Don't Walk

Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend. (Copyright Russ Bernie and Company, Inc)

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Work takes to the sidelines

This isn't last night it's now tomorrow morning so as my EMT (family meme from my late mother, Early Morning Tea) has just arrived I shall pen a few notes about yesterday's activities.  As my title suggests this didn't include any work except the odd email and tweet.

As the sun was shining I took the opportunity to plant a few more bulbs, another 36 daffodils to be precise.  They are at the top of the garden path so  should make a jolly entrance in the spring. This took some considerable time as I had a break in middle, a friend dropped by unexpectedly (see below).  I still have 40 iris, some anemones, and an opened packet of small bulbs that are not labelled.  That will be a nice surprise next spring!

Bird feeding time is upon us.  I have moved the feeders nearer to the house in the hope that I maybe able to get some better photographs of my winter visitors.  However, so far they are having none of it.   They have visited the hanging bird table and the sparrows have eaten some of the seed that have dropped out of the feeders.  I may also have made a mistake with the seed mix - attracted by size and low cost of a bag from Homebase.  There seems to be quite a high percentage of what looks like barley and the visitors to the hanging table seem to be picking there way around it.  Hopefully, that isn't why they are not visiting the feeders.  I shall be patient.

As I said the joy of being around is being able to get together with old friends and best of all are the impromptu meetings.  We are lucky to have a village primary school, most of my friends are those made at the school gate. A friend dropped by that I hadn't seen since before Christmas (shocking), a pleasant interruption to the bulb planting.  So it was time for a cuppa and a catch up.  She had retired in April from a very stressful job in education.  She had not long heard that she was going to become a grandma next February.  This is particularly joyful news as her daughter had been in a serious car accident a few years ago. At the time we were not sure she would survive. Her son, who was in my son's year has transformed and now works for a luxury car company and goes off each day looking very smart.

Once the catch up was over it was time to quickly finish the bulb planting, change and go off for another excursion.  This was to meet a friend who had moved from the village.  Three of us went off to a local garden centre that has a nice cafe.  We had a combined lunch and cream tea - which confused the poor waitress somewhat.  So we ended up with the cup of tea before the main course and nothing to wash down the scones. My son would describe that as a "first world problem"! As we walked into the cafe we were greeted by another group of ladies from the village - the WI committee out for lunch.  A group of ladies I knew as I had been on the committe myself  before I went back to work in 2007.

I won't bore you with the minutiae of  whose child is doing what but it was lovely to find out that so many of my children's contempories have found a place in life and seem to be content with getting on  with things.

After such a busy day I'm afraid the evening was spent "slobbing" in front of the TV with my husband. I dozed my way through what I am sure was an interesting programme on the gunpowder plot, might have to revisit. The we found that Hugo was being shown on Film 4. We had seen it in the cinema but couldn't resist watching it again. Its such a charming film. Its a fictional story based around the life of the early film maker Georges Melies. Its a clever combination of filming and CGI. I am not a fan of Sacha Baron Cohen (remember Ali G?) but his portrayal of the station master was splendid.

As you can see there was no time for work.  Lets see if I fare any better today!

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Another new life - and I'm not pregnant!

So after yet another period of silence I am back.  More big changes. I have now taken the plunge and become self-employed as an independent civil celebrant - not a civil servant. Lots of people think I say that when I tell them what I do, will have to announciate more clearly.  So, if you don't know an independent civil celebrant designs and delivers ceremonies for key life events such as baby namings, weddings and funerals. Independent because I am not associated with any particular faith group and I am also not a Humanist.

I should have started recording my thoughts on 1 August when I officially started my business, Tapestry Ceremonies (thank you Carole King for the inspiration) but like Barliman Butterbur one thing drove out another. I now find summer has disappeared, I am nearly three months in and much has happened.

Without the discipline of going out to work every day I do find I lose track of the days so I am going to blog to help keep track and to ponder on progress made.

I will be back later, today is full of important things - haircut and a trip out with a couple of friends.  One of the great things about being at home is being able to get back into village life.  Although I miss all the people at Kallidus life has become more chilled and it is great reconnecting with old friends.

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Sunday Sunday

A proper post Christmas pottering about sort of a day.  Today it was the turn of the utility room to have some tidying attention.

