Saturday, 30 January 2010

Bit of this
Glittering and bright, crunchy under foot a fairy tale morning.

Everything suggested gets a negative response. The day can't possibly be crawled through. Gadget man wants a small something for the love of his life, the bike. I am in control of the wheels so after he has shopped, we explore "just up the road".

Retail therapy has worked, he graciously dons walking boots and navigates for me. A deer leaps over the fence in-front of us and arcs across the snow. Luck brings us out by Wroxton church.
Bit of that

Friday, 29 January 2010

Bit of this
A boy of about ten walks toward me clutching the Argos catalogue. "Big Issue" he sings in a perfect imitation of the lady in town. And cheekily meeting my eye "only 24.99".

With a bit of help I find that the photographs I have been hunting for are kept at the Oxford Library.

A notecard arrives from someone that disappeared from my over life thirty years ago.
Bit of that

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Bit of this
Squeezing in the pew along side an old neighbor. She tells me that her mother lived on the estate once and her initials are to be found carved within the church. Mrs H has a fine send off and I find out that she had been quite an adventurer. She engaged fully and enthusiastically with life, a true inspiration.

Master of ceremonies is doing the rounds, shaking everyone by the hand followed by a "please to meet you". Our eyes lock he can't avoid it. At least he like myself is a man of conviction and no "please to meet you" was uttered. My warped sense of humor has been tickling all afternoon.

Man about the house comes in from a freezing days work on the building. I am flat on the floor. It's a measure of my discomfort that his icy hands on the sodding shoulder don't even make me flinch. He slaps the pads on and turns up the dial so that within minutes I am up with a smile serving tea. Oh him of the healing hands.
Bit of that

Stein, Gertrude
Just before she died she asked,
"What is the answer?"
No answer came. She laughed and said,
"In that case what is the question?"

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Bit of this
The dogs for the disabled are having a day out in town. The curly coated retriever is such at handsome boy.

The hands over the mouth and wide eyes conceal mirth. The trips back and forth to the loo was not to wash paint from hands but rather reapplying paint to continue the decoration of toilet doors and walls with hand prints. I like it but feel the cleaner will not, a valuable lesson in washing paint work follows, and they agree it would have been hard work for said cleaner and paper will be used in future. We shall see!

The workmen at the church on top of the hill assure me they will be on hand tomorrow should I get accidently locked in. And that their connivence is available for the asking.
Bit of that
A principle of early childhood education that seems to have got smothered in the paper work.

Childhood is seen as valid in itself. It is a stage of life and not simply a preparation for the future.

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Bit of this
Long and lean with red hair he hunkers down hanging on to the side of the conveyor belt gazing at his lone bottle of White Lightening. "There's always something to be cheerful about" he grins at me.

From the shadow of the hill a dark mass of birds moves towards us, sidestepping into a fleeting elegant dance before disappearing. Several loud bangs explain the reason for their flight.

The walls of the house are turning pink, when I look out of the bedroom window there is a fantastic fiery sky.
Bit of that
Volunteers are wanted to read to dogs

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Bit of this
Tight yellow buds of winter aconites and graceful heads of snow drops bursting into life under Ronnie's tree.

A gang of long tailed tits dart along following the saunter of the the river. Am heartened to think that they all survived the deep freeze of recent weeks.

The postie touches base with Mrs T even though she has no post today.
Bit of that
I love Martha Madigan's creativity.

Friday, 22 January 2010

Bit of this
Two minutes latter and there would have been no more parking spaces left.

3 young people sit with a lady in her 50's. They are making such a fuss of her going out of their way to entertain. "My aunty brought me a coloring book for christmas. I did one and me mum put it on the fridge. I put by Gary age 22".

She shows me neat piles of baby clothes laid out on the floor. Whites and creams no hint of blue or pink.. It will really be a surprise then.
Bit of that

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Bit of this
A large dinosaur is pacing up and down outside the Early Learning Center guarding the door.

