Yesterday was, for me one of those lovely days to store away to be brought out and looked at on not so lovely days!

I spent it all surrounded by nice people, laughter and good food.

It was of course Tilly’s birthday, and she didn’t have to go to work, which was a bonus all by itself.  Being grown-up sometimes means that ‘boring’ gets in the way of  life, but no she and her boyfriend were home and Jason her Dad managed to be working in Nottingham and home in time for tea.  And Robert and Sue (of the three dogs) managed to get away together and join us as well, and with Oscar and Tallulah and Kate of course, we were a jolly crowd around the table. So many of us indeed that next birthday tea we really could do with another chair!

And in spite of taking me out in the day, Kate managed to make her renown Malteser  Cake.  No matter which way up I spell ‘Malteser the spell-checker doesn’t like it but we do, totally scrummy, ignore the spell checker.

And her taking me out, was my Birthday treat from last February but nice things are worth waiting for!  My treat was an hour with a lady called Anne, who has a room full of tiny bottles full of different colours.  They are beautiful and in their beauty, magical and an hour sitting there gazing at them would do for me but she interprets their energies and helps many people with all sorts of things.  My hour was an indulgence, to sit and talk and bathe in memories.

I have written the above paragraph very carefully some people are against things that they cannot analyse and understand, and I agonized even before writing the word ‘magical’.  I have spent my whole life surrounded by these kind of things and people who live by different rhythms and for better or worse they have made me who I am.

In my family we call this sort of stuff ‘Widdly Whee’ and I thank them.

 

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How sad that the World Cup, football friendlies have seemingly joined the real world of politics and hate!  Argentina have cancelled their match with Israel because of the Jewish/Palestinian troubles and apparently threats to their players.

I am not an innocent, I know that the world of football generally has its own problems with corruption and prejudice, and to be honest what strata of our lives doesn’t in this modern age but I find it so sad that we cannot even play games together without acrimony.

We are supposed to be civilised!  By whose standards I wonder?

I keep coming back to that Star Trek quote – “Civilisation, Jim. But not as we know it”.

 

 

The back lawn has had its first mowing, after being re-seeded, top dressed etc.  And is looking good.  My Runner Beans are reaching for the sky and all the little plants that Robert gave me are standing up.  I am pleased with my garden.

And Dave the Decorator is slaving away and the hall is looking good.  I don’t know why it has taken me so long to  have all those ceiling lowering 1930’s black beams painted out.  The rooms look twice as light and airy without their louring/lowering presence.

Enough of the garden and domestic things.

It is Grand Daughter Tilly’s 19th birthday tomorrow, the mind boggles.  How can this be? All those years seem to have zoomed by.

Is it really so long since she was tiny and when we went to the park she so wanted to go home with all the other laughing children.   She has always loved other people and was never shy with them.  Such a long while since we played shops on my veranda and emptied my pantry of little boxes to fill her counters and made Granddad be the customer over and over again all one sunny afternoon.

Just a few of so many lovely memories and now she is such a nice young woman, I think that we will keep her!

Though her birthday always brings a few sad memories for me.  The week that Tilly was born my sister died and the two never got to meet and I think that they would have loved each other.

And tomorrow those of us who can, will share a birthday tea with her and sit around the table and chat and laugh and eat chocolate cake and too much ice-cream and wish her well for another year

Just as it should be.

I can’t work out what the weather is doing.  Even my strip of seaweed and the local shepherd are letting me down.

I seem to have spent all week, opening and shutting windows and putting on and taking off cardigans.

Yesterday I thought I was going to die of heat stroke doing a bit of gardening and today I am really chilly and although we haven’t had any rain the air is full of damp.  And after worrying about whether to peg out the washing or not, I have made an executive decision and pegged it all out and firmly shut the door on it.  So there!

