Friday, 27 February 2009

quelques photos parisiens - part I




Excuse my franglais, mais mes amis, regardez-vous.....







Et voila....


Et maintenant....
Bien-sur....now, I have a sneaky suspicion that there are a few more of you, who are checking in to projectforty. How do I know this? A little bird told me. I am, I assure you, thrilled.

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However, what you need to do for little-ol'-blogging-moi is let me know who you are and give me a little bit of comment-love (or not, as the case may be). In the words of Cilla Black 'what's yer name, and where d'you come from? chuck.'

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It's not as tricky as you might think....
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The easiest way to do it is sign up to Blogger. Go to http://www.blogger.com/ and create an account. Then, when you click on the comments bit under each post - that bit where it usually says '0 comments' or, if it's a busy day '1 comment' and tell me what you think of my photos, my ramblings, my innate inability to progress my 10 lovely projectforty rules beyond drinking a bit more water.
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I'm not sure whether bloggers are allowed to demand comments in such a direct way, but, hey this is my 230-something post. I'm allowed. Show me a little slack, have a little go and I might even start a regular little giveaway, like those big-bad-bloggers do in the States.
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Right....Paris....
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What can I say? Apart from the weapon of mass wallet-stripping that is the Euro, Paris was marvellous. Wonderful because we had a great occasion to celebrate, fabulous because my small humans had a great time (apart from the art, apparently), super because I'm becoming a
city-phile again - in a BIG way.
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More on this in a later post but although I suffered from pavement ankle after 48 hours, I could have spent weeks there. I may have to spend some time planning such a trip but I will, somehow, do something at some point so that I can live in Paris for a while, maybe 3 months, maybe 6. I don't know and what it will be, goodness only knows but it is going to happen.
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Thursday, 19 February 2009

chaos theory



I thought I'd managed to make life simpler. It would appear that life is conspiring against me. It's time to reign in and have an interim project review (is it only February?). I feel a little like the photo above, stuffed and a little bit chaotic.
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We are off on en petit vacance pour le weekend aujourd'hui. I'm taking my notebook to try to disentangle the threads that are threatening to knot into a fibrous ball and to revisit my projectforty list. Perhaps those ten little things can get me back on track.
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Back soon.
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Sunday, 15 February 2009

Warning: rambling post ahead


I have been consulting my diary. The shock of going back to work has made this a regular, almost compulsive activity. I have increased my commitments somewhat and I am now unable to function without my rather unattractive and enormous navy blue diary. I was managing quite nicely with my lovely red leather filofax which fetchingly complemented my red purse until a fortnight ago.
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Those days are gone.
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Now I am a slave to the diary. I have places to be and people to see.
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I will be visiting Paris and London (twice) during the next fortnight.
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My hair is frightful - it needs a colour AND a cut (I think I mentioned this already)
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I have to pack - for a citybreak - with two children in tow - who don't want to wear shoes.
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I have to work 22 hours this week.
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There is no server available at school. Ergo, therefore, no telephone. Although I now have a laptop to tap away at.
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Mmmmm
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But, I'm going to the city and not being a natural country bumpkin, I can't wait. I can't wait to be in the middle of fuggy crowds and thronging shops and squished up cafes and bustling touristico-fantastico places. I love fresh air and being able to drive in the middle of the road for several miles but, every so often, quite occasionally, I get city-cravings, ravenous ones.
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Yippee!
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We're going to Paris for my mum's birthday. Losing my Dad last year was truly awful and I feel guilty every time I think, excitedly, about going to Paris. If Dad was still here, we'd be going to Portugal. We'd be planning swimming costumes and perhaps some tennis. I am reminded every day how much life can change and how quickly.
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Since that awful day and, very recently, things have changed again. Not so traumatically but quite seismically. We're economically challenged. The crunchy nut credit crunch has struck. We're on that downward pointy red arrow that's on the news every night and I'm expecting to see 'men in Wiltshire have been made redundant today' as a headline in the dear old 'Gazette and Herald'
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There's always lentils.
In fact there's always lentils as no-one in the house will eat them but me.
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Wednesday, 11 February 2009

