Friday, 18 December 2009

It may be a cliche but.....

... when it snows, it really does turn the outside world into a 'winter wonderland'. Can you just make out the twinkly lights on the summerhouse? So pretty.... we had over four inches of snow, and incredibly strong winds last night, the latter disturbing all the twinkly lights strung around the garden, so that when the snow finally clears, we need to get out there and put them all back where they should be. Shrubs and so on are weighed down with snow, birds struggling to get on the feeders. But luckily for them I have a daft soft-hearted lovely husband who braved the falling snow to go and lay food under the holly tree, where the pigeons can't get it, where there is no snow, and within minutes robins were back to eat. They had been scrabbling around looking desperately for some food, which is what prompted the explorer like trudge across the garden!

The lacy window is pretty don't you think? This is the north-facing window of the front porch first thing this morning. I just love snow, a big kid at heart I suppose, and so I was out in the garden taking the above photos whilst husband had breakfast, he being the more sensible of the two as you can see! Though would a sensible person go out in the heavy snowfall to feed small birds? Anyway, it looks beautiful from the inside, but venturing out brings a whole new different perspective to the lovely white stuff.
And be warned, here beginneth a small rant!
We had planned to go shopping this morning, though I was a tad worried at the lack of traffic through the village. Normally one hears the bread van delivering to the shop down the road, buses, and on Friday, the dustbinmen. Well, the latter made it at least. But the road was snow covered on our side, less so on the opposite, so not much was coming into the village, but the usual amount of people going to work etc., was leaving. So, rather than turn left out of the drive - once we got out of it that is because there is a slight dip just at the end then a slight rise onto the pavement - we turned right, going along towards the bypass. We would have been surprised, though pleased, had the gritters been out along the main road through the village, but felt sure they would have done the main A road, the bypass, the main arterial road linking the bigger towns. We were dismayed to see that NONE of the road had been done at all, traffic was crawling, and listening to the local radio station in the car when drivers were phoning in to report on the state of roads, one man who lives in our village and works on the same estate as my husband, had left home at the normal time of 7.15am, which would have got him to work by 7.40 at the latest.... two hours later he still hadn't got there, so that means that by the sound of it, absolutely no roads at all, not even one where there is a hospital, had been treated. It seemed to be the same across the whole of north Norfolk.
Speaking for our own area only since I know for a fact the road hasn't been treated, this is a disgrace. They can't pretend they didn't know about it, for we were told at the beginning of the week to expect 'significant snowfall late Thursday night, early hours Friday morning'. There have been severe weather warnings for the last twenty four hours, so why has nothing been done? As usual, the country grinds to a halt, even when we are prepared. Most of the schools around here are closed, buses are few and far between and taking hours to do relatively short journeys of twenty miles. Even when prepared and warned, it still causes chaos.
So, winter wonderland it may be, but only if you don't have to go out in it. We have abandoned plans for shopping, having enough food for a few days, and so I can just enjoy the sight of it falling, gently at the moment, in huge white flakes.
Wherever you are, I hope you have the weather you want, and none of the chaos you don't want!

Thursday, 10 December 2009

A bear, a book, baubles and beads and other stuff!

When you stand in the window, look out at the clear, pale blue sky and feel the warmth of the sun on your face, it is hard to believe that Christmas is only two weeks away. However, there are predictions of wintry showers, possibly snow, and low temperatures next week, so maybe it will feel a bit more Christmassy then. Out in the garden there is still masses of colour from penstemon and snapdragons, marigolds and cranesbill all valiantly hanging on to their flowers, and this fatsia has produced masses of 'flowers', and I should think they would take to removing and spraying gold or silver for a wreath? I have loads of hollies and ivies in the garden too, which will be used with plain cream candles in the dining room, and this is all the decoration that room will get - anything more would be too much I think, and with its deep red walls, alcoves lined with books, large fireplace with mantlepiece and big mirror above it, I have always felt it needed just candles and natural foliage.

And I know this pineapple sage should really be indoors now, but it seems happy still in its pot under the laburnum, and so I will leave it, until the predicted freeze arrives, and then put it in the summerhouse.
This is Henry. I swore, years ago, when I gave away dozens of bears to the Children's Hospice in Milton, that I would stop buying them. But sometimes, just sometimes, one catches your eye, you know? Well, possibly you don't. A slight deviation from the theme of the blog, but did any of you see Kirstie making her little bear on C4 last night? Watching her, rather overly made up towards the end I thought, I couldn't help but notice how she has slimmed down, and how much she has possibly changed from those early days on C4 with the lovely Phil Spencer. At least on this latest show she only seems to be wearing three different outfits, unlike when she was doing out this cottage and seemed to wear a different outfit for every camera shot almost!

