Monday, 29 March 2010

I should really grow up...

and avoid the following.....

- putting the clocks forward to start a Saturday evening a little earlier (not my idea but I encouraged it)
- playing board games at 1.30am
- going to bed at 3.30am
- waking up at 7.30am
- making Nigella's chocolate cheesecake without realising how calorific it is
- moving candles whilst lit, resulting in a drippy, snail-like trail along the entire length of the hall carpet

A slight aberration in my normally so-grown-up day to day life.  Time to get back on track...

Thursday, 25 March 2010

back to normal motherdom...

- 3 doctor's appointments for minor child-related ailments

- washing of the muddiest socks and sports kit at least twice a week

- persuasion and cajolment to eat vegetables (avoiding necessity to visit doctors)

- school shoes with emerging holes requiring replacement

- contemplation of newly introduced weekly menu system (the theory fine, the practice haphazard)

- avoidance of necessary housework

- amazement at growth of dust on surfaces everywhere

- attempts at secret running (I kid you not) around village where people can't see me

- funny feeling in left hip

- realisation that eyebrows require attention and eyelashes are shrinking

- repeated listening to Gorillaz new CD, wondering whether I should at my age

I watched 'Women' again last night.  It was a great programme, featuring the London Feminist Network.  I'm not sure I could become a member.  I don't live in London and I wouldn't know how to make lentil sandwiches.  It was great to see some modern-day feminists though.  Like the programme makers, I thought that organised feminist activism was a dim and distant memory.  I was intrigued and 'feminism' is now on my list of 'things I'd like to think about when I've got a moment'.

I also watched the latter half of the programme on bread - I'd been to Shipton Mill with a colleague who is as obsessed by bread as I am by knitting and crafts.  It was fascinating to hear her take on making real bread with real yeast, not using breadmakers (I love my breadmaker) and doing the whole thing as it was meant to be done.  Another item to add to my 'moment list'.

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Mothering Sunday

I never really thought about being a mum.  As a younger woman, I rarely dreamt of marriage or children.  I think I just expected to get married and have kids at some point.  It never occured to me to wonder or imagine how it might all turn out.

I have to say, I feel mighty fortunate.  We're all healthy.  We're OK for funds.  We live in a lovely part of the world (too far from the sea for my liking but that's being picky) and we get to do most of the things we want to do.

I was brought breakfast in bed and presented with some horticultural necessities by my offspring today and spent the morning pottering about the garden, planting dahlias, sowing seeds and filling our brown bin with a few more twigs and greenery.  We went out for lunch with Granny and filled ourselves with roast dinner and pudding.  Those that wanted to watched the rugby and I played with all the patterns and articles I've been editing from my enormous collection of knitting magazines.

Nothing much has happened.  There have been no dramas.  Just the way I like my Sundays to be.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

use it up, wear it out....

Do you remember Odyssey?  I loved them - one minute they were 'shaking on down baby' and the next minute they were 'looking for a way out'.  I've been singing their 'use it up' song whilst purging my collection of knitting magazines.

Do not be concerned.  I am conserving patterns of interest and recycling the rest.  Unadulterated issues are being passed on to a local WI jumble sale (and then they'll be recycled).  I am finding the whole process quite therapeutic.  I am creating space and it feels good.  No doubt I will fill that space with other magazines and books but, temporarily, there is space edged with dust (where I haven't).

I have a thing about magazines.  I have my height in 'Vogue' in the spare room, collected since the early 1990s.  I just can't bear to give them away.  I gave them to my niece when she was studyingn textiles at Exeter.  When she moved into a one bedroom flat with her boyfriend, I asked for their return.  I couldn't bear the thought of them being put in a recycling bin. I have great hopes for them.  I hope one day that someone will want them and be inspired by them.  One of my many list items is to start looking through them again, starting with the earliest issues.  Perhaps they will inspire me.  I saw the first 'Sex and the City' film and actually recognised some of the shots that were copied in SJP's wedding dress shoot.  I can't say I could recognise every cover but I bet I could go on Mastermind with the specialist subject of Vogue 1992 - 2010 quite happily and with a fair degree of confidence.

