

I have been reflecting (see what I did there? proper writers use that sort of device....and me sometimes..lame I know...) on why I love second-hand, or thrifted or vintage or old or pre-loved or second-time-around, whatever you choose to call it. And love it I do. One of my earliest memories is of mum taking me to the thrift shop she used to frequent in our town, and her visit was done practically under cover of darkness. She was anxious lest anyone should see her. The visit felt furtive and exciting and the shop itself was like an aladdins cave. It was the only one in town and was run by a lady who wore lots of diamonds and scent. At the time my ma was a hard working mother with four kids and a very limited housekeeping budget, and although she very very seldom went out, if once a year there was a 'dinner dance' to go to we would visit the thrift shop. The rails of dresses and coats were just beautiful, remember this was the 50's, so the dresses were all, or seemed to me to be, absolutely gorgeous chiffon and lace and silk creations that were proper 'grown up' ladies gowns.
The walls were adorned with hats and bags, with shoes on shelves, and jewellery pinned to jackets and any available surface. I loved it there, and although I could be wrong, I think the owner let mom have things 'on appro' which was a term that at the time I imagined to be Italian ...cor blimey....very posh!
but I later realised was shorthand for 'on approval', meaning mom could take it home, try it on and decide, and if she wanted it, could pay for it in stages.

Then later there were jumble sales, and then car boots, and then charity shops, and always, always, always, along the way I was wearing someone elses clothes, which I love (boyfriends cardi? I invented that term way back) and I still, to this day love to wear anything from my sister. Which is sometimes very difficult, given that she is slim and I am not.....but a jumper or coat covers any wibbly wobbly bit on most people and she had/has great taste and money  to spend.
I like holding a vase that once held a bunch of flowers that meant something special to an unknown person. I like the feel of a leather bag that has worn itself soft with use. Old postcards break my heart with their meticulous and beautiful ink written words. The china plates and bone handled forks that were used for enjoying cake by another lover of baking many years ago. Tablecloths embroidered by such talented fingers, and paintings that tell a story.

Old things please me. They speak to me. I am old! and this mirror must have so many stories to tell.
Mmmmmmmmmm...just need to think about where to hang it now.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Any ideas?

I am brazenly unashamed about sending out requests via this blog. The blogging world is an amazing place and is populated with people who in my experience are kind and interesting and decent....and are fast becoming my 'go to' people for advice.
So what am I after?
Well, Me and the Mister will be in London next Monday and wonder if there is anything that would be fun and interesting (and cheap or free) to do between about 2 and 7...for a few hours...that's all.
A recommendation. We have a few ideas but would appreciate any thoughts.
Can you help?
Don't worry if the answer is no....and thanks for taking the time to read this.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Yes ... I ate it......all of it..........




My friend at work is very thoughtful.
She understands that I worship at the altar of cake.
She made this coffee and walnut cake last night.
Gave me a piece this morning, wrapped in foil.
This photograph does not show how huge it is.
My friend thought I might like it 'with a cup of tea tonight..'.
How right she was.
And how kind.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Drive.....

Went to the pictures yesterday. Enjoyed the film 'Drive' very much. Ryan Gosling is attractive (my mister disagrees...says he thinks Ryan looks a bit odd, long faced and weird...) and I have enjoyed all of his films to date. Carey Mulligan was his 'love interest' and I think that so many american actresses must have been peed off  that a British gal got the part..........but I think she has the same magnetism as Ryan Gosling......the camera loves both of them. There were lots of long silent shots with no dialogue and yet it was not boring. The violence took me by surprise though. I had expected lots of car chases but had not expected the fabulous Albert Brooks to inject a different ingredient into the mix.
I watched a couple of scenes from behind interlaced fingers but discussing the film in the pub afterwards with son and dil, they reminded me that the director was the same guy from Bronson and The Pusher Trilogy, both of which I enjoyed too........and very different to the carriage and corset stuff that I usually like. Just like life I guess, sometimes you want salty crisps and at other times vanilla cheesecake.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Surprise delight....