doing the write thing


My determination to listen this week has resulted in a whole lot of writing instead.
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I've scribbled over notepads, post-its, backs of envelopes, my hand, receipts, sweet wrappers and ripped cardboard boxes. I'm not fussy. I have not, however, mastered the art of remembering a suitable writing pad.
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Perhaps I should add a mini-notepad to the badge and key that I now have to wear about my neck every day. I have to lock my office when I leave it and, therefore unlock it when I come back. I have yet to master the art of carrying a mug of tea, my notepad, pen and additional papers/objects whilst unlocking the door with the key still attached to the ribbon-type thing around my neck.
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I never have pockets so don't want to take the key off the ribbon-type thing. I don't want to take the ribbon-type thing off as I was told off twice on my first day for not wearing it. Mastering the art of key turning whilst it's attached is one of my key development priorities. My attempts are complicated by the fact that 1200 or so young people are milling about the place at breaktimes and lunchtime. The thought of having such an audience to any unsuccessful attempt at office opening is the stuff of clammy nightmares.
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I have been having my haircut by the lady who also cuts my kids' hair, usually as part of a job-lot of haircuts with a number of families in somebody's kitchen every six weeks. I am growing out a particularly irritating layer put in by another hairdresser. As I haven't been working haircuts have not been high on my list of absolute necessities. If I look a bit hairbairbunch for a few days, as long as I can get a bit of product on it, all is well.
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However, I need a cut. Our next appointment is tomorrow. Our hairdresser is unwell. I now have to find somewhere that can cut my hair by next Thursday. I am not, never, thrice nayyyyyyyyyyyy going to gay Paree with my hair like it is. It would just be wrong.
I also have a son whose head looks twice its actual size as he keeps refusing to have it cut. I have two chances of getting him to the barbers/hairdressers/sheep shearers - non chance and rien chance.
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In addition to his hair situation. He also believes it that he will be wearing his trainers in Paris. Have I taught him nothing? I'm imagining him in a reefer jacket and some brogues. I feel the wardrobe tension mounting already. Perhaps it's just me.

Monday, 9 February 2009

all ears....


Duvet-week is now officially over. It's time to get back to work and school (for most of us, anyway). We've had a lovely time by the fire but we really need to get going and start being productive.
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I had a most musical Saturday. A couple of hours in our school hall at a sort of tea party with music. It was very pleasant and the cakes were fantastic. E had 5 small pieces. It made her very happy considering she was the youngest in the room by 30 years.
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Saturday evening E and I went to see our local dad band. As ever they were great too. They've been playing together for about 7 years now, always for charity and always with great gumption. We didn't stay long as we had a wee tiff about why playing in the local park at 10pm in freezing temperatures wasn't a good idea. We managed a little shuffle on the dance floor together though and went home with my neighbour. I discovered I have got to the age where I can't listen to music and talk at the same time.
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The listening theme will, I expect, continue through this coming week. I have new colleagues to meet, new projects to start and a husband who is about to join the ranks of the newly unemployed. I'm off to an embroiderers' guild talk tomorrow and a governors meeting too. I've got a network meeting as well. I'm sure that will involve an awful lot of listening as I've not got a lot to bring to the party at all.
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Astrologically speaking, the eclipse is about to send ruptures through my working and emotional life. Oh dear. I think listening may be the best option all round.

Thursday, 5 February 2009

s'no surprise


How many people must have posted some snow in the UK today? Hundreds? Thousands? Millions?
I had a lovely walk with my neighbour through the fields alongside our snow-bedecked river.
Meanwhile her son was breaking his arm. Someone had to do it but it didn't need to be him. It could have been worse. There was a quad bike in the vicinity.
Today has been like a proper 'free' day. A bonus day. I know it's not very good for the economy and, believe me, the reality of that is heading our way like a snow plough, but it's a Thursday, there's no footie, no chores, the fridge is relatively full and we've got enough soggy logs to last a few weeks if we truly get snowed in.
It's quite amazing to see the landscape change in one day. Naturally, a lot of melting has gone on between 8am and 5pm so what was carpeted with pristine white snow is now slushy wetness. The number of cars has gradually increased during the afternoon and we wait with anticipation to see what the evening brings. Some of us are hoping for more snow. Others are not.

Sunday, 1 February 2009

looking forward


As the Americans say, I've been thrifting....I did a charity shop trawl around Chippenham on Friday and came across this little beauty. It's part of a set with bowls and plates. Perfect for summer picnics and, one day, perhaps a little camper van set. We can all dream, can't we?
I'm fitting in some work before I start work tomorrow. It has suddenly occured to me that everything else I do is going to have to be squeezed into 22 hours less waking time. I know, perhaps I should have thought of that before the night before.
Hey ho. I like to think on my feet.
E & I went to paint pots today. We had a disaster with her original painted pot, made with great love and attention at a friend's birthday party. We had to paint our pot in the shed that is attached to our local garden centre.
I noticed, with sadness, that the wool shop has been replaced by a candle-making shop. I'm not surprised, it wasn't a great wool shop but, to be replaced by candles. That's not good. I am, however, impressed with the optimism shown by the candle lady. There were approximately 12 families in the whole of the craft shed (sorry, village) but she seemed quite happy with her candle-making equipment. I'd love to see her business plan.
E made a pasta bowl and was determined to make it look almost exactly the same as her first attempt. I can understand that. I made a tray. Emma Bridgwater it is not. I got a bit carried away with my signature which turned into a huge-balloon-writing label on the back. I have no idea what it's going to look like and no-one else will want it now as it has my name on it.