I thought some of you might be interested in this book, one of our recent additions. It is divided into chapters, with headings such as 'Nothing like a bad start in life', which includes Isaac Newton and Salvador Dali; 'Happy-go-lucky' with Edward Jenner and Benjamin Franklin amongst those famous people mentioned; and 'Driven', Genghis Khan and Mary Kingsley feature in this group.

Well, it may not look like Christmas, but there's no denying it is that time of year. Last year we had a beautiful Spruce, one of the no-drop variety, and once Christmas was over, outside in a pot it went. And to say it looks odd would be an understatement, since there is a bit of a pointy green bit of a stem at the top, then a gap of over a foot, some bald branches, and then full lush greenness. It won't be coming indoors, but inspired by a feature in COUNTRY LIVING I am going to hang bird treats off it.... I have done pine cones with seeds in before, so will do that again, as well as hang fat balls, peanuts, fruit rings off the branches.
So instead of the real tree indoors, I have opted for two small artificial ones instead.

The first is this white one, which will be decorated with small purple baubles and beads, and go in the sitting room, which has purple walls. (Not that I am alwayas fussed about colour co-ordination I have to say, sometimes the trees have been rather gaudy to say the least!) Then there is a little black one, slightly smaller than this, which will be decorated with red and silver. Which makes this little lot redundant this year....

And finally, inspired by Jill over at I have bought some lovely books of cartridge paper to have a go at one of her gorgeous calendars. I am not expecting to do anything as beautiful or arty to be honest, but I just loved hers so much I wanted to play too. These fab books are so incredibly reasonably priced, were delivered within 48 hours, and came from the pink pig over at for any of you similarly inclined to buy notebooks and journals like me.
So, all that remains is for me to wish you all a very happy Christmas, may it be just as you hope, just as you want, and that goes for the new year as well. Thank you all for following me, for your comments, and your kinship.

Thursday, 26 November 2009

All heart.

Hearts. Fabric hearts, knitted hearts, felt hearts, paper hearts. Hearts everywhere you go these days. I love the shape, and have used it in embroidery, crochet, tapestry, papier mache, and, as you can see, knitting. I don't normally bother with Christmas presents for friends, preferring to make more of their birthdays, which I see as being more personal to them, but this year I decided to send a knitted heart to a handful of my closest/oldest friends, and these are examples of them. Each one has had a few drops of scented oil added to the filling... I have used a warm-scented honey and vanilla, figuring it would make a change from the usual Christmassy scents. I'm quite pleased with them....

I shall wrap them in pretty tissue, tie with flamboyant silky ribbon and make hand-made gift tags of the luggage label shape, just to make them a bit more special.
But there's no escaping the heart shape.... it is a very popular shape in crafts as most will know, but originally, according to Wikipedia, 'The heart has long been used as a symbol to refer to the spiritual, emotional, moral .... core of a human being.' It was widely believed to be 'the seat of the human mind', the word now being used to refer to the soul, the heart symbol representing romantic love, seen most frequently around the time of St Valentine's Day.
There are literally thousands of sayings to do with the heart - a few of my favourites are ...
'Train your head and hands to do, your head and heart to dare'. JOSEPH COTTER
'Write it on your heart that every day is the best day of the year'. RALPH WALDO EMERSON
'Within your heart, keep one still, small spot where dreams may go'. LOUISE DRISCOLL
And where would poets be without a heart? One of my favourite is 'i carry you in my heart' by e e cummings, which I have included in a past posting so won't repeat here. And of course Mr Wordsworth's heart filled with pleasure and danced with his daffodils.
Wendy Cope wrote a short poem entitled 'Valentine', which begins and ends with the lines ..'My heart has made its mind up, and I'm afraid it's you'. And Christina Rossetti in her poem 'A Birthday' wrote in the first verse of having a heart like 'a singing bird.... an apple tree.... a rainbow shell'.
Musicians and song-writers too, have the heart to thank for success. Where would Billy Ray Cyrus be without his 'Achey, breaky heart'? Bonnie Tyler without her 'Total Eclipse of the Heart'? McFly had 'The heart that never lies', whilst Michael Nyman had 'The heart seeks pleasure first'.
Writers of television series have made good use of the word heart too... HEARTBEAT, WILD AT HEART, WHERE THE HEART IS to name but three. (Actually they are the only three I can think of off the top of my head!)
There are many sayings associated with the heart.... 'Have a heart', having 'a heart of gold', then there's 'your hearts desire'.
Oh, and on a sweet note, who could forget LOVE HEARTS?
So, dear heart(s)... this is my daft little posting about hearts. Enjoy the rest of the week, and your weekend, and thanks for calling by again and leaving your comments.

