Saturday, 30 April 2011

Not the Royal Wedding

Fab a bank holiday - excuse for a party, previous week's summer weather made a bbq seem like a good idea. Checking the forecast all week I was fearing thunder and rain. However it turned out nice. Popped to the supermarket at 9.00am (full of elders - I have never been to the supermarket at that time before), cleaned house, preped the food. Didn't even turn the tv on at all, all day. People came at 2ish with news of the cars, the dress, the uniforms, the parents of the bride and groom, the Queen, the guests, the cheering, the music, the kiss, the ring having difficulty being put on, the trees in Westminster Abbey... So despite not watching it or listening to it I feel I know everything I need to know.

Then we started the coals and got the barbie started.

Monday, 25 April 2011

7 facts

There was a time some years ago when the blogging community was a more holistic type of virtual place - more linkage, more joint activities, posting that linked to other bloggers. Not for some time has anyone sent me an activity to be part of. Until now. Deb of Baratin-Deboradant has sent me a versatile blogger award for which I have to thank the giver, give 7 random facts about myself and send it on to other bloggers. I don't know if anyone in my bloglist would be interested in this kind of thing anymore so I'm a bit stumped as to who to send it to. (If you would like it - let me know). So, thank you for the award Debs and here follows 7 random facts:
  1. I was trained in three dimensional design, a form of artistic design. I specialised in metals and made a lot of sculptural pieces from altered metal. During this time I tried ceramics and decided I hated it. Didn't like the dirty hands, or the possibilities for things to go wrong at many times during the process. I struggled with the whole function thing and didn't get on with it very much. So intersting that now I have been studying ceramics for 5 years at evening classes (oh how my art school chums laugh...)
  2. I failed my maths O level twice, and only managed to pass it on the third attempt. No idea why so much difficulty. Suprising now that a lot of my job is about numbers. Hail the calculator.
  3. I can touch-type. I taught myself when I was at university. I still think it is the main employability skill I left there with. My whole career centred on it.
  4. I am only a quarter English - another quarter is Scot, the final half is American. I don't feel like an american - when I am there the people are somewhat alien to me. I also don't feel particularly English and I won't be considered Scottish by the Scottish (too obviously an English accent). My closest affiliation is London.
  5. I'm a bit sick of the Royal Wedding. I have been rather non-plussed by the royals since we waited for the Queen during the silver Jubilee. We spent all afternoon sitting on the side of Roseberry Avenue outside Sadler's Wells, waving flags and singing why are we waiting (some forward youngster taught us). When her car drove past (at a very swift pace) I didn't recognise her because instead of a crown she was wearing a green and white coat and hat number.
  6. I have played the recorder (yes, I know, its not like a real instrument but I played it for a number of years) at the Albert Hall (School's proms), and the Queen Elizabeth Hall. These are the closest I have ever come to being on the stage. The whole idea of the stage now terrifies me.
  7. I have a birthmark on my earlobe. Kids at school used to think it was disgusting - clearly something was terribly diseased, in their minds. It didn't help that my mother always kept my hair very short. Nowadays nobody even notices it.
Easter Monday

Today I have mostly been...
Watching biblical epic films on TV. First it was Charlton Heston as Moses with the Egyptians against the Iraelites. I remember it from seeing it on TV in the 70s on those epic Sundays that never seemed to end, parents spent what seemed like hours behind the open pages of Sunday broadsheets and were extremely boring (only you could never say so because of Dad's decree that only the boring get bored). And then the epic films on the little orange TV that lasted for hours, literally. I was expectantly waiting for the red sea to open so that Moses and the people could get away from the Egyptian chariots. Let it be written, let it be done. And so it was. Shortly after another one started with Jesus and the romans. Haven't been able to sit still during this one quite so much (did skip some sizable chunks of the first one), so I have also been cooking and sewing.

I sat down and watched a bit more of King of Kings, while eating burnt toast, plagued as it is with some terrible wigs, Jesus almost looks like an addict - with very wide-open piercing eyes and lanky hair.

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Electric Storm

I'm sitting in the garden watching the thick storm clouds gather, rumbling with thunder. An occasional fork of lightning crackles out of the sky. The temperature has cooled but not below body heat. Wind has picked up and the birds are a bit jumpy. Heavy with the expectation of rain. The air yellowing. I hope it's one of those fat raindrop storms, sudden heavy deluge that will clean the air. I felt one drop. I think it's coming.
Happy Easter

Friday, 22 April 2011

Dead Bird

A chaffinch just fell out of the sky floundered around all lobsided like he had a broken leg and then died.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

V&A visit

Unofficial trip to the V&A to see the ceramics galleries - getting inspiration for next terms class. Waiting on the steps out front in the blazing sun of the hottest day of the year so far there was a sharing of working in Harrods stories (some of my colleagues have done it).

A friend of one of them had spent some time serving a very difficult woman buying a broom. When she had finally made her choice, he asked her, would madam like it wrapped or is she riding it home? After which he was fired.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011


It's a sunny day I'm waiting for the bus. A young man walks up talking to his friend on the phone. They are having a man-to-man relationship talk. ...not into the relationship thing... Finally he makes his judgement, to be honest with you, you sound a bit pussy-whipped, he proclaims, and immediately is embarrassed, oops, maybe I shouldn't say that in the proximity of... I imagine he said women but he lowered his voice.

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Book series

Tips for authors planning to write a book series:
  1. Make sure the story is big enough for multiple books
  2. Don't assume that to read as a stand alone book you need to repeat all the main points of all the previous books
  3. The third book should not double in size - 400 pages is plenty - bigger is difficult to carry around
I have just finished the last book in the series by Jean Auel - I was compelled to read the whole series despite the fact the books got thicker and thicker and more and more repetitive. I wanted to get to the end of the story. Now I've got there the journey could have been shorter.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Tuesday evening

I'm unreasonably tired, thinking of going to bed, and its only 10pm. It was chilly today - having painted my toenails for wearing sandals and gotten the slightest beginnings of a tan going, the weather changed and had to put it all away.  Cee-Lo Green was on Jules Holland, now the lead singer of Glasvegas is wearing one of those sleeveless shirts with too large arm holes that open down to the waist (hate them - you can see a bit too much body).

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Early summer

Its a hot day.
The remenants of last night's first barbeque of the year are in the firepit.
Cherry blossom drifts down from the tree next door. Glorious against a pure blue sky.
Last of the late daffoldils are starting to fade. The early tulips are fully open revealing their green and white inner colour.
The grass is long.
Birds are chirruping, and  bathing. It'll soon be time for the fledglings to emerge.
Tiny holly blue, and white, butterflies flutter around.
Love the peace of the garden in the weekday (working from home).

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

 Eat Cake

I'm having a craving for cake.
Coffee and walnut cake.
With a thin layer of coffee flavoured butter icing.
It needs to be home made, not a dry shop bought version.
Perhaps I should make one, but I can't really be bothered. That lethargy doesn't stop the craving however. I'm trying to distract it by watching CSI (first it was Miami, now its New York) but these are now all blending into the same programme and they aren't distracting enough.

Friday, 1 April 2011

Bruce Grove to Liverpool Street

A young couple sit on the train going to work.  He looks boyish with a man's haircut, tired eyes and a smattering of facial hair. She is serene and quietly pretty. Like side characters in a costume drama, playing maids and kitchen boy from downstairs. They are not speaking to each other but occassionally she turns from looking out of the window and smiles at him. It causes him to smile back and his face brightens. Neither of them read, paper or book. He is listening to one headphone.