Oh dear all the towels in the wash at work have turned a lovely pale blue.

The Perfect Present at Croperdy is in a state of excitement. They are learning to be post mistresses. I swear because had I known I would have avoided the wait at the main office in town. I make way for the lady behind who seems on a mission. Well how interesting. She is posting research on the history of eighteenth century garden plants to the National Trust. She is anxious that it does not go astray. I add that the shop is making it's own history, and am told someone who is researching the history of post offices is due to arrive for a chat, and is blowing in from Reading. This all sort of ties in with my latest library find today, The Error World by Simon Garfield about an affair with stamps.
Bit of that

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Bit of this
I get into work and find our tactful comments about rearranging the space have been acted upon. No more children fighting over the box boat at circle time. Now it's, how many can hide under the table. At least there they think we can't see so keep quiet. Bless. You have got to marvel at their resourcefulness.

Now I have finally conquered the video, I record all sorts of wonderful things that delight while I eat lunch.

Sat having a heart to heart at the doc's and she gets a message via computer asking would she would like a drink? Slug of gin for me please I think.
Bit of that

432. Tunnel Vision
Due to recent budget cuts and the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil, as well as the rollercoaster market conditions and the continued decline of the U.S. economy, The Light at the End of the Tunnel has been turned off. At least it is no longer a train headed our way. (04-01-09)

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Bit of this
She lands lightly, flops down and with small movements melds us into one. Purring at last her chin comes to rest on my leg. I feel all the tension flow first from her body and then from my own. What a lovely way to start the day.

A large brown envelop waits on the matt. There is a sick and dividend society rule book that cost threepence with no date on. A report on the funds raised in 1901 to restore the church. 2 photographs, one from 1901 and another 1903 showing the difference the revamp has made. 2 ancient cookery books, various scraps of paper, an old letter dated 1955. From someone in Scotland lamenting the fact that Emily wasn't at home when they called. The last item, a photograph, takes my breath away. She is beautiful. Is it Emily?

She rings me up to make sure I have not forgotten the Library van. When I get there I find out from veteran mobile man of 33 years standing, that they stopped visiting the estate, last year because someone told them not to bother now that all the workers were Polish. I think they could have added a few Polish books. He just shrugged.
Bit of that

Monday, 18 January 2010

Bit of this
Freeda's wheels (pink bike) are good to go and she gets wheeled out of hibernation. The sun is shinning and we are off. 10 yards from the house the thighs start to moan.

Intending to turn around at the bridge I come across a horse box unloading 2 horses and their riders. Curiosity spurs me on. I stop by the stables to watch a horse charge around his confined space in a temper yelling. Why I wonder doesn't he jump the fence? He surely could. Then I spot 2 specks at the bottom of a drag of a hill and realize the horses have been shipped in to exercise on the gallops.

Acts of kindness have a ripple effect. Because J knocked on my door weeks after Andrews death and offered me the loan of a bike. Freeda entered my life. Cheaper and better than any therapist, she has been used in my darkest hours. Man about the house was encouraged into limited exercise. She is a bonus on our camper-van excursions. And in a round about way whippet would never have become part of the family if I hadn't been bawling my eyes out on her. And all because of a knock at the door. Bless you J.
Bit of this

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Bit of this
Much excited tweeting by birds. Black cat is not out there with a mouth full of feathers. Rather a sparrow hawk looking for breakfast.

It's been along time since I walked around the old air field. I am surprised that I see others. Whippet is alarmed to see 2 large labradors bounce his way. I am alarmed that he throws punches at their advances. He is lucky one does not throw one of their own.

I am lucky that the hoover that bounced down the stairs did not knock me out.
Bit of that

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Bit of this
Last time whippet encountered flood water he whined pitifully, I turned to find him stood stock still up to his elbows and refusing to move. A rescue was necessary to ferry him to dry land. Today all though he does not looked pleased, he bravely follows.

The water bars us from crossing over the bridge by the mill. It would have been a bugger if I had walked the other way around.