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Presents and ponderings.

Well, it's not my birthday for a couple of weeks yet, but you know what it's like on Amazon, sometimes the prices of books goes up as well as down, a bit like the value of investments if you have any, and so I tend to look at books I want, and then buy them, just in case. Hence the delicious mixed bag below. And, it goes without saying that there will be a few more treats on the day itself - this is a warning as much of a hint to Himself who will be reading this I know.
Now for a closer look at some of them, well most of them really, I've left the ordinary modern fiction out of the closer look.
I loved the film '84 Charing Cross Road' with Anne Bancroft and Anthony Hopkins, and after seeing the film got the book, which led me to more books by Helene Hanff. But as someone who has been penpalling for decades, I am attracted to books like the Helene Hanff, and the above, 'Dear Mr Bigelow' by Frances Woodford. This latter is a selection of penpal letters written in the years 1949 to 1961, between Frances, an unmarried woman living and working in Bournemouth, and a wealthy widower living on Long Island, an unlikely couple on the face of it.

And isn't the cover of this book just gorgeous? I know a lot of you are attracted to books by their covers initially, and had I seen this on a shelf in a bookshop, it would have caught my attention, for the cover and the author. One day Susan Hill was looking on her landing bookshelves, for a book to read, when she discovered quite a number of books she had either read and forgotten, or not read at all, and that was the prompt for this book. I did think it would be an interesting exercise to do the same myself in a journal; then I realised that I do keep notes of the books I have read in my daily journal, as I have read them, a brief resume of the book, and what I thought of it, not going into too much detail or writing an in-depth critique you understand, just enough to act as a reminder.
One day I will get an old copy of REBECCA, I know they are available from various online sellers, but I prefer, when buying old books, to look at, to handle them, rather than just going by a small thumbnail on a bookseller's site. I have a few old Daphne du Maurier books, 'Rebecca' is the one I want next, but for now, as I didn't have a copy of it, this new imprint will suffice. The Virginia Woolf diaries I filched from another blog, someone else I had been meaning to read for years and yet never got around to, now I have no excuse. The print is very small though, so it will be slow going...

A couple of new craft books caught my eye... actually about half a dozen caught my eye but I restricted myself to these two, for now. Looking forward to sitting snuggled in my chair with a mug of tea and a piece of home made cake to browse through these, leisurely.
And there you have it, my birthday books. Now for the pondering.
I was prompted into a train of thought on this subject after reading Mark's latest posting over at and the subject is FRIENDSHIP, or more to the point, FRIENDS, or even more to the point, what makes a FRIEND?
Youngsters these days seem to have friends by the score, people they meet on Twitter and Facebook apparently. Whatever these two are I have no idea, having only just come to terms with how to use a mobile telephone that has now been discarded, sits on a shelf, only to be used in times of emergency, when I may well discover the battery is flat, which won't be as much of a surprise as it might have been, as the thought it used batteries never entered my mind until my other half pointed it out to me. Anyway my mind is so full of STUFF that there's hardly room for anything that isn't absolutely Essential.
Right, off the rambling track and back onto the original ponder. These youngsters all consider these people, many of whom they have never met, and may never ever meet, as friends, people they know personally. Now had these inventions been around in my teenage years I doubt I would have had the same take on what makes a personal friend. I had penfriends, one a DJ on a pirate radio station and one a girl my age in California, but although the term used for them was 'penfriends' I am not sure I would class them as friends in the same way I use the word these days.
People I meet via blogging, people who leave comments on mine and who visit regularly, those who visit occasionally; people who write blogs I follow or visit occasionally; I don't actually consider them 'friends'. More acquaintances. How can they be real friends when I don't actually know them, don't know anything more than that they reveal via blogs and comments? Plus there is a certain amount of anonymity isn't there? Whilst we may know where each other lives roughly speaking, we don't share addresses for the most part, and if they were real friends, then you'd have addresses, birthdays, swap cards at Christmas and so on, wouldn't you?
Surely a REAL FRIEND is someone you know quite well? Your BEST FRIEND is someone you know intimately, someone who knows you inside and out, loves you warts and all, is there through the bad times and the good, always there when needed, and not there when you want to be left alone. A blogging acquaintance doesn't fall into that category, that's for sure... well, not in my case anyway, but as close friends will tell you, I am not the easiest person to get along with. (I can see you all now with a wry smile... and you know who you are!) So maybe I don't get as close to blogging companions/acquaintances as others?If they all stopped writing, I would miss them, but maybe I would miss them more for the approbation, admiration, support that their comments have brought, still bring, than for the person behind the blogging. Because do I really know the person behind the blog? In most cases, no.
There are exceptions, and I won't name them. But a few are actually what I would call close friends, either through longevity, or because somehow we just clicked and the blogging is only a small part of our friendship, certainly not the main part. But the majority I only know basic, surface stuff about them. And that's fine by me. But does that make them friends in the real sense of the word? And what is the real sense of the word, for you?
OK, end of rambling ponder. Enjoy your week, and thanks for dropping by, and a big Hello to the new followers, thank you for joining me!