This afternoon saw me fall foul of the computer peripheral - what is it with printers?  All I wanted to do was print a picture on some A4 photo paper.  It printed on ordinary paper but the minute the high grade glossy inkjet paper was introduced - meltdown.  The touchscreen instructions on the front were unhelpful from the point of view that I followed them but they just kept telling me to do the same thing over and again.  Finally, I resorted to the action of a tyrant and cut off its power supply and gave up trying to print the photo.  That passed a happy hour and resulted in exhaustion.

We were successful at the pub quiz tonight. For a change I felt that I contributed my fair share- I was not disconcerted by the individual round on "Canals" - a real anorak subject.

Progress is being made with Jeeves and the Wedding Bells.  I think he is maybe trying too hard and some of Bertie's language doesn't seem quite right but it is entertaining enough so far.

Off to do a little electronic Sudoku now.  I found an unfinished Puzzler app on my iPad and in the spirit of January tidying up feel I should attempt to complete it.

Still crazy after all these years.

It appears that I last posted back in September 2007 and much water has passed under many bridges since then.  I am no longer counting bricks but will keep the blog name anyway.  I won't bore you all with the minutiae but will take January 2014 as a new beginning.  I am now working full-time in the wonderful world of systems for learning and development.  I shall be blogging to maintain my sanity and to instil some discipline to encourage me back to literature.  There may also be some commentary along the way on this wonderful thing called life.

This weeks reading material is the only book that I got for Christmas - Sebastian Faulks "Jeeves and The Wedding Bells".  A lovely hardback copy - none of this electronic nonsense!  I may well have to follow this with some Wodehouse (it is sometime since I have dipped into the real thing) in order to do a Compare and Contrast (I used to love doing those types of essays in geography in school).  Then I think I would like to go back and read The Hobbit again - in order to work out just how they have managed to turn it into three films. It was never a favourite, unlike Lord of the Rings.

What is now yesterday was taken up with some more of those in with the New Year out with the rubbish activities.  I have posed a question to SiaB and his literate friends through another social media channel regarding the word Pimlico.  I believe it was a word coined by somebody like Willy Russell or John Bird to describe the kind of detritus that "appears" in containers like the cracked cup you can't quite part with.  Spreading the contents on the desk might reveal - a hair grip; some random bits of plastic that must have belonged somewhere at sometime; a paper clip; some screws; get the idea.  My house seems to be littered with such containers (and drawers) and so my task over the next few weeks is to banish them.  It won't further the cause of humanity in any way but I am sure decluttering my life must eventually have some benefits.

I think that will do for starters.  Lets see if I can keep this up a bit longer.

Saturday, 29 September 2007

Cooee I'm Back

Sorry about that now where was ? Gosh was it over 4 months ago, so many many brain cells have flowed away under the bridge since then. Alas up until a week ago not many books had been read as my revision rather got in the way. I think it is the first time that I have suceeded in not being distracted by a book whilst revising (most notably during A levels and finals I decided that I absolutely had to read Lord of the Rings - 18 hours is my record - might explain my less than impressive degree result!) However, reading is back on the agenda and the subject (as mentioned earlier) is "The Clergy in Literature". So far I have had a first read through of Agnes Grey (Anne Bronte - visit stuck-in-a-book for comments); Muriel Spark's "The Abbess of Crewe; Alan Bennetts "Bed among the Lentils" and I am currently reading excerpts from the diary of Francis Kilvert (1870-1879). I shall comment on these books as we do them in class over the next two terms. They are bound to result in some very lively discussions as it has been on our topic list (which gets ever longer) for about 7 years. Classes start next Tuesday so it will be good to having something to write about. Can't guarantee that I will write every day but I may get a chance to read some other books too - alas Moby Dick is still waiting patiently in the bedside cabinet.

Wednesday, 16 May 2007

Best Laid Plans

Have you ever had the feeling that someone was trying to tell you something? After much delberation I decided that I would throw a surprise party for my husband for his 50th birthday in July. He has a penchant for curry and Karaoke so I thought that would be a good theme so I started to do some preliminary preparations - a) made sure his carbon copy and best friends would be available on the said day, all were but none seemed to share my husbands enthusiasm for karaoke and resolved that they absolutely would not sing. b) rang to book the karaoke man and was told by his wife that he wasn't doing it any more and was sticking to discos. c) rang to book village hall - it wasn't available. I then decided to apply the maxim "if at first you don't suceed....give up". So I have, I hate trying to keep secrets any way so I have owned up to my plan and we have decided to organise something else.

