Monday, 31 August 2009

loo fixe,d tarragon and the merry widows

Bit of this
Chewing leaves of tagaron is a tasty discovery.

He is nothing if not a persevering soul. The loo gets fixed after the fourth attempt.

I listen to the merry widows. which turns out to be a very inspiring program while preparing lunch. I love the Scottish ladies enthusiasm. And the poetry.
Ps does anyone know if you can get these listen again jobs to your ipod?

Bit of that
Wow I intend to try this.


T a r r a g o n is used as a banishing herb. Use as an incense as you write down the thing you want to banish on a white piece of paper and then burn the paper in a suitable container.

Tarragon's name is taken from the Frenchesdragon, which means "little dragon" because of it's serpentine root system, which will actually strangle the plant if it is not divided often enough. It is bound to Mars and Fire.

It is known as a protective and calming herb and is used in kitchen magic to put guests at ease and make them feel welcome. It is used in the consecration of chalices, and can be carried in charms or sachets for compassion love, peace, nurturing, and good luck.

Sunday, 30 August 2009

Enthusiasm and walk

Bit of this
Bless little sis for her enthusiasm.

The closest yet. Whippet charges after a deer that appeared a few feet infront of him. He reappears deerless I can't believe it got away.

What a difference a hedge makes. Whippet in his element among the muck spreadings that have me gasping for fresh air a step through the gap on an unmucked field and whippet sulks but I perk up no end.
Bit of that
For some maybe.

"Work that has been done is pleasant."

Marcus Tullius Cicero

Saturday, 29 August 2009

A day to remember

Bit of this
We finally make it to Tintern Abby which has can now be ticked off man about the house's hit list. The best bit for me though was our stop on the banks of the Severn. I love the expanse of river bed the receding tide has exposed. Now I put seeing the Severn Bore on my hit list.

The village hall is filled with mums with children, sprinklings of teenage girls, 2 men and grannies. We are here to experience the wonders of a big screen and Mama Mia. Pop corn and alcohol plus ice-creams can be consumed in the interval. The raffle was won by nearly all one family who sportingly throw several tickets back into the hat.

Oh I won my own raffle prize, we are to be grandparents apparently. Emotions rush through me that surely have the force of the bore in full flow. No chance of throwing this one back into the hat and all of a sudden I decide that I don't want to.
Bit of that

Friday, 28 August 2009

Up early, thumbs up and waiting

Bit of this
I don't have to get up early but do.

Alerting farmer Rex, we worry over the big bull together. He gives the thumbs up from the middle of the field where the cause of our concern hasn't gasped his last but is snoring in the sunshine. I think that is the first cow I have seen flaked out on it's side that is a ok.

A very tall skinny teenager lad with a skinny speckled dachshund hangs about for his mates to catch up.
Bit of that
Farmer Rex girls endure much in the pursuit of body beautiful

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Action taken unpredictable results

Bit of this
I am early so I trace the footsteps of my teenage self. My walk takes me through the park. Where a toddler in a red T-shirt is exploring, holding on to his mother fingers, slaps me in the face with a memory of Andrew walking around the living room, agitated and high stepping with uncoordinated and unfocussed movements. Gripping on to my fingers just before he crashed for the last time. His words from a few weeks before echo over and over "It's not fun any more mum". This memory had been polished to a smooth dark brightness that shines out at unexpected moments.

He pulls and pushes my body into more shapes and worries that his son hasn't phoned with his exam results. An A in maths is a must for dad. I say if he has failed he will be in shock. "Not as much shock as I will be in" he replies. His antics part me from my cash but not the pain. He has my knees bent and chin brought up to nearly touch them. I get an attack of giggles as for a minute I think he is going to pick up like a child.

I take cheer me up action. Calling in with a hug of thanks. Her advice has had a liberating effect. Then it is off for lunch. Slurping my frothy cappuccino and reading provides me with a surreal experience as one eye absorbs the words the other registers colorful movement as people below drift past.
I am right opposite the museum so in I go and come out energized with an idea for a scrap book.
Mr Tesco arrives at the house shortly after me clutching a bonnio for a woofing whippet which he hesitantly drops on the mat, whippet only barks louder the bugger. I am grateful for his kindness even if whippet isn't.
Bit of that
Who let the dogs out. Well it makes me smile anyway.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Youngsters and catch up

Bit of this
A lad of about 9 is cleaning their village phone box.

