Sunday, July 30, 2006

Once again

the night is echoing to the sound of a small (tiny) person braoadcasting distress. (it's teething trouble). This time the tiny person is shrieking like a stuck pig. And I do wish I could think of something useful and soothing to offer but I can't.
Oh well, the party so far is going like an autumn bonfire. Brilliantly. I will certainly have a hangover again tomorrow but I have some nice photos and so has Peter and everyone has finally arrived (Adam at 10.00 pm). Vast quantitiies of food have been eaten and vast quantitiies of washing up done (not by me). Everyone is happy with all of ourselves. the day was enhanced with juggling and food and drink and sunshine and rain and assorted delightful children and babies. Also croquet and Aunt sally. Finished off with a merry drunken conversation in the dark and gentle drizzle under canvas and a flying visit from Youngest and her new boyfriend with hair raising tales of drunken, violen, lesbian head waitress, frightened apprentice, nervous cook and enormous important wedding feasts.
Tents and matresses were bandied and dragged around (in the rain) but I think everyone has a dry place to lay their heads and warm covers. and maybe even lights of some sort.
There was a moment when several of us discovered that we all blog and didn't know it (Ooh, lots of fun new blogs to read, I've said no one may leave without writing down their blog URL).
A family party is a good time to invesigate the invisible lines which connect us. And how we like to follow them. One time I came in to find a whole lot of people reading my blog (!!!) and another time there was a conversation about who looks like who.
Tomorrow it seems Eldest is going to help out in the restaurant (if he can find shoes and socks to fit) since the mad drunken etc head waitress will be gone (or still around and causing mayhem) and youngest will be struggling to keep things going smoothly. I suddenly wonder if we should all go and help would certainly be entertaining.

Well just now, there is softly clattering rain and a marvellous cool breeze and I am as usual, the last one up. Oh and the dog's just been sick!
tomorrow I may be more coherant. Maybe :)
Sleep well.

Oh, forgot to mention extravagent compliments from nephew, a charming and enormously talented boy who will probably go far. I do like a boy with discerning taste!
And two teenage girls who distinguished themselves this year by being much nicer and a bit more approachable than last year. Svelte and merry and funny girls.

Oh and in case you were worrying, the tiny person has settled down. Phew. Mum and dad can get some sleep at last :)

Saturday, July 29, 2006

scrambled post

Out in the dark I think I can hear a small person, wailing or at anyrate communicating.
Not my problem :)
The first visitors to arrive were Twin 1 and Sweet lady with 3 gorgeous small (very blonde and curly) people. Small people bounced and crawled and rolled around the dining room for an hour or so until Twin2 and Delightful lady arrrived with 2 older small people who were pretty much asleep but soon started lots of social interactions with very small people.
A gentle chaos evolved and Barney came home and the visitors all went off to their tents at about half past midnight. (breakfast and vegetarian preferences having been discussed). all very satisfactory indeed so far.

Oh, did I say I might not be posting over the weekend?
Well I took some new pics today and Youngest produced some lovely wine for us and I seem to be moved to write. Scrambled but inspired :)

I have written a list of what I have to do tomorrow but I'm not sure I'll understand it in the morning. This will not be a problem as I'm so pleased with the pristineness of my house, I feel as though I've moved mountains (of spider webs) and swum rivers(of sweat) and arrived very close to some sort of goal. In fact as I worked my way through the house, cleaning, it became less an irritating chore and more of a celebration of how good it is to be here. So in the morning I will probably wander around beaming gently at people and not being very intelligent. this will work well,until anyone asks me anything meaningful like where is? or, when is? or is there? or whatever.

Meanwhile (I did say this would be a scrambled post) here's a real gargoyle.

And some time ago I promised a pic of dog in gargoyle mode.
He's not bad at doing gargoyles?