Yesterday wasn't all disaster. It was summer reading group day. We assembled and discussed our chosen books from the previous session. As usual there was much lively discussion and some splendidly polarised views were produced both by Ian Mcewan's "Enduring Love" and Suskind's "Perfume". I have picked up Margaret Forster's "Over" to read for next time. I must remember to take some notes next time as there was another book discussed, which I thought was called "The Last English Gentleman", the biography of J.L. Carr but I can't find it on Amazon so I will have to get hold of it next time.

The summer reading group is formed from a group of people who were originally studying literature through an outreach programme run by Birmingham University that enabled us to accumulate credits for a foundation degree. However, BU decided to change all the rules and after a couple of years of being messed about we declared UDI and our tutor has continued to expand our minds with diverse choices of literature. We do two terms (winter and spring) of formal study and then during the summer term we get together as an informal reading group, swapping books and opinions. Our formal study topic for the coming academic year is to be "The Clergy and Literature" a subject that has been on our list of topics for some time. Our reading lists is:
Alan Bennett's "Talking Heads: Bed among the Lentils".
Eliot's "Murder in the Cathedral".
Gosse's "Father and Son"
Spark's "The Abbess of Crewe"
Bronte's "Agnes Grey"
Jenkins' "The Awakening of George Durroch"
Keneally's "The Office of Innocence".
Kilvert's Diary
Guareshi's "The Little World of Don Cammilo"
Wodehouse's "The Great Sermon Handicap"

as well as a selection of gothic tales and poetry. So you can see what I shall be doing over most of the summer in between doing revision for exams in September. I am collecting reference's to clergy in all the other books I read - and if anyone out there has favourite bits about clergy, characters or books written by clergy I would love to hear about them. It would be nice for once to embark upon a season of study without being completely ignorant of the subject in hand. I have already started my collection as Moby Dick has an early chapter dedicated to the description of Father Mapple.

I also spent a huge amount of time yesterday on what is usually my winter project - family history research. But owing to the use of the internet and Genes Reunited occaisionally a contact from a long lost relative appears out of the blue. And yesterday two distant relatives made contact. This resulted in much checking of facts, scanning of photographs and documents and emails back and forth. The result of which is the addition of a few more pieces of the jigsaw and getting to know some new people with common interests.

So whilst it was a frustrating start, all in all not a bad day; but it certainly didn't go to plan - the ironing mountain is still there and growing ever taller. Maybe by the end of today it will be under control? Must get back to The Law of Trepass with particular reference to the rights associated with airspace. SiaB is it any wonder that I am enjoying Moby Dick as a displacement activity?!

Monday, 14 May 2007

Call me Ishmael

It was party weekend and despite the weather doing it's best to hamper our friends preparations everything was ready for the big event on Saturday evening. The weather brightened up and we even had a little sunshine for the early evening arrivals. It was a splendid evening probably most notable for the fact that all our various offspring aged between 14 and 20 had a fab night together and boogied to the small hours. They are all such good dancers - no idea where they get that from because universally their parents (particularly father's) seem to steer well clear of such physical activity. The evening was topped off by a spendid firework display from Mr Pyrotechnic (aka my husband) and his carbon copy. Unfortunately I couldn't get to grips with the special firework setting on the new camera, as a consequence I have a lot of black picture, so no stunning bursting firework picture to decorate to days entry. We will make do with a picture of my friend's lovely flower displays that decorated the marquee.

So onto Call me Ishmael. Stuck-in-a-book may be suprised to hear that I have started to read Moby Dick. It is a scruffy copy that I picked up from a book stall at the Great Comberton Flower Festival last year. If I remember rightly SiaB did read it but found it rather a chore. I am about three chapters in and have found that if i get the voice right in my head I can quite enjoy it. It rambles rather but if I read it in a light voice it reminds me of some of those all night conversations that I remeber having as a student that run a bit like a game of Word Association Football or even a research episode on Wikipedia. So I have high hopes that I might get through it at a reasonable pace; especially as tonight Mr Pyrotechnic is away so it could be a late night reading session.
Tomorrow there is a get together of the summer reading group so I shall pick up a new book to read there to.
Now it is time to get back to reading about the Occupier's Liability Act 1984, frankly it doesn't make any difference what voice I chose to read this in, it is still a chore and has to be liberally interspersed with other activities (like blogging) otherwise lethargy sets in and my head sinks to the desk and I get transported to other realms where an occupiers liability to an uninvited visitor is of no consequence whatsoever.