Mum swims by with 3 ducklings, smartly followed by a pure white chap who races along the bank, and is the odd man out among his brown feathered family. Finding a brick wall blocking the way he dithers and squeaks at the waters edge eventually plopping in to catch a waiting mummy duck up.

Enjoyable day catching up, sharing food and visual treats. She points things out from the exhibition with her trained eye that would have been missed. But declines to experience the sleep pods with me. I leave with a better appricaiation of portatuire, sparky ideas from the surrealist gallery and the warm glow of friendship.
I noticed smallest number 3 had stuck to my hand, how odd I leave it on for luck.
Bit of that
Dream Director Sleepovers

Sat 29 and Sun 30 August, 8pm - 9am

This is a unique opportunity for you to spend the night at Compton Verney whilst letting artist Luke Jerram direct your dreams. Spend the night in a sleep pod, where you wear an eye mask that detects your eye movements whilst you sleep. The pod will respond and play ambient sounds designed to trigger and influence dreams. The experiment ends over breakfast, where you get to write a dream diary about your experience.

To participate you must be over 18 and not suffer from any kind of sleep disorders including excessive snoring. You must also agree to the following terms and conditions:

  • That confidential data gathered during event about your experience may be used to contribute to research and be presented at scientific meetings or used for educational purposes. Each participant's data will be coded and kept anonymous.
  • That photographs and or video of the event, before and after (not during the night) will be taken and may be used for publicity, science presentation or education purposes.
  • That the organisers have the right to ask you to withdraw from the event if you are disturbing others during the sleepover.

All participants will be sent a discalimer to sign once they have booked their tickets, this must be returned to us before you can participate in the event.

Monday, 24 August 2009

Good news

Bit of this
"The news is all doom and gloom, but I did perk up when I heard we had won the ashes". Comments Mrs T.

We meet at the steps and continue our dog walk together, catching up on news.

Baby W has arrived a week early she beams to me. I give the new granny a hug.
Bit of that

Sunday, 23 August 2009


Bit of this
Sensing action I look for a friendly face. Choosing the lad with the friendly cocker spaniel to ask. "World music here tonight". World music is was. With man about camper van displaying exemplary propping up statue qualities, while looking bored as I bob to Bhangra.

Next day, and miles from the center of town desperate for a pit stop, I swan into a state of the art car show room to use their state of the art facilities while him outside looks embarrassed.

Feeling relief I am now game to find the motor bike shop that was spotted earlier. By the time we find it, I have sore feet and am starving, so I adjourn to the coffee bar. The most delicious looking greasy plate of all things fried is about to be consumed by a biker. "I'll have one of those" I say. Surely I must have walked enough miles to justify all those calories.

More walking up hill and down dale to Arnos Vale where we should have been going all along. Getting it wrong worked to out advantage though. If we had come here first the druids grave wouldn't have been stumbled upon, as this is a days exploring in itself. After having a quick reccy we vow to make another trip. Then catch the bus back to town.

The bus breaks down so more weary trudging ensues. But suddenly I am kick started by adrenaline as a drama unfolds. Police and firemen and even persons in white suits and masks are in evidence. Every detour we try is tapped off and an old woman turns into a teenager while arguing the toss with a fresh faced copper as she tries to elbow past him, "Now" he says "you don't want to get blown up do you".

After supper we walk whippet townwards to check on the state of the unfolding drama that has obvouisly folded up without us ever knowing what happened. However to my delight, man about camper and whippets horror I spot skate boarders in the square. They are fed up I am in my element, well we just had to sit down for a rest a watch didn't we.

A good sleep later and before heading for home we assume Darby and Joan personas after dragging the deck chairs onto the key side to watch life and water float by. "I want to retire here" I sigh. Whippet who is lying on the blanket I brought to keep the knees warm and himself grunt unenthusiastically.
Bit of that
Arnos Vale for some
Bhangra for others. How any one can not bounce to this is a mystery to me.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Delights of a walk

Bit of this
It was so hot yesterday that whippet and I walked at dusk. Dawn or dusk I never can decide which is my favorite time of day. Without whippet to walk the temptation to vegetate would probably win out.

I would have missed an owl's screech hurling though the gloom at us and ...