Friday, July 28, 2006

The family will start arriving tomorrow and we only have two tents up...another four tents to go. Another two, no three, rooms to clean and tidy not to mention the kitchen floor, the shopping and picking up stray dog pooh in the garden! Some beds to make.
Oh and Barney wants to go to the pub tomorrow night naturally.
And emergency babysitting tonight which means I have to get up at dawn with GB as Barney will be going to work at 6.30 leaving me asleep in charge of a toddler! I could get points on my grandparent licence for that!
Anyway, it's possible I'll be unable to resist a quick post or two over the weekend but if I do it'll be a bit scrambled.
Meanwhile I'm having trouble with keeps posting a photo upside down. I don't understand!

Oh well. Have a fabulous weekend everyone and enjoy the'll be raining soon enough.

cat watching rain fall in another universe by flashlight

Corny but fun.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

In lieu of spectacular lighting shots

Some willow trees in sun and wind*
I had very intention last night, of going to bed at midnight. It can't be so hard can it? You just get up from whatever you're doing, take the dog out, come back in, shut the windows, get the dishwasher going, get something out of the frezer for tomorrow's dinner, put the cats in their bit, put the dog in his bit, gather up whatever you need upstairs, set the alarm, put some water on a tray, close some doors, go upstairs, wash and brush.....
Easy. Well there's the small distraction of youngest ringing up at 1 am to ask if she could collect something on her way home from work, (yes of course but I'm going to bed in 15 minutes so you can't stop)....but that only sets me back a few minutes.**

And then what ? there's a thunderstorm....So I spend the next hour glued to the bedroom window upstairs trying to catch a flash of lightning. Had the camera set to burst so it would take lots of pictures one after the other but of course with it being dark, it had to think about what it could see before taking another picture (yes I know I should have had it set to sport mode or done something with the shutter speed? aperture? ((surely not)) but I still haven't worked all these things out. As I said once before, I'm not a photographer just an ex- artist who now plays with photos)***
And of course the next six flashes came while the camera was thinking.
I considered the law of averages and decided that if I stayed there for a few centuries I would almost certainly end up with a couple of flashes on my camera. but over the next hour? just as likely not.****
So this morning I overslept through my alarm and now I am cross. and dopey! And I'm pretty sure there are absolutely NO pictures of lightning on the camera.
So what am I doing now?
Well obviously, running about like a demented bluebottle catching up with all those things I was going to do earlier.


*Just across the road from the cross man in the yellow van.
**well it takes a while to do all that stuff and I had to shut the computer down because of the thunder as well.
***And I did wonder also, in view of the story on the news last night about the woman whose house was struck by lightning while she was asleep, what would be my chances of being struck myself. Pretty high over a century or two and much higher than you'd expect over the next hour.
Honestly, having firmly crushed a childish terror of thunder by the time I was twenty or so (to the extent of running around the house with the whole family in tow looking for the best vantage point), now I'm 50 or so I realise that lightning is actually quite dangerous even if you're safely tucked up in bed. Well when you think about it, it's a bit unlikely that stuff going FLASH BANG RUMBLE CRASH directly over your head is completely harmless and wouldn't hurt a fly.
Fried fly.
There are times when children have more sense than their parents.
****And possibly the complete works of shakespeare as well?

Monday, July 24, 2006

We had curry for tea. It was very nice with lots of herbs and pepper and brown rice may look more healthy and nutritious if it comes in a pale transparent packet but has to be nice if it comes in a purple packet!

The family party is positively looming. I cleaned the bathroom today. I've always had a problem with shower seems silly to take a bucket in there when you can rinse everything from floor to ceiling and wash yourself as well. Only I don't like standing in the cleaning fluid stuff...I've never found a product that says it's ok to use on showers and feet!
Today I found the solution. Feet in plastic bags. Works a treat (but I had to be very careful not to slip while sloshing around in inches of cleaning fluid as I'm quite sure my skin is a not hard enough surface to withstand power cleaning)

So anyway, there I was, yesterday, sitting in a traffic jam and trying to improve the golden hour*

And there's this nice little yellow van exactly matching the estate agent's sign
And as I'm snapping away at him, I realise that the man in the van is really very pissed off with whoever's on the other end of his mobile. Quite unconcerned about a whole traffic queue twenty feet away from him, all sitting there in the hot sun with open windows listening to the chirping of little birds and the breeze rustlng the trees and, no doubt, to him, effing and blinding away at the top of his voice as though nobody else were sharing his planet.
All I can say is, I'm glad I don't share his planet.

