Sunday, 28 September 2014

Misty mornings; cobwebs sparkling.

For someone that hates spiders, their skin crawling at the mere mention of the word and finger nails tingling, like nails being drawn across the blackboard at the thought one big hairy black eight legged monster might walk into view; I love cobwebs.
I woke up this morning to a really misty dawn, the view down the drive and onto the lane, the field beyond lost in the mists of time.

Behind me the old gateway into the back of the garden was decorated in fine silk fibres in delicate patterns, created by a true artist of the night.

The other side of the falling down gateway that the rambling honeysuckle, once scented with flowers of yellow now supporting last nights masterpieces.
The kayak kit left out and forgotten by my son when he cleaned out the shed and decided to air his kit on the line, now shrouded with webs off set by the dark background of the black helmet.

The bamboo, its swaying fronds waiting for sunshine under the layer of mist.

Friday, 26 September 2014

There is danger on the horizon.

I, have always considered myself a dog person. The bigger, the hairier, the better.  I don't much like muddy paws, the stink of drying fur in the Winter, or waking up in the morning in my space on the bed showing my backside hanging over the side and exposed to the morning, or that twinge in my back that suggests I have been contorted in my sleep, whilst my lovely Goldens, Iz and Defi are stretched out full length, one across the bottom of the bed and the other down the middle with Gordy somewhere in the middle, all three snoring gently but not quite loud enough to cover the noise from the husband who doesn't seem to be sharing an inch of his side.
The argument would be to make the dogs sleep downstairs, or..shock...on the floor of the bedroom, which is the same banter husband and I have when I moan about my lack of space, to which he raises his eyebrows when I refuse to make my babies sleep on the cold hard floor; they do have lovely beds and castles but they all like to snuggle with me at night and who am I to stop them?
Throughout my childhood I lamented after a dog, all the homes I lived in - I had a 'collective' life when it comes to parents and surrogates; we never had pets, not a dog, cat, hamster, rabbit...nothing.  Once, when I was very young we had a goldfish, and before I can remember so was only told we apparently had a kitten called Mischief who sat on my head in the pram and I stopped breathing so my mother evicted her from the home.  Had I been more aware of this at that young age I most probably would have argued that she was comfortable and I should have moved.
So, as soon as was possible I got a dog.  Actually it was my boyfriend, now husband, who said we could have Ricky, my much loved German Shepherd, a handsome 9 month black and gold dog with issues.  Between us we had racked up a collection of small pets, a rabbit called Thumper, my collection of pet rats, a hamster named Hannibal the Cannibal on account he was aggressive, a lizard called Philpot that sadly had died and his fish tanks of piranhas and other underwater creatures, he being brought up with cats and dogs so it was second nature for him to fill a home with everything that had whiskers and fins.
My love of dogs blossomed, although not without problems and issues, Ricky was ex-show dog and he was big and strong and had never been in a house having come from kennels so I got a shock with house training and the enormous piles of poop one dog can hold before depositing over the floor. 
Once I was house proud and fussy now I live amongst dust, dog hairs and dribble.  And love it.
After Ricky came Suki the rescue Lurcher X and inbetween came a myriad of cats, all abandoned and beaten up, until we come many years down the line to Gordy.  My little cat with brain damage.
I still love dogs, especially my mud attracting, bed stealing stinkers, but Gordy is swaying me in ways the other cats couldn't.  We, that's the Royal we, Gordy and I, write a monthly column for Cat World Magazine about his adventures, and he has a few.
The first article we were asked to write back in December/January of this year.

Last months about being the chosen one, seen here with my daughter and the diva himself, Gordy.

Stealing the limelight by being in the light tent.

Its a hard life being Gordy!
So, coming home this afternoon from a trip to the library and yet another collection of stories about cats and dogs tucked under my arm, I opened to the door to the newest edition of Cat World magazine and the article about how Gordy over heated this summer, so if you will excuse me this afternoon I will be reading a glossy magazine all about cats!