Last night I was watching TV in bed (the mister was there but was listening to something on his little radio/earphones ... he is addicted to this and panics when we go away in case he can't listen to the radio throughout the night...go figure) and I don't know about you and the remote control, but I wasn't sure what I wanted to watch so was just working my way up and down the channels....from 101 to 102 to 103 etc.,..... the OCD part of me will not let me just change channels willy nilly or start at some peculiar number like 116 and ramble up and down.....like this blog post? rambling up and down and not getting to the point! ahem.
I chanced upon Songwriters circle ...... three men on the stage of the Porchester Hall in London....which by the way looks absolutely beautiful....see..rambling again....and thought to myself  'that old chap in the middle with the white hair and glasses looks a bit like Nick Lowe'.....the Nick Lowe that I fancied the pants off back in the day..........and the guy on the piano is Leon Russell......who I fancied the pants off back in the day.......and the guy on the right looks familiar but I'm not sure who he is but I love his voice.
Well people......the songwriters circle gig last night was fabulous.....Paul Brady (fabulous) Nick Lowe (fabulous) and Leon Russell (fa....yes you know the word)......and I thought to myself that when last I pitched up to a gig to see Nick Lowe many many years ago I must have been in my late teens.............a young slim girl in the city staring up at the guy with the guitar on stage, who didn't even notice me.....I was a member of a club in which there must be millions and millions of members.......the audience.
Last night although they were all older (and Leon's voice is a bit stretched these days) and I was certainly older, watching them from the comfort of a nice warm bed,  the music made me happy and sad all at the same time.
Years go by........voices change......but talent and good writing ensure that songs are covered by a new generation of singers over and over again.......we, the audience, get old, the performers get old, but the good songs never do.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Testing testing 123.....

People have let me know that I may be having problems with the comments section of this blog.
This information causes me to crinkle my face (a bad thing...enough crinkle going on there already) sigh and play with my hair absently in a 'what do I do with this information?' kind of way.
As any regular readers will know when it comes to technology I am as useful as a chocolate teapot.
If you have the time could you post a little something so that I can investigate? thanks.
ps..... and no...this is not a shameless plug for followers/readers/comments, regular readers will know that I don't do the stats/traffic thing.
Have a photo for your trouble.
Not a good photo, but one I took recently in Whitstable.
(There is something graceful about ships/boats don't you think? something that makes them pleasing to watch......and elephants......watching nature shows about elephants is always lovely too.)
Enjoy your day x

Monday, October 3, 2011

Best intentions.....

I spent yesterday morning with my backside seemingly glued to my favourite spare room chair as I sat for hours making a gift for my daughter.  I had the 'craft' mood upon me and decided that as she is 'ooop north' at University, and winter may be cold, I would knit her a beret. I know....making a young woman something homemade to wear is a tricky thing. Sometimes it is  'wow mom that's great....can you make my friends one?' and at other times it is a long withering look and comments about care in the community and calling childline............
I found a free pattern on the internet and kept it simple (this is me we're talking about) but we had been out with friends on Saturday night and I was feeling a little delicate.
I enjoyed the sitting there purling and knitting and vowing silently in my head to never drink again (d'you hear that Auntiegwen?..will I ever learn?)
The rythmic backwards and forwards was quite soothing and perhaps I carried on longer that I should have....or maybe it is supposed to slouch in some way?



But let us be honest.
IT IS NOT GOOD.
As you can see for yourself.
Stop laughing.
Actually I don't think it can be called a beret at all.
A big bowl of WRONG really.
Wrong in so many ways.
Bad colour, bad size, bad shape and  strange to look at and ... well .... just a waste of wool.

I am going to unpick it and do something else with it...the question is what?

Saturday, October 1, 2011

He looked a little too long and hard........

What? what do you think I mean?
Not what I guess you might have initially thought.....I am not that woman.

Y'see last night I was in the queue in the local store. The queue that snakes past the aisle with the toothpaste and nail varnish remover and expensive little bits and bobs that you usually wouldn't buy in a convenience store. There was only one person on the till and quite a queue, but I was in no hurry. I was idly looking at the shelf right next to me, head height. Packets of emery boards and scissors and one packet of tweezers. Only there were no tweezers in it. It was empty. Someone must have taken them.
The till bell rang for assistance and as another staff member appeared from the back room and squeezed past me (it was a narrow aisle) I had the empty packet in my hand and I was looking around for the tweezers....no..no tweezers. Now I shop in this place at least twice a week and this chap knows me, only in a 'hi how are you?' kind of way, but I like to think he knows I do not shoplift. He is not the tallest man in the world and in fact cannot reach the shelf with the aformentioned tweezers, or empty tweezer packets.
I handed the empty packet to him and said 'Hi..this is empty...someone must have taken them...' .
Initially he slowed down, took the packet and said 'thanks' and began to walk away. Then something made him stop, look up at me or rather my chin (as I said he is not tall) and say 'do you need these?, shall I find some in the storeroom for you?'. I could see him searching my face from brow to chin (possibly nose as well) but I stammered a 'no thanks' and moved up the queue.

As I said, he looked a little too long and too hard.

Listen up people. When you are 57 and you own a magnifying mirror, you do not leave the house until you have checked for those pesky 'I'm the start of your old lady beard' hairs.

Trust me on this.

27.

Just for now.