*That was actually the queue at the level crossing, so all sitting there with engines off.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Quick! Quick! It's raining!

All run about in the garden waving terry towelling bath robes and cheesecloth shawls to catch the precious raindrops!


Oh ok then. Better get the washing in.
And shut the windows!!!

Cor! innit luverly :)

Friday, July 21, 2006

Having a day off titles

and most of the rest of it. Got to finish kitchen...last corner nearly done.

Green! Shade!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Towels, wet towels and little fans

Tonight I have agreed to go to a concert (featuring a Covent Garden busking band called Grafiti Classic, so probably very good). Last communication from the friend who invited me said, bring a fan, it's very hot in there. Ah! Very hot. As in even hotter than if you lie down on a cold stone floor in the shade with cold compresses on your head? Hmm.

Well yesterday, as I wandered around the house gasping gently, I noticed that the air which was coming in through the back door was actually warmer than the warm air not going anywhere inside the house. Also I felt sorry for the hot dog (hairy one, not one in a roll with onions). So first I soaked a towel with water and then I draped it over the dog. He obviously thought I was torturing him by trying out a new game when all he wanted to do was pant (yes, preferably in the hottest sun he could find) So after chasing him round the dining room (in order to retrieve the trailing towel) and playing a fruitless game of sit...
no here on the nice cool towel, no don't roll over in the other direction, now lie down, no the other way, oh get up, no lie down...
I reconsidered the hot air still blowing gently through the back door. After deep thought I fixed the towel across the door. On the principle that the hot air would encounter the wet towel and be cooled before entering.
Very hard to tell. If I hadn't done it, it might have got even hotter, right?
Oddly enough, other ways of utilising a wet towel didn't occur to me till today.
When I blissfully wandered around with one draped across my shoulders and even had the forethought to take it shopping with me...only I had to leave it in the car when I actually shopped as I felt that possibly I might attract the attention of men in white coats if I were to walk along the High Street, dripping. No one else seemed to be doing it either. And I did rather want to put it on top of my head but it might have got in the way driving and caused an accident and somehow I don't think "it was the towel on my head what caused me to run you over mr Policeman" would go down very well.
Then Barney came home and said, "Oh you must have been listening to radio4...that's what they were advising people to do".
No dammit, I thought of it all by myself (even if it did take me 2 days to get it together).
But I bet no one else has thought of this one yet. A wet towelling bathrobe...with a hood. I'd better get to Peacocks as fast as I can and buy one before anyone else thinks of this marvellous idea and they're all sold out.
My problem is, can I take a wet towel to the concert tonight. It's ridiculous but none of my towels really look like shawls or elegant drapey things for concert goers. O well probably I can't wear a wet towel. It'd better be good.
The moon is currently being evasive..I think it's waiting till I've gone to bed before coming out. This is one I prepared earlier :)

And here are yet more rooks.

Graffiti Clasics were very, very good. Slapstick comedy and flawless musicianship. Virtuoso fiddle and double bass playing, gorgeous viola, lovely singing, huge range of material. Two stunningly pretty girls, one hot Rumanian and one hysterically funny Irishman. Fabulous.

*just thought I'd mention this interesting thing. I went swinmming as well as shopping and where the cool wet towel had been on my back and shoulders, the swimming pool water felt hot! See? Interesting.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Continuing cleaning saga

It's 11.48 and the best time of a hot (mygoodnessisn'titjust) summer's day. The wind is blowing cool air through the windows instead of what feels like the blast from a furnace. The moon ought to be up any minute (I'm waiting for it to get just a little bit smaller so I can try out latest tips from useful camera book and maybe get myself a crescent moon).

My feet have been getting bigger and bigger all day (I put it down the steady melting down of my person so that all my insides were gradually sliding down into my feet...only flaw with that theory is why hasn't the top got smaller?).* Anyway, now it's cool, they've stopped growing. Phew! I can put my sandals on before I go to bed.