Thursday, 25 September 2014

Throw back Thursday


This was me, didn't I have frilly knickers over my nappy?  My mother, the headless one on the right, is wringing her hands anxiously waiting for the dog, whose name I can't remember, to take my head off, apparently he was known to be a bit of a grumpy dog, but he didn't;  I am still here and still love dogs.  My mother still isn't keen on dogs, although Defi makes it his mission when she has visited to sit on her and pretend that his ginormous Golden Retriever backside is lapdog sized and that he fits nicely on her lap so she can fuss him.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Bi-polar and sex addiction

I don't get a newspaper and I avoid the television news, I don't want to know what's going on around the World, its too depressing.  I do listen to the radio news in the glass studio shed; Radio 4 nice and quick, just a few minutes outlining the mis-deeds of human kind and its back to The Archers - my kind of news, even their weather seems much more positive, the outlook for the coming week being not as wet as last year.   
There has, however, been no getting away from the referendum in Scotland these last couple of weeks and I for one am glad its all over; families falling out over who to vote for, should they stay within the UK or go it alone?  I fall out with the kids on where they dump their washing so I think arguing with them over the state of the country is taking things a little too far, needless to say if there was a referendum in this house over whose job it is to put soiled clothes in the washing basket, I would vote 'theirs' and they would vote 'mothers', leaving a 3 to 1 divide (including the husband in this election and him siding with the kids...its inevitable *sigh*), one I would lose and unlike the politicians that are now saying they are quitting, no doubt on huge retirement funds, I would still be loading the washing machine or risk losing the cat under the mountain of stinking socks - all that without a retirement plan: the one of 'the kids are leaving at 18' now a distant memory as both are still at home and showing no signs of vacating the building. 
So I 'don't do' news, but I do like a little read of Yahoo home page when I turn on my laptop in the morning to check my emails.  I skip the celeb stuff, is anyone truly interested in who has milk in their coffee or was seen out and about...dare I say it...doing their own shopping?  What is the world coming too?  So imagine my surprise when I did click on the link that was discussing the latest scandal surrounding Gail Porter.  She is bi-polar, so am I.  She is a sex addict and blaming it on being bi-polar.  Good grief don't let the husband read this, if he thought that being bi-polar made me a sex addict he would be having a referendum of his own!
Maybe I shouldn't read Yahoo news either!

My daughter had her back drop for her photography delivered last week, and after leaving the massive box in the hall for a week, she finally set it up and had Izabel, Defi and Gordy pose, whether they wanted to or not, she took some lovely photos, this one is one of my favourites of all three.
You can find her on Facebook, Charley Mead Photography  and although the next picture shows her as being 12 she is really almost 19!
That's the daughter and yes purple hair is hereditary, and that little chap is our Gordy holding his most recent instalment of his adventures that are published monthly in Cat World magazine - I write them but as he says I couldn't do it without him, and yes, he does leave me piles of cat hair to clean up, he voted with the kids!
Maybe I should just go and eat magic mushrooms, won't make the front page, but who cares?

Thursday, 18 September 2014

The old typewriter.

Forgotten in the dark, at the back of the garage under a layer of dust and grime, probably two layers of dust and grime really; there is a cover for this but after bleaching it and scrubbing it and leaving it outside to dry and air I am not holding out much hope for its survival, the vinyl has become brittle with age. 

How old? 

I can remember the day I got this machine, the day started early, as did all birthdays back then.  We lived in Rheindahlen in West Germany on an RAF base, my mum, dad, twin brothers and me; no pets allowed in our house, it was dust free and every surface gleamed with layers of polish the heady scent of lemon in the air in every room, trying to cover up the faded old tobacco smell of my fathers cigarettes.  My mother hated smoking.  It was stood on the big glass coffee table, the chrome legs gleaming and the table top itself devoid of finger prints even though I was the eldest at 8, and my twin brothers were 4 years younger than me, we knew better than leave sticky prints on that table top. 

No dirt in our house, shoes were removed at the door, the back door, and we had slippers.  Clean and fluffy like the day they were new, so it was a bit sad and forlorn to see this old typewriter with its layers of garage filth.  Its been brought into the house and I cleaned her up with plenty of washing up liquid and hot water, flushing out the bodies of several spiders that had made their home amongst her metal keys and never moved out; it was a delight to find she still works like she did all those years ago, the ribbon still allowing the strike of the keys to make a legible mark on the paper: its hard work using a manual typewriter!!