The deer. Standing stock still and hunching below the sky, line it failed to register the threat. When it finally spotted us it was curious and hesitantly carried on. I was forced to rustle as the nearer it got the more whippet licked his lips. It turned and flashed it's white tail in haste back up the edge of the wheat field. All the time it had been gazing at whippet, who I when I think about it must look a bit deer like in the dark.
Bit of that
Idleness, though inexcusable, is man's true state. (or at least it is probably mine).
Jerome K Jerome

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

House by night and Oxford by day

Bit of this
Man about the house has restless legs but unlike some is fast asleep, I have restless energy so abandon ship. The radio glows 0.00am, and fills the air with Dvorak's new world, tension melts from my shoulders. I love being up when the house is silent and as the night ticks on the road out side is still too. By the time I go to bed at 2.00, I have done various chores and nearly finished my book.

Oxford calls and I don't resist, I discover how to get the blurry people with my handbag camera.

Delicious lunch at MOMA, after enjoying the Maplethorpe exhibition.
Bit of that

Monday, 17 August 2009

sharing, Alburgh and compliment maybe?

Bit of this
One collard dove sits on the seat of the deck chair the other rests quietly beside her on the arm rest. (I keep an eye out for them when black cat is out and about rushing up the garden clapping an alert).

Listening to the radio reminds me of the delight of sharing the magical world, the Alburgh's created, with the children.

The only word that I hear sounds like "model". As a black car zooms past me from behind. Willfully interpreting this as a complement rather than a bit of sarcasm, preferring to think he was impressed by my figure and state of the art trousers. Wether or not he had a dismayed look on his face as he turned to face me I cannot say, tis the eyeses theses days you know. But I cheerfully wave and he waves back.
Bit of that

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Farmer Rex's wild life

Bit of this
I am being observed by one tiny ginger kitten who is crouching behind a post. I scan the barn for more. Failing to spot any I turn to leave when farmer Rex's side kick drives up, cats and kittens appear from every corner, waiting nervously in the shadows until he has unloaded left over from last night "Kentucky Fried Chicken". Some become brave and curl around his legs but avoid me.

They have to share it with the hens however, and one huge cockerel, who's golden feathers glint in the sun. I love to see him strutting his stuff.

The geese are no longer protecting a nest and they don't run forward hissing. I breath a sigh of relief when I have past them.
Bit of that
A very special relationship

Friday, 14 August 2009

Lagging behind and things turn up

Bit of this
Still floating around in my P J's at 9.00. Today I have breakfast before walking whippet. Who lately seems less than impressed with his walk. Enthusiastic when the lead is rattled but half a dozen paces from home he looses momentum. His air of boredom, is that of a disgruntled teenager and he refuses to keep pace preferring lagging behind.

The neighborhood group of buzzards had disappeared. But lately there has been one lonely bird about for weeks, it's high pitch mewling sounding pitiful to my ears. Today the cry seemed to be in stereo and when I search the sky I spot another. They play tag with each other over head.

Man about the house finds what I had though I had lost. What a relief. Only I could loose important bits of paper.
Bit of that

Thursday, 13 August 2009

peeking, parking, peering

Bit of this
2 small children are peeking though a letter box, while their granddad rests on the steps leading up to it. "I think that's enough now", they however don't.

Myself and several others are amazed that this small town provides free parking.

I watch the centipede hurry and scurry. It's body flowing over, in and around the gravel, and I wonder how fast they go, this one is speeding along.
Bit of that

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Butterflies, bins, spuds

Bit of this
The sun temps the butterflies, from wherever they go on dingy days, to party on the butterfly bush.

No wire worms no tiddly jobs. Potatoes my potatoes, scrubbed boiling on the stove.

The dustbin contravenes public health, it is a positive embarrassment due to one of us slinging, black cat's gift of a dead bird, in the bottom only in wrapped in news paper. I get the bleach, yard broom and rubber gloves unfortunately I have no mask. Then I decorate it and paint I love my bin men on the lid. Where would we be without them?
Bit of that
I think schools should employ these to go in and run classes for our teenagers.
They are a must see.
And just cos I love them a bit more.

Monday, 10 August 2009

We change

Bit of this
I remember man about the house's apprentice 30 years ago. He confesses the best thing about his motor bike is cleaning the underneath with a tooth brush. Oh how we change.