The dog is still flopping around like a limp, hairy rag but he isn't panting quite so much and he even went looking for his tuggy toy just now (I assume he's left it outside again...honestly, do I even have to tidy up after the dog?!!)

I cleaned another corner of the kitchen...this brought me to the edge, nay the full expanse of the top of the extractor hood. I scooped up a clothful of little greasy corpses of moths and flies and at least a handful of soggy cat hair (Tosca spends a lot of time on top of the cupboard and used to use the cooker hood as the long easy way down). I was brave and determined and attacked it with every cleaning product I possess (especially the ones that say don't mix this product with other cleaning products). I wobbled about on a chair and my ballooning feet and sweat splashed onto my glasses (which was a good thing as I realised I couldn't see what I was doing because I was wearing them). Later, victorious and slightly sticky, I threw away three scrubby things and two empty cleaning product bottles. (the contents of the two having glued themselves greasily to the three)

Half the kitchen is now clean and whitish/cream and shiny! No going back then :)

This is a nice little shed up the road a way (much too hot for this weather though)

And I sort of promised these the other day. Evil but pretty birds. And cool!

Tomorrow I plan to see a bit of morning, the early part of it. Barney's going to work at 6 and coming home early in an attempt to avoid being fried on the top of the roof so I'm hoping to get some of that early coolth as well.
Hope you're all sleeping thankfully during these cool night hours.

*Of course, the top half is being filled up with all the gallons of water I'm pouring in to make up for all the sweatyness.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Bat, Bands and Happiness

So, the other night I took a picture of the oak tree (as you do) and thought no more of it. Then I had a look at the night time batch and added a bit of fill light and thought, Oh what's's a bat!
It is, don't you think so too? (you'll need to click on the bigger picture to see it)
Crap picture but still...a bat!!!!
My camera is so clever :)

Oh, better upload the picture!

We had a band practice tonight...we have a plan to make a CD and we thought maybe we ought to practice stuff we're going to put on it. Yes indeed we ought to practice all!
Still it was a good practice and we had fun (though it started with us all sitting limply around saying "
We played my tunes and Max's tunes and Jan's tunes and Barney got confused as always when we played my tunes (I change key a lot more than is common in folk music and sometimes have key changes in mid bar...he likes things regular).

This band began a long time ago as a group of beginner folk musicians who played together on tuesday nights. At the same time Barney started up a juggling club. After a year of these separate activities, the juggling club decided to have a jugglers ball and the two sets of beginners twanged together as if they were attached by an invisible rubber band (that's me and Barney I suppose).
The first juggler's ball was a hysterical affair (I will never forget me and Phil, each balanced on one of Barney's legs, playing the dance of the sugar plum fairies on our violins((Tchaikovsky would not have been amused)) and there was also a human pyramid...some of the bricks still reckon their backs have never recovered).
Sensible Shoes (which boasted 3 fiddles, a guitar, a concertina, a melodeon, a flute, a double bass, a penny whistle, and a caller sans compare) took off and never looked back. We were really not very good but by God we had fun!

From the original line up, there's only me Barney and Jan (fiddle, guitar and concertina) left and Max has added keyboards. We're a much more polite and balanced ensemble than in those days and it's all a bit less er...freestyle. But we still love playing. Which is what counts and people still seem to enjoy us. Fran, who calls for us these days, is lovely (though there's something about Geoff, dryly funny, slightly Spike Milligan-esque headmaster who played flute and called with us for ten years, which we miss a lot. Along with the tiny and brilliant Double Bass, Sarah, who for god's sake left to get married and have babies!).

Whatever. It so happens that tonight I am very wise. I know this because I am happy. (I wish I could leave all my typos in...some of them are so funny). I am happy because I played fiddle and it was good and what more do you need (Oh, OK, a glass of wine, good company, music...). I am wise because I know I am happy. Now I am going to look for a happy picture. For tomorrow...
Yeah well, tomorrow can look after itself.

Be wise. Know when you are happy. The more you know it the more it happens. Honest :)

Barney took this picture of happiness. I believe the chocolate sauce was better than the crunchie chocolate things. So who cares :)

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Cleanliness; how close to God can you get?