I have done a bit of research on the internet and found out that this machine is royalty amongst manual typewriters, built to last, a real workhorse of its day, many famous authors bashed out their novels on one of these models: unfortunately its quite a common machine still so in terms of money its not worth a huge amount, although I remember being told it cost the equivalent of £10 second hand back in 1979, but what the Deutschmark conversion would be back then I don't know, makes this machine more of an antique to think that not only was it a foreign currency for us back then but now the DM is an obsolete currency as Germany now uses the Euro. 

I have found a couple of these old relics for sale in the US for around $300 today so maybe in another ...ahem...25 years ...ok...35 will be worth a bit more, a modern antique for my kids, but for now its priceless with its memories of how I learned to type...that A button used to make my little finger ache, thank goodness for modern technology and the ease of the laptop keyboard, having said that my laptop is virtually a modern antique but the keyboard is still much easier than the old Olympia.

I haven't banished her back to the garage, she now sits on the Welsh Dresser, her faded white plastic now a soft cream and her dark grey trim a bit faded, but there she will sit and gather dust......

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

The sights and smells that take me home.

As much as I miss the long hot summer days I do love a walk first thing in the morning when the ground is dewy and the sky is blue, when its not too cold so that you have to wear a coat but its cold enough to feel your nose tingling and be snuggled in a big old jumper and wear wellington boots to walk through the long damp grass.  I love wellington boots.  This morning was that morning.

I walked my normal walk down by the river with the dogs, but we were early this morning, no one was around, no fishermen, no other dog walkers, no one, just the birds in the trees and the squirrels scampering around in the orchard, even the sheep and the cows were still lying down and snoozing.  The spiders had been busy in the night and their creations of silk stretched between hedges and long grasses the dew droplets glistening like jewels.

The sun wasn't quite up when we walked, it was still burning off the sleepy dust that is the mist over the river and fields.
From behind me it cast my shadow long and almost lean in the grass that's now turning from deep Hooker's green to limey yellow.  The smell of wet grass reaches my nose and takes me back to when I was a child.  That old damp smell that was always in the back of my Granddad's sheds and workshops, I could almost smell the old tobacco that he used to smoke and the old wooden benches that he used to work at.  The damp dog smell from his dogs I don't have to remember as mine, I know, will stink for most of today whilst they are drying off, but its a smell I both loathe and love.  I can imagine the big silver pans on the stove in the kitchen of the house my Grandparents lived in, the newly podded peas scenting the kitchen with a sweet vegetable smell whilst the roast in the oven smells warm and delicious; potatoes newly dug that morning, their earthy smell heavy and rich now bubble on the stove.

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Boot fairs are serious places.

Around 7 this morning, the sun was shrouded in mist but the day was promising, the dew was on the grass and in the hedges with the cobwebs glistening like jewels:  I managed to get my daughter out of bed.  We left the house at just after 8 to go to the local boot fair, my car being full of the discarded junk from the under stairs cupboard and bags of clothes and shoes from daughter's bedroom, a sprinkling of little teddies, a black Cleopatra wig complete with fake crown and a few of my old paintings that had just gathered dust and it was either the boot fair or the skip.

We got to the boot fair 10 minutes after we left the house, paid our extortionate £6 to park at the back of a field with several chickens running about and set about unloading the car into a nice display in the hope that someone would come along and take a fancy to something that we had decided to throw away. 

Six quid is a bit steep I think, the last boot fair we did; I do believe we said never again, was only about 4/5 pounds and that was last year.  Still we gave the older lady in the hi visibility jacket with hair the same colour as mine, a nice bright red hers setting off her wrinkles and me then questioning my hair colour choice as she yelled into her radio to the other older lady at the back of the field in matching hi visibility jacket and boots that we were on our way across, she really didn't need the radio.  So we drove to our slot next to a chap from the Army who was up from Poole visiting his little boy and trying to sell off clothes that the little one had grown out of, after taking shoes and trousers off of him as the lad decided they did fit and were favourites from his position in the boot of the car, two younger girls parked up next to us in skinny jeans and tiny tops with nicely painted toenails showing in their sandals, making me feel I was more suited to standing at the top of the field with the old woman with the same colour hair, hi-visibility jacket and wrinkles as I had donned the practical attire of old fleece, grey, jeans and battered trainers that I use for dog walking.

No one smiled.  No one.