I am just thinking about the boy. When he walks in the door clutching his play-station. He is quite friendly while he plugs it in. How I miss the lad that is there somewhere.
Bit of that

Friday, 15 January 2010

Bit of this
Why is whippet playing musical teeth? Tooth ache maybe.

If the tree can be seen through the mist I will come back. So after donning florescent weather gear, changing the batteries in the camera, I go out to play.

The field gate is padlocked. So hopping over a fence is required. After a mild hesitation I conclude once out in the filed the farmer won't be able to see me even with me yellow on. The fingers freeze, but she looks quite beautiful hanging in the mist. An hour passes in a flash. And I avoid getting run over on the main road when walking back to the car.
Bit of that

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Bit of this
He de frosts the car of ice for me.

I swear that blackbird has resorted to emotional blackmail. He has turned up on the kitchen window sill to eyeball me washing up. Now he has just landed on the bedroom window sill. Of course I rush out with more supplies. And true enough the table is bare.

I love mixing tastes and have left over curry which I bung a tin of fruit cocktail in and serve cold (on account of me mother once being very ill after consuming reheated rice). Sounds vile, tastes great. And cooled my over zealous sprinkling of various herbs a treat.
Bit of that
When I heard this on the news it made me laugh.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Bit of this
Mixed feeling joy and embarrassment. Not another day off because of the weather. We are the 1st school in Oxfordshire to make a decision.

The mirror reflects lips that match the scarf and throw. Brr, I know that I will appreciate the click of the central heating when whippet and I return from our ramble.

He plods up the track though the snow. There is the outline of shoes with long square toes in his bag. I throw out a comment as is my want. (Well it's rude to ignore someone when you pass with a foot and your the only 2 people about). He answers me with a smile, and mutters something that I take to be in Polish. Thats 2 spotted this week.
Bit of that
Turn off the T.V. Don't read the newspapers. Its full of what went wrong yesterday.
Betty Willaim 1976
Now of course we get it news the millisecond it's happened.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Bit of this
We lay on our tummies chattering, what are your numbers" he asks. When I tell him he says "in 11 months time I will be 5".

As I wave them off in ones and twos, I suddenly realized I how much that I have missed them.

Farmer Rex stops for a chat, there is a bitting wind. He comments "my hands never get cold" good job. The cows spot his land-rover and start to call him.
Bit of that
Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire. W.B. Yeats

Monday, 11 January 2010

Bit of this
Her face changes completely to assume the air of a disdainful queen. "Well I waved a couple of times, and she cut me, so I ignore her now". Even her nose is stuck in the air.

Last nights work in progress stands tall. The family finished him by street light. He is propped up against the manor wall, has a fetching hat, a surprised expression, brought on no doubt by a hobby horse stuck between his legs.

"Come and look as next doors", she whispers, we tip toe past the window and there at the top of the garden is a beautiful sculptured woman and ideal play mate for snow man. Both are true works of art.
Bit of that
Spoilsport of the year:
Beth Warburton, an American publisher, who stopped her authors claiming expenses for private planes, colour consultants, wives, girlfriends, limos and cocaine ("even if you do get sleepy on book tour").
Literary Life 2009

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Bit of this
I come across a lad of about 20 walking up the hill towards me. He looks like the boy with his penetrating eyes starring out from underneath his hoodie. When I smile and speak he says "I don't speak English" and shrugs.

Keeper of lord of the manors racehorses tells me latter there are several Polish people working the estate. This comes as a welcome surprise.

Theo and whippet cross paths and we all continue our walk together. As a result I am out for hours, and have lots of interesting thoughts dancing around due to our chit chat. As I step into the house I sense sulking from upstairs. Backed up by cupboard doors open, half the pantry all over the table and worse abandoned culinary delights. "What couldn't you find" I ask. Humor is needed to get him from his corpse like pose on the bed and back into action. It was worth when I sat down to lunch though. Oh how we all suffer for his art this was the second sulk of the week.
Bit of this

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Bit of this
We are in and out of the super market and back home in time to listen to Saturday Live. I had man about the house racing round so fast his eyes didn't have time to register the luxuries he usually slings in the trolly with gay abandon, the more relaxed ambling allows.