I am easily distracted...currently I'm supposed to be cooking and see? here I am just doing a quick post.
Earlier, I was considering going to the pub to meet Frangelita and her friends but I thought, Oh must have a shower first...just tidy up here a bit and the next thing I knew I was cleaning a bit of kitchen.
While scrubbing bits of wall and cuboard which haven't seen a scrubby thing since last year, I mused upon those adverts which say "easy clean design". They are all lying, always. If it says it's easy clean, it means there's a flat shiny bit which you can wipe now and then and a million small rebates and corners into which which you can never ever get any kind of cleaning implement and which will reach out hungrily to collect every bit of blood and gravy that you splash around the kitchen in moments of extreme cooking. Sealed with wine and cat hair. (Do you know the Pont-y-Csyllte Aqueduct was mortared with ox blood and sheep hair?* You didn't? Lucky you, now you do).
Well my whole kitchen is easy clean.
Sadly, I didn't encounter God or any godliness, while cleaning the corner of the kitchen (only one corner, I have 12 days before the family party and by then I should have managed to do nearly all the corners)**. I did however meet and dislodge and disturb a number of people who probably thought they were going to be able to retire peacefully where they were until I was distracted by a bit of ageing grease and a few fly droppings. (I guess the average moth is close to retirement age after a year?).

In case you haven't guessed, I am not a houseproud lady. Slattern would describe it better. (What a heavenly word...well, ok not exactly heavenly but so expressive and such a satisfying mouthful. I wish I knew someone, other than me, I could throw it at). But I do enjoy it when I get a sudden urge to clean and tidy and bits of house emerge from under the layers and look cool and, quite a bit tidier.

Dinner is progressing well at the moment , in 15 minute basting/blogging intervals. I have a glass of quite fabulous wine near me (must keep it away from was an elbow/wine glass incident which precipitated the kitchen cleaning). The wine is Henshcke's Henry's Seven 2004 Barossa. It is heavenly. I first bought some as a present for my brother of the same name*** and later thought I ought probably to try it myself as it cost an arm (but not any legs so I am still standing). It was a good present. If you want something really special and you're prepared to let it breathe for half an hour and you can spare a small arm just this once, I recommend it. I really don't know anything about wine (I read the blurb in the supermarkets) but I do know what I like.

This next bit may seem like an unwarranted digression. Wait, and if you're arachnophobic, don't look at the next picture.
Some years ago, I was having lunch with a friend and as we chatted, an enormous spider wandered onto the table and began a slow, investigative crossing. She clearly hadn't noticed it but any minute she would..I mean it was HUGE. It seemed incumbent on me to somehow avoid a panic as she was quite pregnant at the time. Pregnant women should possibly avoid phobic panics. I didn't know, but I had a feeling about her.
After some thought and some rather distracted responses in the conversation, I said, tentatively, "How do you feel about spiders?"
Clearly surprised by this non sequiteur, she said "Oh I'm absolutely terrified of them. Why?"
Ah. not good news.
"Well, er, you might want to get up and go away from the table....there's one...." Well I tried.
She screamed and tried to hide in the cooker for a minute or two while I caught the spider and put it out.
I noticed today, that after all Frangelita's friends had left, someone had cleaned the bath. This time of year we don't use the bath much as showers are nicer. Fortunately, this person didn't get washed away (I recently learnt that spiders don't climb up the drain to get in the bath, they fall off the ceiling and if you wash them down the plughole, they drown and further that house spiders don't survive in the garden and worse still, that although they're so light, they don't survive if you throw them out of a first floor window. I am a spidercide...but I didn't mean it honest)

This completely uncleaned windowsill appears to be having a religious experience. (I make no apology for borrowing the phrase, I've been seeing it a lot recently on sunset pictures)

So while I was being cleanly in the kitchen, godliness was going on in the dining room. Typical...I missed the boat again.