Hereford has a large community of Polish people that have made their home here since the end of the Second World War, once an older community now the younger generation have come in and settled, the town is no longer full of quaint English curiosity shops but endless rows of shops selling Polish cuisine, so for the first couple of hours this morning not an English word was heard, us Brits not known for our get up early and go get a bargin, we are more likely to queue at a venue our stiff upper lips preventing us from pushing through to the front and grabbing that gem, although on our table, those gems were definitely few and far between, unless you like bags and have size 3 feet and a love of ankle breaking heels, as that is what my daughter collects and consequently was making space in her room for more!

Opposite us was a couple in their 60's at a guess, obvious pros as they had a wonderful display of items all gleaming and organized, no dust in sight and using the sleeve of my old fleece I did then spruce up the old CD racks I had brought along to off load, that trick of no dust paying off as a nice Polish chap came and took away all three for the bargin price of £6..that was the entrance fee paid!  Next to the organized couple with the brushed hair and clean clothes was the grumpiest man I think I have ever had the privilege of being near.  He laid out an enormous blanket on the ground and proceeded to remove large colourful toys from his big car and display them, a collection of Cabbage Patch dolls, remote control cars, lego things, winding up things...he had the lot and a face like the child catcher in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, he was mean, so mean that daughter and I counted not 1, not 2 but 4!!  4!! children he made cry by telling them to leave the toys alone, would have been 5 but I managed to stop a nice chap with his grandson and point out that the grandson would get yelled at if he went over there alone, the granddad grabbed his charge and dragged him past thanking me as he did!

So there we were.  A few things found a new home, I managed to gloat with another 'trader' who couldn't sell her Wii board thingie - the one you stand on and it tells you your weight, exercise thing, I never used it! - I flogged ours for the grand sum of £3, she wanted £5, a touch over priced for this type of selling venue. 

Well, we got bored, daughter and I.  We people watched but spent too much time having to walk around the car to stop laughing, some people dressed a bit like me, scruffy but comfortable, some with shirts and ties, some ladies even had high heels a field??  and only a few wore a smile, even when we were trying on the Cleopatra wig, the old woman opposite with no dust on anything looked like she was going to come over to our table and give us a good talking too.

Eventually all good fun must come to an end and it was time to pack up what was left of our wares and come home.  We made the massive sum of £25, got a possible glass bead commission from a great guy up from Glastonbury, and decided once again that we were through with boot least for now.  If nothing else daughter got dressed before lunchtime and we had a good laugh and when my wrinkles start showing [more] its because I have enjoyed getting each and every one of them, nothing like a good giggle to start the weekend.


Thursday, 4 September 2014

When the days start to shorten and the lights go on earlier and earlier,  the dew is on the hedges in the morning
and the bumble bees are not as active or busy; I captured this one on my phone just sitting in the morning mist on todays walk down at the river.
I start to get a bit down.  I am a SAD sufferer, Season Affected Disorder and when Autumn starts turning all the leaves golden and the hedges give up their sloes for gin making, berries for jams and pies and the tall whispering weeds become fluffy clouds of seeds waiting to be blown into their over winter resting places I start to get miserable.
Yesterday, I was walking with my lovely dog walking friends when we came across this little chap..

He gives this gorgeous grin on command, such a happy puppy and he is suffering with a skin condition at the moment which has made him itch and scratch until he is sore, his owner said that the vet has told them he is allergic to something so they are now undergoing various tests and fuss to find out what, but he can still give a grin.
My lovely dog walking friend said that she too is a sufferer of SAD and what she does is think lovely things that she can look forward to in the Winter.  Snuggling up with a warm drink and roasting toes near the fire after a long walk with the dogs, through the snow and late Winter sunshine, wrapped up in thick jumpers and socks with welly boots that mean you can crunch the ground whether it be snow or heavy frost.  Seeing the trees shed their leaves making huge piles on the ground that the dogs can charge through and play in.  Watching Defi roll in the muddy fields and knowing I have to go home and bath him seems to cheer her up too, although I am not sure its something I look forward too!
But I can look forward to toasty days with the kiln and create my beads, or sit with warm drinks and write my stories in the kitchen or even...

finish my crocheting with my favourite little friend, Gordy my little cat, he whose stories we write for Cat World Magazine each month.  He has taken to my unfinished poncho and sits with me whilst I try and finish it, I have plenty of yarn so will be busy this Winter in the evenings.
I have plenty to look forward too when the nights draw in and the wind calls at the windows.

A few beads from this week, just to remind myself that I have lots to keep busy with.