Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Lost time and spring

It was Sunday evening before I realised that the clocks had sprung forward on Saturday night. iPhone helpfully changed itself and I clearly wasn't looking at the numerous other clocks around the house (one in the kitchen, one in the hall, one in the living room, not to mention the microwave, cooker, humax). I was shocked when I discovered that I was behind all day.

I watched my blossom tree bloom as the day went on. Full of bees - seem to be different sorts to me. And one peacock butterfly. And of course the sparrows, blue tits, great tits, chaffinches, robin. I love spring. The warmth of the sun, blue skies and flowers. Lovely.

Friday, 23 March 2012

Blogging Template Troubles

Haven't had a template issue for years until recently when the comments facility was acting up. Its taken a few days but I've been onto support and its all fixed now (I hope). Its linked to the new google/blogger redirect to local addresses apparently.

In the old days, at the exciting beginning of blogging career I used to tinker with the template regularly, updating the links and stuff, changing the pictures on it. I haven't done this for so long that I've forgotten how - inching through HTML code to find the appropriate script. Its a level of detail that doesn't lend itself to a friday night after a week at work. Its also why I still use an old blogger template with none of the new bells and whistles that I could have if I upgraded to a new template (I'm too attached to the colour panels and can't be bothered to remind myself how to recode this onto a new template). I wonder how long I would have to spend to really learn this stuff.

Been using pinterest quite a bit - it reminds me of what blogging used to do (point you to interesting things on the internet that you wouldn't find easily) but in a visual form. Its social in that you can following different pinners and find ones who are interested in the same stuff as you (which is how you used to gather a bloggers to your bloglist) and can show you stuff that you like (I've got a collection of ceramics pictures - searching for inspiration and artistic rather than pottery ceramics amongst other things). The only bad part of it is you have to be invited to join in (the exclusivity may make some people feel like they are in a club but I would prefer it to be open). I like it better than facebook and twitter though. It has more purpose, maybe.

Ceramics Class Spring Term 2012

Its been a term where I seem to have glazed all insides with Egyptian Blue. I'm channelling David Attenborough's frozen planet contrasting white and dark clays with deep blue insides like lagoons or icebergs. Its not so good on the jug (its not food safe - poison in the glaze). I hadn't realised how much of the work I made this term had a blue inside until I started putting a group of pictures together.

Friday, 16 March 2012

Friday Evening

In a bubble. Sitting in a dark bar lit by a bright yellow display of spirits. Its on a junction by a major thoroughfare - cars rushing to other placces. The radiator is on inside. The sky outside is very dark. Jazzy swing music is playing in the background to the jabber of people chatting.  A man at the next table snogs his girlfriend who is sitting in his lap as her friend plays gooseberry and buys more champagne. Outisde London is grey and cold and March. Inside it wouldn't be a suprise if flappers were dancing on tables in the other room to a band full of brass. A man walks past with two bulldogs that are interested in everything. Another man crosses the street with his son. A woman drags twin children on three-wheel scooters across the street - one in each hand. Neither child seems to have mastered the fact that they need to propel the scooter using their foot - so they just stand on the platform without moving. World goes by. Looking out from the bubble.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012


Shopping in town mid-week (had a couple of days off) is not like the weekend when the people hit the shops in a frenzy of buying as if the end of the world is nigh. No, mid-week shopping is a whole other ball-game. The shops are relatively empty, there are plenty of shop assistants to help. In John Lewis there were twinsets and pearls, and burberry donkey jackets with loafers and dark blue jeans, Queen's English and large shopping totes. Fur-lined collars are real. Purchasing with a slower pace.

I was looking for a new pair of glasses - its been rather tricky - the brand that I had which snapped are not stocked anywhere in London anymore and the styles in the majority of opticians are just too middle-of-the-road. I'm looking for something a little more unusual. I even tried the place in Covent Garden that only lets a limited number of people in the shop at any one time and makes the frames specially for you (delivery takes up to 6 weeks, costs £300 for the frame which I wanted and can't be paid for in installments). I finally found a place with an old fashioned style - leather seats and consultation booths but carrying quite an unusual range. The new purchase may help me get over the trauma of snapping my old pair. The lady in the opticians thought I had a very good eye. Suits you!

It has been one of those days when I felt like I was bunking off work. I enjoyed it greatly but felt guilty - like I should have been somewhere else...back to work tomorrow though.

Friday, 9 March 2012


We've just finished an intense week being inspected. That concludes an intense four week preparation period. Lots of long working days. And that's the end of an intense couple of years of work. We stayed in a pub b&b walking distance from work. Great for getting in early to be ready for them first thing in the morning. Bad because it was really only b [bed] and no b [breakfast] and the local cafes didn't open until I had already arrived at work. We checked in on Sunday, in the preparation to get there I snapped my glasses in half at the nose bridge. Not sure if they will be repairable. My favourite glasses. Then the first morning my hair clip snapped and not being at home I didn't have a replacement. On the second morning I dropped the other clip down the sink and had to unbend a coat hanger to rescue it. I forgot to take any pjs. Despite all these mini disasters people said I exuded calm all week (in total opposition to the nervous anxiety raging through me) which is seemingly a good trait in the link person on an inspection.

Monday, 5 March 2012

Mousecapades II... The Return

In the fight against the mouse mice I borrowed these humane traps from Pops, being a vegetarian and all, I didn't really want to kill them, just get them out of the house. I forgot though that once you catch something you have to get rid of it.

One of the traps had been under the cupboard under the sink for weeks and hadn't caught a thing. Suddenly one evening, really late, I heard  mad scrabbling and just knew a mouse was caught. The trap was shut when I got it out from under the cuboard. I had to shake it to be sure there was actually a mouse inside (they are very light) and still wasn't certain until I opened the flap slightly and saw its horrible hairless tail. So then where to get rid of it.... took a trip to the local park at 2am and dumped the mouse out. The trouble with this is that a) it isn't a neighbourly thing to do, and b) someone told me that they have a very good sense of smell and homing instinct and you have to take them at least 2 miles to get them lost. So the following day when I caught another one in the same trap it may be a second mouse or  it may just have been the same mouse returned home again and foolish enough to go in the trap again. I had to take this one to the park at 3pm. Not as easy to dump a mouse in broad daylight. I'm thinking traps that kill them might be better next time.

Anyway its four down so far...