*Sorry, I mean wool.
**Oops, have to do the rest of the house too. Hmm.
***No, no, only the obvious bit of the name

I hope blogger's playing tonight cos I should have gone ages ago

These rooks all took off before I was ready for them. It was quite exciting seeing the air go all black and flapping for a moment or two.

Detail from above. (heavily edited). Cor! all those wings. Love them.

Swans tomorrow maybe.
Visiting tomorrow maybe.
Everything tomorrow :)
Sleep well all.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Goodness, it's gone all quiet.

Middle one and HF and several of their friends are going to a party near us tomorrow night. So they're using us as a base. As a result there have been phone calls flying and arrivals and departures and unexpected calls for help from youngest whos babysitter let her down.
In fact it's been like Picadilly Circus round here today.
Anyway, they've all gone to wherever they're going tonight, Barney and HF have gone to the pub and it's only 9.15.
So actually there's going to be a hiatus now while I practice my fiddle. Had a lesson today and I so need to do something about it.
In case you didn't know, I'm really a magpie. Here's blue, from my hoard (there's not much gold in the hoard so I can't be a dragon)
Even bluer.

Right. done the practising (very satisfying too).

And the bread's ready, (the heavenly smell brought me down. I cheat though, we use a machine to make it)
And we had venison with gorgeously glossy gravy.

And yesterday I had this lovely, delicate little visitor.

Well, that's altogether quite a satisfactory evening. And it's only midnight so if I get a move on I might get to bed at a sensible time.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

New webestrian crossing planned for residents of local pond

Mrs D says "it'll make such a difference taking the children to school"

Went out looking for moons. Got this as well.
The thing is, I take these pictures in the dark and then I rush in and download them and they're black with a few blurry, coloured blobs. Then I tell Picasa to add a bit of light and hey! there's a picture there. Magic or what :)

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

New things

I love them.
I'm just discovernig Flickr...why when I've already got too much to do I always choose to jump into a new thing I really don't know! Never mind. Flickr is a labyrinth of interesting new ways to organise photos and to get lost in other people's photos.
But while Flickr is uploading pics for me, here's one for you :)
Last year, when we had our first enormous family party, my cousins from Holland came, bearing gifts. These light shades. A&T make them and sent me a series of emails concerning my favourite colours before they came. Hard questions to answer like what is your favourite colour..? Well, am I going to wear it, put it in the house or in a photo? Is it going to be like on a computer, backlit, or on paper? and what colours will it be next to?
This is the result.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Been thinking too much

I'm knackered.
Got to go to bed now.
Good night.

Monday, July 10, 2006

antistatic cleaning fluid.

Well no, this is the wildflower bit in Youngest's garden.

I had a thought for a post the other night and so, just now, hunted around for a piece of paper on which I know I'd written a keyword or two. all I could find was a shopping list including the above and such riveting stuff as dried ginger, green milk and gunk. (nice smelling white gunk please for removing evil black greasy gel-like gunk on my non-stick frying pan).

Now I know people who could make a hilarious and thought provoking post out of this selection and could introduce a note of serious political meaning and make you wonder if you should in fact be leaving the country or at the very least, throwing out your dishwasher/silk pajama collection/dog/hoover/husband...But I am not one of those people.
And on another piece of paper I had written "sitting on the fence"

I do this.

Since I was brung up as a posh, spoilt, brat in Croyden (and the St Anne's Convent School in Sanderstead), transplanted to the rural and earthy atmosphere of a grammar school in Devon, whisked without a lot of preparation to the Manchester High School for Girls and then shifted unceremoniously to The High School of Art and Music even further into Manchester (under the shadow of the Strangeways Prison hanging tower no less), I have had to develop considerable camouflage abilities to survive.
"H", barked the general studies teacher at HSoA&M, "you have pefected the art of sitting on the fence. In the last few minutes you've made points that support all three sides of this discussion. Any chance we might ever learn what you actually think? Do you actually think?" "er, no sir, yes sir, um."