Anyway I rescued a Bee this morning who probably felt the same as me about the grey sky and lack of sunshine. A spoon full of diluted honey and a bit of a lie down and away she flew.  So thank you Bee,  you made me feel very virtuous and kindly towards the world.

And now I have to go, my Other Half needs something photo copying and can’t work the printer – technology you see, I have my uses!

 

We went to the Book Barn, Astley near Nuneaton, that way over anyway.  Every time we go and let me tell you that the lunches are worth going for even if you are not into books.  Any way every time we go the Sat Nav takes us a different way, I am not sure that without help we would find it although it is always busy in spite of being actually a Barn, or series of joined up Barns in the middle of a field.

The books blow my mind, I want so many of them, all of them in fact and in the end rather than sell my soul to the Devil for the rest of my life I settled on treating myself to a poetry book and then I couldn’t decide which one and then we had lunch and then I just wanted to sleep and so actually I never bought a book but now I have decided, maybe! And I would like to go back.

But is it the lure of the book, or is it homemade apple pie with thick dollops of cream that are calling me?

And the Grand children are already planning another expedition when they finish school in the Summer.  And my Other Half loves it because there is a separate tiny Barn called ‘The Ten Bob Barn’ full of books that are past their best but still readable and of course they are a bargain (he loves a bargain) 10/- each or in modern parlance 50p.

I ear-wigged in on a conversation. amongst the shelves of books between two women. What books they were discussing I have no idea, but they were saying that neither of them had the heart to read to end of the last book in their favourite series because the author had died and there would be no more!

My own sentiments entirely, I find towards the end of a good book I read slower and slower and often don’t finish books, saving them to savour eventually!

I am leaving instructions that at my funeral, instead of random eulogy,  ‘She couldn’t cook but she tried’ etc.  I would like the last chapters of all my favourite books read aloud over my coffin.

I found my way to this page, my blog writing page without even consciously thinking about it this morning.

I didn’t mean to and what to write, who knows?  I am not known for being at a loss for words, I shall ‘soldier on’ as the saying goes and I can always ‘delete’ if all else fails.

Actually I think that I am making excuses so that I don’t have to get up and get on.

I have a glass bowl to wrap and post to America, that always makes me nervous and the frisson of worry will stay in the back of my head until I get a message to say they have got it and it is in one piece and that they love it.

And all week I have been putting off, putting more things on Ebay and I have an Etsy Shop that has been standing derelict and un-cared for a very long time.  I have to admit that I am becoming increasingly nervous about dealing on the Internet.

If you buy and sell, there are always awkward customers out there and face to face I am happy to deal with them, one way or another but on the Internet it is far harder.  Only three times have we had terrible problems and I suppose that is not bad over several years trading but it is very stressful and do I need that?

Of course I will carry on wheeling and dealing.  In any way there is, it’s in the blood now after all these years.

And now that I have seen all these maundering thoughts written down in black and white, so to speak, I feel slightly better about it all, just praying for lovely customers!

 

 

 

I have planted my Runner Bean plants,  I haven’t forgotten those lovely cottage gardens we saw in Suffolk.  And my Other Half has bought himself a new climbing Rose.  He loves roses, he is not much of a gardener unless forced but can really fall in love with them.  He even reads books about them!

I don’t think that a tray of bean plants and a rose is going to turn my weed and tree filled garden into fairy land but it is a start.  And thanks to Robert’s dogs scorched earth policy things are growing that vanished long ago.

A clump of mint that I thought I had killed is thriving and all the roses that the dogs chewed to the ground are shooting up, glossy green leaves and fat little buds.

My Father always used to say the more savage you were with your rose pruning the better for the plants and so it appears.

The gentle constant rain and humidity have helped but me, and the garden need some sunshine as well otherwise we will all have foot rot!

And I have seeds to plant amongst the flowers, broad beans,, maybe a bit late for them and some beetroot, they are generally bomb proof, apart from frost that is.  I don’t want a vegetable garden again just clumps of salad, herbs and veg amongst all the other things.

