06 September 2017

five minutes peace


Down in the cellar we have a copy of one of my favourite children's books, you know the one, where Mrs Large finally escapes from her family to have a quiet bath. In peace. My fictional elephant sister has my sympathy. It seems I have entirely lost the ability to do anything that requires a bit of concentration or energy. Want to read a book? Not a hope  other than at bedtime when after around three minutes my eyes droop and I begin to snore. How about hemming that dress that's been hanging on the to-sew hook? Lost count of the number of needles I've lost after starting and deciding there's something more urgent to do. Sit down and write a blog post? The laptop is so seldom used it's like trying to break into Fort Knox, metaphorically speaking of course. Password mayhem.

So here I am. The Boy is asleep after helping out with the vacuum cleaning at home, throwing himself around on the bed with what can only be described as the utmost glee, shouting "dig, dig, dig!" at anything vaguely resembling a machine, running round the park, refusing to join in with Five Little Ducks at Storytime and, as a finale, attempting to ransack the lovely collection of board books in the library by pulling them out of the box and dropping them on the floor.

This is how it has a been for several months now. It's only for two or three days a week, but it is all consuming on those ten /eleven hour days. That's not to say we don't have fun and fine days out, but creative space seems to be in short supply when all the other demands are taken into account. There's time to dream, but converting that into anything concrete is entirely another matter. I'm hoping that the slower pace of early autumn, the reduction in urgency to fit everything in while the sun shines, the subdued light and colour will bring with it a bit of calm and, dare I say it, peace.

Time to put the kettle on. Quickly.

10 May 2017

catch us the foxes



A family of foxes has moved in under his allotment shed, a vixen and three cubs. We've seen her - skinny, tired looking, the prettiest face, leaving her trail of takeaway boxes round the back for her clan. The cubs have been more elusive and we only found out about about them from a neighbour who snapped them frolicking about on the seedbed. We've pretty much given up on that - the sticks are just a half-hearted attempt to stop a complete takeover. At least they came in handy when we decided to tidy out the shed and air the sun hat collection. Not that that the seedbed was exactly thriving anyway - there's been hardly any rain to speak over for nearly two months and the job description for prevailing wind seems to include cold, brisk, northerly as desirable attributes these days. There's some protection in this west-facing corner and there are plenty of blankets on hand to keep the cold out while we sit spellbound as the old-fashioned sprinkler whirls round erratically and the birds swish by hoping for some refreshment. It's all pretty zen.

Catch us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil our vineyard? Nah. Live and let live. We can always eat rhubarb pickle and cheese until they can find their own way to the takeaway.


hello blog!

Hello Blog. How are you?

What the f..?! Oh my days, it's you! I was fast asleep. 

Of course it's me. Who else would be popping in at bedtime? Who normally drops by this time of night?

Only the occasional visitor. And very nice it is to hear from them too. I didn't know your readers were so loyal. and kind. Not that you deserve it. I thought you'd given up on me. Nine years we've been together. Nine years February gone. And you didn't even send me a card, let alone celebrate. You're such a slacker aren't you? 

Hold on a minute. You've not been unfaithful have you? Have you been flirting with Facebook, you strumpet? Or Twitter? Or even Instagram come to that?

Good Lord. no. Well, almost no. I mean obviously I'm registered, but I can't be doing with FB, except for messaging Paulette and Ronnie, and that's a trial. As for Twitter I'd much rather be listening to birdsong down the allotment. I must confess though. I did post a picture on Instagram the other day.

Really? I never even knew you had an account. 

Caroline went on about it so I thought I'd better liven up.

Lots of followers?

Erm, three I think. Maybe. A cousin-in-law and two friends.

Oh, popular then.

That's right. Make me feel welcome.

Sorry. Perhaps I should insert a sad face here. If I knew how to do it.

I'm sorry too, Blog. I've missed you, really I have. I talk to you in my head every every day. "Oh, I wonder if Blog would like that" or "Look at that! Definitely something Blog would like". But you know how it is. You don't talk to someone for a while and then you're embarrassed about how much. you've neglected them while you've been indulging your selfish self.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. So, what's been so all-consuming that you can't even find the time to write me a few lines. Or send me a photo?

Well, there's the allotments...and having to cook all those vegetables. Did you know this is the first year ever that I've harvested all the year round? Probably not. Then there's the volunteering, the usual stuff. Plus all that sewing of course. My mum needs watching now she's coming up for 85. And then there's the baby.

Whoaaaa there! You've never mentioned any baby before. Where did that that come from?

What do you mean where'd that come from? Doesn't Google provide sex education?

Don't be funny. You know what I mean. It's just that you've never mentioned any so-called baby.

There's a lot I haven't mentioned before. You never know who's listening after all.

Never mind all that. Tell me about the baby.

OK Blog. Here's the thing. I'm a Nana. And just the thought of him makes me feel a bit wobbly. He's not even new anymore. He'll be walking and day now. But it's like being a teenager in love, kind of private and wondrous and, dare I say, truly awesome. Just thinking about him makes me feel wobbly. All that curiosity, and raw emotion, and disdain for all the rules. Perhaps he should stand for Parliament.

STOP! STOP NOW! I'm in Purdah.

Does that mean I can't mention Cornelia Parker? I adore Cornelia Parker, @electionartist2017?

As it's art I'll allow it. But can't you just get back to all the ordinary stuff you normally go on about? I mean you haven't even shown me a single picture so far. You know the stuff. Walking round some muddy old marshes on a cloudy day. A day out on the train  The annual asparagus post. A new frock, or a cake, maybe pot of jam. Even one of those snaps you obviously take without bothering to move from your chair.

Ah, Bloggy Blogsome from Blogtopia. Your are so encouraging. And you know me so well. Try this one for size. it's the back door in the kitchen  looking into the garden, sometime earlier this year when it felt like spring might be coming. That fooled us. Its bloody freezing this week.

I'll be back tomorrow. Maybe I'll have figured out how to publish something more recent by then.







  














12 February 2017

absent



I got a new camera. I got a new laptop. It took a while to get to grips with the camera, and the laptop - the software has changed, not too much but enough to have to get used to it again. The domain name for my blog expired at the same time and it has taken me several attempts to work out how to reestablish it. I suspect I'm going to overcharged because they seem to think I'm a business and I'm not. I can't upload pictures from my laptop to my blog without going through a big rigmarole.  Oh, the frustration.. Is it me? Mostly. Would it be easier to start again elsewhere? Probably. Will I? Possibly.

Meanwhile, here is a picture taken a few days ago from the top of the bus a few nights ago. It was a very cold, wet evening, and there were rain drops on the windows blurring the wet road, the traffic and the lights.  I had just come out from the cinema having seen Manchester on Sea - such a treat going to the cinema on a winter's afternoon, coming out and travelling in the dark, looking forward to getting home. And that is where we have been spending a most of our evenings -  cooking, eating, reading, listening to the radio and shouting at it occasionally, trying new recipes, working our way through the mystery frozen foods in the freezer, making cocoa. It has been a quiet pleasure, a holiday at home, an escape from the hubbub. We'll have to rouse ourselves soon. The snowdrops are out.