The lady on the food program promises tasty bread. Spelt flour was brought accordingly. And the ease with which it was knocked it up and in the oven in 3 minutes was all she promised. Oh but the disappointment. On the plus side it is a sustaining snack for the starlings, and the worry about an efficient lift of once their tummies were full was unfounded. However not one to be daunted I have found another recipe to try.

The land-rover slides to a stop and 2 faces from my childhood peered out. She had nurtured my love of horses, and he looks as young as ever still with his boyish laugh. It's thanks to her I have developed a voice that stops dogs with evil intent attacking whippet. And thanks to him we had a roof over our heads.
Bit of that

Friday, 8 January 2010

Bit of this
Whippet displays his displeasure with his keep me warm coat by slewing his rear end and banging into the legs. Reminding me of tactics deployed by the banger racers.

Muck Wellington Boots are the may cost an arm and a leg, but at least my toes are warm.

The lurcher spends hours and hours laid on the windowsill of what used to be the local shop for years. Just waiting for his people. I suddenly have a yen to have a peek inside now it has had a make over. The biggest delight as a child was Mr Tivvy, the shop keeper, and his biscuit tin full of local post cards. (His limp was a source of fascination). He had a very glamourous assistant with long hair. She still lives in the village, and is still glamorous at 70.
Bit of that

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Bit of this
The garden has become a magnet to blackbirds. They strut their stuff even the ladies pick fights. The pecking order is fascinating to watch. At the last count there were 9. They discover a common enemy, driving off the thrush that landed on their patch.

Cheered later on by the discovery of a thrush making the best of red berries shed by the large evergreen tree over hanging the manor wall.

A delicious aniseed smell escapes the box as the lid is prized off. Now what on earth did I buy aniseed seeds for.
Bit of that
Action is only taken when body language is ignored

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Bit of this
There is a note on the table, No school.

The kitchen smells of hot chocolate. It travels a surprisingly long way when dropped.

Mrs T is looking anxiously out of the window at the snow. "Oh dear, can you just clear the gate way and leave it open". She is worried should the emergency services be needed they wouldn't be able to open the gate.
Bit of that
You buggers may be ok in there, but spare a crumb Mrs.

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Bit of this
They have all forgotten how to tidy up over the holiday. As fast as some are putting toys away others are pulling them out. One starts to perfect his target practice throwing the plastic food. Of which there is vast quantities. (possibly he will play cricket for England one day). As no one is in his line of fire, I point out what he throws he will have to put back. As we all sit down to story time he stands giving us his sad look. I did not waver but 2 little girls rushed to his rescue. Oh god "we all help each other" I spout ever-so often as their war cry is "I'm not doing that, I didn't play with it". I pointed out the error of their ways, but they would not be stopped. He is 3. (Tomorrow we will have target practice with ball and a bottle outside). Mean while the stand in teacher pushes instead of leads the drama queen who hurls herself to the floor and sobs so loudly the whole group have to move away to hear Goldilocks. She too learnt a lesson, gently gently. This one has a marvelous stubborn streak that will serve her well as an adult, as she tries, and tries until she cracks something. After 5 minutes, I lay on the floor beside her and say she can either carry on and get sore eyes and throat or she can join the others. When no one is looking she sneaks over and sits down. I had an arhh moment. I know perfectly well if I give her a thumbs up and smile off she will go again. I think being an international negotiator would be easier and definitely pay better.

Whippet and I are half way around a field when a big new tractor arrives and proceeds to spray. We just manage to get out of his line of fire by legging it. quite a relief that.