And now I have to go and make up some beds, proper beds not garden beds.  Kate and the kids are coming for a sleep over tonight.  My Other Half is cooking his signature dish (in fact his only dish)  Cheese and Potato pie and tomorrow we are all going out for lunch to a place called the Book Barn.  Food to die for and thousands of books.  My idea of heaven.

 

 

 

 

 

I have been up since silly o’clock and once the coffee pot was on I decided to tackle the ever-growing heap of things to sort for the next Fair.

Now the last map and book are sorted and packed away, looking up at the kitchen clock, 11.30.  The morning just vanished!

I have some nice bits and pieces.  A pile of Daily Telegraphs from May/June 1953.  The Queen’s Coronation of course but I got side tracked reading all the other things that were going on at the time, climbing Everest and the Korean War, the Mau Mau in Africa etc.

And then I moved on to a very varied box full of maps gathered over the weeks.  Two 1943 war-time maps of The Gold Coast and Nigeria in Africa, such a difference between then and now.

And some proposed Road Improvement Plans, one for Liverpool and one for Manchester dated  1963.  I feel that these would have been categorised by us, in this house as ‘Plan A’ and up to present I think that the ‘powers that be’ are on ‘Plan Z’ with additions!  Interesting though, I always think these old maps show a bit of social history,  see it all as it was before the communities and Docks were broken up for whatever reasons.

There were loads of other things as well but if I don’t stop messing about here and get up and on, the whole day will be gone.  I am away.

 

We set off for home from our week in Southwold at about 4-ish on Thursday afternoon just as it started to rain.

That was what decided us really, the first rain for a week.  The flat was Friday to Friday so we would have had to get up and get moving early next day anyway and we had already made our minds up that Bank Holiday Friday on the A14 was probably going to be hell.

A brilliant concept the A14 but who ever decided on a 2 lane road with no hard shoulder was not a forward thinker!

All the nose to tail goods vehicles/holiday traffic, the ‘turn off here for London’ junctions and constant road works.  And then of course it is an ‘A’ road so add in all the side roads/lanes and doddering pensioners tootling along at 25mph.  The cross roads and on the few straight clear bits the idiots who regardless of lesser mortals drive every where at 90 mph.

A nightmare on an ordinary day although I must admit it only took us 4.1/2 hours to get there.  Not too bad at all really and we didn’t mind we weren’t in a hustle.

But coming back we decided that we couldn’t face it so we crossed country, just like in the olden days (before the A14) and thanks to the Sat Nav avoided every town and hold up,  mainly I think because all the other traffic was trapped on the dual carriageway and we got home with no sweat in 4 hours.

And it was a pleasant drive, we hadn’t been that way for years so we enjoyed the scenery and the changes and reminded ourselves of past holidays that way over years ago.  Nice!

And lovely though the week was,  it was nice to wake up in our own bed on Friday morning, stagger downstairs on automatic and make the coffee and not have to go anywhere.

If I can’t be there. I love being here!

 

 

 

My word!  We have had the most glorious week in Southwold, every thing was just as I dreamed it would be.

A lovely airy flat over looking the Main Street, lovely weather, piles of books, nice food and I beat my Other Half at golf on the putting green.  What else could I wish for?

He was a bit put out about the golf but otherwise he enjoyed it as much as me and we are going to book for another few days a.s.a.p., if not sooner!

And yes, we browsed every favourite shop and filled the car with books and stuff and sat in the sunshine, ate ice cream and read the best bits of our favourites to each other.

And on our walks I lusted over all the beautiful flower gardens and vegetable plots and came home determined to abandon sorting the house and get out into my own garden.

And home today thwarted by torrential rain there is always tomorrow to put my re-found zeal for gardening to the test before I get buried yet again in antiques and house things.

And thank you Robert and Sue for such a lovely present. xxxxxxx

 

 

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