Back to the knitting magazines.  Having spent several pleasurable hours over the last few days ripping and tearing.  I find that my interest lies in knitted and crocheted accessories and objects rather than garments. I hung on to patterns for knitted dice, pot-holders, cushion covers and blankets.  I rejected most of the jumpers, sweaters and boleros.  I now have to take a trip to WHSmith (other stationers' are available) and find some suitably matching files to house my ever-expanding collection of ripped out pencil cases and egg cosies.

This process is the first stage of a gradual spring clearout.  There are things in my house that don't get moved for months.  Clothes in the wardrobes that never get worn.  They lurk.  I enjoy most of the things that I own.  I don't have a great need for new things but I really should find a more appreciative home for some of the things that live here.  I have collected bits and pieces that I will never use. Most of them are stuffed under my desk.  Most of them are a little bit retro, a little bit vintage.  Perhaps I need a little ebay phase.

Monday, 8 March 2010

how to make 36 hours feel like 3 days....

Stay here...

Eat out three times: here, here and here....

Take a trip the theatre to see this

Have breakfast in bed here....

Whilst lying here....

Say goodbye to the lovely view...


And take a taxi to here...

What a trip and what a lot to appreciate - the beloved G, the supergran J, the lovely staff at the hotel and the lovely weather making London sparkle and look at its very best.

Friday, 5 March 2010

are you free at the weekend?

I am!  I am being whisked away for 36 hours by the beloved G and Great Western Railways.  We are off to stay in St Martin's Lane, scene of our first date and subsequent shenanigans all those years ago.  Granny is coming to stay.  The kids have put their self-imposed ground rules on the fridge for reference and this old married couple will be in the first class carriage on the 10am to Paddington.

I am typing this in front of the fire, whilst my beloved of 21 years snores.  Jonathan Ross has just popped up with a couple of boring guests and Lady Gaga who is wearing some kind of veil and has one yellow bunch of hair, and one lilac.  It's time to get an relatively early night so that I can get get organised in the morning, pack and make sure provisions and whatnots are in place for the babysitter.

We are going to the theatre tomorrow night and apart from that have nothing planned except breakfast in bed on Sunday morning.  Bliss-city.

Thursday, 4 March 2010

the only inanimate object in the Zodiac

I am a Libran.  Librans are often described as diplomatic, balanced, calm.

I am of the astrological theory (yes, and I can hear some of you shout 'rot!') that some Librans are not balanced.  They may search for balance but in this process they swing from one extreme to another, they flit, they adapt, they change and procrastinate in the spirit of finding the perfect balance, the equilibrium.  Guess where I think I fit?

This, I believe, is why my day to day life is not one of gentle balance but one of shift and change.  When I am at home, I feel I should be working.  When I am working, I want to be at home.  When I am knitting, I am thinking about sewing projects.  When I am alone, I want to be with friends.  My attention span needs, well, attention.  It's not at its longest or most concentrated at the moment.

I heard (although I should have realised) that Libra is the only object in the Zodiac.  Every other sign is represented in human or animal form.  What does that mean?  Does it mean Librans are somehow more analytical, less feeling, less emotional?  Perhaps that's why we go in for the yin/yang the see-saw thing?

One of my favourite aunts has just started blogging (I will reveal a link, soon) and in her profile she talks about living her life 'deliberately', making conscious choices about what she really wants to do and not 'going with the flow'.

I have long resigned myself to being a flibbertygibbet, a gatherer, a snacker on all sorts of stuff.  What I need now is a proper hearty meal, maybe three courses, not a buffet.

By the way, does anyone else think that 'Mad Men' has got a little dull, or is it me?  I think it's the lack of Joan about the place.