What I'd learnt was, what I thunk and what the natives thought were worlds apart and our assorted experiences hadn't equipped me to know what feathers to wear or them to understand where I was coming from....though wherever I went, they all understood posh, spoilt and funny accent.* Lacking ready wit or innate sweetness I sat on fences. I refused to take sides. I'd already hated sport (Oh do we have to have H on our team?) for years, though I did rather well at cross country running until we started doing it round and round the athletics field instead of out in the woods with the perverts and dog walkers. Not a team player, me. Well really, just not a very good player at all. Unless you count riding (not exactly horse riding...more leg-at-each-corner sort of riding in local gymkhanas and over the moors and far away).

So now when I read about what some people can't stand other people doing I either keep my mouth shut or mention the opposite (or third) point of view. The chances are, whatever it is I've either done it in one or other parts of my life or had a best friend who did it or been threatened with having to do it or desparately wanted to do it.

Taking the other point of, finding another point of view, is one of my skills. But don't imagine for a moment that it means I'm a nice kind person...Oh no. I can usually find a nasty point to balance every tolerant one. But that's so much easier, I daren't let it get out of hand or I'd be doing it all the time. And it usually sounds petty or at best, pedantic so not even very entertaining. Oh and I may have said before, I'm not particularly well informed, (you can out that down to laziness or busyness whichever you like), so it's wise to work out exactly how little I know about a subject before opening my mouth.

One of the blessings of blogging I've found is that I can go to blogs where it's safe to say what I think. Other blogs where it isn't but I can still lurk and enjoy. Because I do love to hear people say what they think especially when it's not meek and mild and hampered by safety restrictions. Even more when it's funny or makes me think. (I quite like thinking now and again).

I think I've wound down now. But, Hey! I'm antistatic see, like the cleaning fluid. Metaphorically speaking anyway.

Leeks are ever such a pretty vegetable don't you think?

*There was an appalling moment when I realised that all the other people's mums couldn't afford butter and ate marge so me saying we couldn't even afford butter produced gales of laughter instead of giving any support to my argument. As I said, ill-informed and desparately needing camouflage.

While seaching for cats and dogs and roses

With which to make deluges, I came across these, taken when we went to visit my brother who was busy renovating his new home.

I really must go and see how he's getting on. Though I thought this wall was quite wonderful, I expect it looks a bit different now.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Not quite a deluge

More of a light shower.
For I, Like the View and Mel:)

Today I am in biting off mode

Tomorrow it may be all a bit too much to chew!
I have somehow become convinced that I need to do a number of picture projects. all of which will undoubtedly be time and brain cell consuming.
And still trying to get the whole of the scottish holiday into a mini blog. How can it take so long just to scribble a few words and post a few pics?
Oh and I started a Flickr account, finally, after months of thinking "but it'll use up more time". I expect it will.

So I shall be a bit intermittant for the next few days both in commenting and posting.
Still thinking of you all though :)

This was taken through the window of the train...see the smuts and smears all over it? Having spent some time by an open window, I was in a similar condition a little later.

Bit of this and that

This place was like a secret valley from Narnia or the Silver Brumbies. To read fulsome, over the top description and see sadly inadequate pics go to Scottish holiday blog :)

Place to dip the toes and wriggle...if only I could have reached it. Had to take the hot, tired toes back to B&B and water them there instead.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

blessed rain

Aah the delight. Warm summer rain after hot summer days.
Cor! I just love it :)

These clouds just didn't seem to know which way to go.

I have a lot of scottish pictures to wave about...any apparent connection with the posts where they appear will probably be accidental.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Add to list....

It's no good.
I just can't fit everything in.
I used to say I could only do one thing at a time...what I meant was, I could only find time to do one creative thing, one necessary but prosaic thing and all the other things to do with life and people and family and home.
So at one time I had a job and a husband and a busy social life and I wrote stuff.
At another time I had children and a house and a husband and I painted pictures.
At yet another time, there were still children and husband and house but I learnt to play the violin.
The children left but I got a job and a camera and started blogging. (and that's pushing the boundaries of the one thing as it demands writing and pictures...not very serious writing I grant you but it all uses up time)
Now I have only the house and the husband but dammit there still isn't time to do blogging and photos and violin and visit people and go back to painting and sculpture or start anything new.
And I do know that all of the time may run out rather's a thing you have to start believing in when you get past fifty and...well people you've had around all your life start to die off.