It's dark and it's snowing. Magical.
Bit of that
Joyce Grenfell Nursery School

Monday, 4 January 2010

Bit of this
Mrs T puts on her red hat. It's just like my grandmothers was only red. Granny kept her hats, in my memory they are all shades of green, placed carefully in a fruit bowl next to the donkey sanctuary charity box that she supported every year.

The good news was I managed to video some of the Edith Piaf film, the bad news is I didn't get all of it.

Whippet saunters out in-front of a police car, I was so busy catching up on Christmas doings that I forgot there was a gap in the hedge. He pulls up and opens the window. I babble with fright, picturing a flatten whippet, that he does not give me the flea in the ear I deserve.
Bit of that
or rent it from the library.

Sunday, 3 January 2010

Bit of this
Another dazzlingly bright, bitter cold day. I have wacked the ice, from a baking tray morphed into a bird bath, countless times. Very satisfying using as much force as I can, and then to hear the splat followed by glistening shattered ice dancing across the path. Corse the best bit is to see the birds dipping their beaks in minutes after.

My mop bucket leaks. Hands and knees are required. I had forgotten how much I used to love scrubbing floors. I remember how I would come down in the early hours and expend much pent up emotion of one sort or another and have the bonus of a clean floor.

That reminds me of seeing my mother on bended knee washing a scrap a cardinal red floor. The preferred way of covering concrete floors for the impoverished. I loved those bits of floor. I wonder if it is still there under someone's fitted carpet or wooden flooring.
Bit of this
I also remember me mother teaching it to me. This would have to be one of my inheritance tracks.

Saturday, 2 January 2010

Bit of this
Water seeping through red bricks, forming icicles that hang from the arch of Marston Doles canal bridge. What a lovely name Marston Doles.

He brings me a bowl of christmas pud and the jug of cream, upstairs, to temp me away from trying hard but getting nowhere.

Christmas has been boxed, and put away for now. Within the actions, are shards of memories from past and present.
Flashes of red punched through the blues. Small crimson baubles, given by Y, galvanized me from lethargy, into action on christmas eve. They decorated twigs, adorned with ivy, 3 glowing red glass triangular kings, and fairy lights. As their brilliance of color sparkles, I begin to notice dashes of red every where. On cards, dotting 2 miniature ornaments, inherited from beloved nanny. A bright red vase filled with matching silk flowers, brought long ago on a whim, to celebrate Christmastime. Garish maybe but a jolt of joy when I glimpse them warming their dark corner. A tiny red bow on the boys card. I catch all that redness, and with it I see the merest whispers echoed within the snaps of the children. I receive unexpected surges of happiness here and there. (Ironic considering red was the color that has caused me many a panic attack, with the taking, giving, poisoning a body to get it to behave, and that heart stopping moment before a result. For all his tenaciousness and punching above his weight it wouldn't be tamed). Bit like me really, push this Champaign cork down and eventually I will bounce back up with a fizz.
Bless you Y for the small box that held within more than tiny crimson baubles. I start the new year, actually looking forward.
Bit of that
One of our national treasures.

Friday, 1 January 2010

Bit of this
Man about the house is ratty because we have to pay six quid to park, And I dissolve into laughter because we can't find the beginning of the walk. And then I realize we are looking at the wrong river. This is just as well as the ham is flooded.

He walks towards us on the raised bank, a small rotund person, the angle of the sun casting a shadow across a leg with every other step. Not another person to be seen. We pass the time of day and exchange "happy new year" greetings. I notice his dazzling shinny stout brown shoes.

We sit on the same fence, by the M50 motor way bridge as yesterday, when we walked from Upton Upon Severn. Eating the same delicious ginger bread. Slurping hot coffee. Now we have walked from Upton all the way to Gloucester in bite size bits.
Bit of this
Other wonders

Mult Lichnosti also features other world leaders. One episode of the cartoon shows Ukraine's President Viktor Yushchenko inflating balloons with natural gas diverted from a Russian pipeline.

Georgia's President Mikhail Saakashvili is seen eating his own tie.

And US President Barack Obama is depicted endlessly bouncing a basketball up and down.