Gritting my teeth trying to ignore sodding shoulder I sew a new project onto the tapestry frame.

I am so looking forward to starting it but need a magnifying glass to check instructions and a needle threader to find the eye. I can remember when I could read the telephone book no trouble.
Bit of that
My how he has changed.
Always cheers me up of a morning though.

Sunday, 9 August 2009

Interesting place Cambridge

Bit of this
Never doing anything in a straight line, (not a very time effiecient way of living), throws interesting possibilities when going from A to B. Veering left on the pretence of a sit down, I am determined to suss out an interesting dome. It looks off limits but I sit on the wall anyway. Hey ho what's that, lost I.D card. Doing my good deed and aiming for reception I hand it over asking "can anyone wander in". Surprising me she says "yes". Man about the house is beckoned and assumes a pained expression, and off we wander eventually coming out through the back door and into the garden. Only now we are so off course we are lost. This however throws another bit of luck my way, for when asking for directions I am alerted to the fact that Wittenstein's grave is to be found there, I mistake this for Lickenstien however. Oh well you can't win them all. Trying to humor a now tired, hot and him of the aching feet, "cheer up" I say"you know you always end up in interesting places with me". And so he does.

Man about the house is in front so I drop pennies in a hat, and he gives me a "God Bless You".

Oh joy a Borders. All sorts of Magazines to flick though and today it is Stanley Gibbons stamp collectors job that attracts. I hunker down and become absorbed. And I am not the only one several of us are engrosses in the glossies. 4 lads are pouring over one from the mens interest's I notice. This is a great place to learn about all sorts on the hoof as it were.
Bit of that
Wandering we will go

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Ever 'opeful

Bit of this
Bred to go faster foals look out hopefully from under a tree for a pause in the pouring.

Sweeping the slabs, sloshing water, ignoring sodding shoulder, all clean and gleaming, worth the effort.

He whips of the towel to reveal inch wide strips of covered copper. I wondered why there were tasteful mobiles dangling above, I am not to lay on my front then. These are for my entertainment while he lifts legs, wraps more bands around me and tightens them curving my body into amazing shapes. It is hugely entertaining if a smidgen uncomfy. I snort in a most unladylike fashion when he has me sitting on the edge of the bed with bands around my chest and over my head pulling my neck down, he reprimands me, all I need is a bolt though my neck to complete the absurdity. I want him to take my picture, he will not. I can't believe I am doing this. I do however spot sweeties as I am about to leave and he gives me 2 in acknowledgment of "the child in you". I am very pro active in the quest for pain relief for sodding soulder I also do Pilates not nearly as much fun though.
Bit of that
Someone else gets pushed into amazing shapes.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

That makes six

Bit of that
The new flat is bright and airy. She is thrilled and every so often leans forward to look out of the window.

The well loved picture has been hung in a place of honor and all her furry friends sit on a chair looking alert and friendly. She returns to them again and again commenting on how lovely they are.

I have been there a couple of hours when she asks, "How long have you been here den", seizing the opportunity to score brownie points "a week" I lie. She pauses "wow that flew by". Immediately I am wracked by guilt. Serves me right.

I take my mother to see her friend. When I return to pick her up the french fancies have been consumed along with tea and gossip. Joyce is slumped in the lowest of chairs, I am horrified remembering her effort when tottering down the corridor very frail and unsteady leaning heavily on her stick, How will she ever get up. Failing a rocket assisted booster seat she uses all her will and determination to lever herself out and upright, where upon she teeters backward and forward several times to steady herself. It is a truely amazing feat of mind over matter. I am reassured to see an alarm bleep around her neck as this is her favorite chair.

I am reminded of what the word fastidious means, I resolve to address my slovenly ways when I get home. I too will have unmarmited butter and warm plates. I feel perked up no end by their civilizing influences.

Sharing the bright spacious house is a pleasure. The uncluttered space and touching base with them is a breath of fresh air on both counts.

The shop is heaving with all ages intent on trawling through delights of the colorful beads, tempting fingers to fiddle, sift and search, eventually sorting money from purses to purchase their treasures. One bored blond teenage lad sits looking on. I leave empty handed but infused with color and a lifting of spirits. There was something magical about all those tiny splashes of color.
Bit of that