And dammit even more, I have to spend time trying to shore up the cracks and failings of a much abused body so as to keep it running well enough to do anything. Like, yesterdayI had to go looking for an under-garment that will hold together various floppy and sloppy bits that I haven't excercised over the years(I must say, it's quite fun feeling the boobs bounce as I walk down the street instead of flopping, though I'm not sure the rest of me is up to the strain of acting as anchor for the suspension bit). Not only are all such garments too long in the back for a short-arse like me but the ones that fit around the boobs are tight around the ribs and if you have to put them on when damp, after swimming for instance (I mean when I'm damp of course, I didn't wear the garment when swimming) it's a bit of a wrestling match cum tarantella gettting them over the other large floppy bits. (Why did I start on undergarments? Oh yes, it took me hours to find one I could even force the poor old body for this kind of garment is like eating celery, you don't ingest any calories but you use up a hell of a lot of them in the process)

I'm not actually enormous...I mean I seem to weigh a fairly reliable 11 stone and at 5'3" that's just an indication that I maybe eat, drink and be merry a little more than I ought. And run about not quite enough. Spend a little too much time at the computer and not quite enough doing energetic and valuable housework? Yes that's certainly true...the house is a tip. And I could take the dog for walks* instead of encouraging Barney (a six plus foot verging on skinny type) to walk him to the pub. I look after Barney's health better than I do mine. And it's amazing how all that lovely red Aussie wine reaches the parts that lack of excercise doesn't.

In terms of time, both current lack and possible future curtailment, smoking could be implicated. (pause there to think, pour a glass of wine and roll a cig).

Ah buggritall. tomorow I'll play my fiddle, tidy the house, go out to lunch with my friend, cook dinner, take some pictures, open and shut all the windows several times, blog for only an hour, read other blogs for only the same hour (how was that again?) ....
Oh. It's 01.51 and I need to do a picture, post it, clear up in the kitchen, let the dog out, shut all the windows, do a bit of tooth and foot maintenance, make a list for tomorrow (well If I look at this list I'll be blogging for another hour or two won't I)...

Just one more ciggie and a cup of tea? NO. Get thee to the kitchen woman and do something useful. For tomorrow....

Never mind tomorrow. Here's a bit of last week. To remind me how much fun I do have in between getting old and behaving like a spoilt teenager. I am one lucky old bitch/bag and I think what I was really trying to say today was that I'm a bit cross that I can't organise/bully myself so I can do everything and still get some sleep now and then. Hey Ho. Perhaps I will add sleeping to my list.

*Note to self : add dog-walking to list of time consuming activities needed for maintenance purposes.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Sad dog and drunken moths

I love long hot evenings but they do bring their difficulties.
The dog can't be let out on his own because he squeezes through the hedge or just leaps (elegantly, like a little showjumper) over the fence, goes off and raids other peoples' compost heaps and comes home to be sick on my carpet. So if we want to open all the doors and windows (which we do when it's this hot) we have to tie him up, either in the garden with access to shade and water, or indoors.
He chooses, in the garden, to lie in the hot sun, panting and doesn't seem to understand that the water in his bowl outside is the same water I bring in with him later. Idiot.
And we have many windows. So first thing in the morning, we go round opening them all, tying the dog up and generally letting coolness into the house. then when we go out it all has to be done in reverse. And when we come home again it all has to done again. and guess what, last one to bed has to reverse it all again.
Some of the windows are quite awkward to get at and involve climbing on chairs (as I am short and, er...tubby shall we say. Especially after eating too much on holiday and I don't understand how I can be so , obviously, much fatter without having gained any weight) or stepping in boxes of waste paper (why Barney has to keep his office recycling box under the window I don't understand) . So it's quite time consuming. In fact I think I may have spent more than an hour today just opening and shutting doors and windows.
And the dog is sad because he thinks I have put him out in the hot sun with no water.
And there is a drunken moth in my wine.
I shall go and shut a lot of windows now.

Random photos of Scotland added just to make the post look pretty :)