Thursday, 19 November 2009

A touch of the blues, with some purples too.

Well, this opening picture may not be exactly blue, or purple (though there are some dark purply bits there) but I couldn't resist using it. Taken from my workroom window at seven thirty this morning, quite spectacular. At the back of the house, which I couldn't quite capture, it was dusky bluey grey with deep rosy pink brushstrokes of colour splashed across it. But the colours were glorious, whichever way I looked. What you can't see is the way the smaller clouds are scudding across the sky at a fast rate of knots, for it is windy here. Or was... it seems to have abated, after having sent a garden chair across the garden yesterday, and the mini plastic greenhouse upended. Today less windy, but even so, I gave up rescuing washing when pegs gave up the struggle and things were left hanging, well...not by a thread, but a single peg. Our postie declared it not as 'knackering' as it was yesterday, cycling head-on into the wind, but added that compared to some, we were very lucky. I know this from friends in the north-west who have told me of swollen rivers, flooded roads, and with more rain to come, a desperate time of worry over the next 48 hours or so for them.

And no, this isn't a blue movie, but the DVD is a rather fetching shade of blue, don't you think? This is one of my favourite old movies of all time, and so I couldn't resist getting it, along with another Julia Roberts for the collection, ERIN BROCKOVITCH, though as she's in a bright hot pink case, wouldn't quite fit here. Do you think that Cary Grant would have resorted to Botox, had it been around, to fill in the chin dimple as a certain celebrity chef is said to have had done recently?
Well, this definitely falls into the blue and purple category. A throw recently finished. I had the idea for the colours in my head, and so made up this design, with a separate flower attached to the central square, as you will see from the photo beneath this one. It is done in quite a thick DK wool, lovely and soft, and somehow looks a bit Red Indian-ish to me... maybe the colours? Maybe just my weird imagination. Whatever.... I had originally thought to try and sell it, but now think I might just keep it.

Some of you will have seen this fluffy, heart-shaped cushion before... it fitted the theme of the posting so I have included it again. I made a few of these, was going to make one in a rose pink shade for my granddaughter, but those of you who know me will know why I decided not to bother.

The pudding was more purply than it looks here, honest....

I have got back into the baking habit lately. I used to bake cakes and so on when the children were small, but when it was just down to us two old fogeys, I stopped. But now I am back into it again and happily spend time on a Saturday morning, whilst himself is out in the garden usually. I am tucked away in my lovely snug kitchen, making a mess, happily baking away. But I do like my short cuts too, and this pud was one of them, since the spongey bit was from an old Yorkshire Farmhouse Kitchen recipe book (is there anyone out there who also used to watch this I wonder, back in the seventies?). It involves one egg, two ounces of butter, three of sugar, four of flour, all chucked in a bowl and mixed up, with a little milk added if it needs it. Hence it's called 1-2-3-4 sponge!!! I also use cake liners courtesy of a certain company in the North West, so I have no tins to grease, or greaseproof to cut. I simply put a layer of blackcurrant jam on the base, then added cooked plums, pears and apples, tipped the sponge on the top, smoothed it out, and baked. Delish served warm with custard, or cream, or ice cream, though it's not really the weather for that, more a comfort food time of year.

Now this is definitely blue, and shows how changeable the weather is. These were taken a week ago, when we had days of glorious sunshine, which had been preceded by misty grey and damp days, and were then followed by this wet and windy stuff. But the leaves of the birch are still hanging on, despite the strong winds.

Well, this is me for now, hoping you are all safe from floods, not losing your electricity or roof, and thanks for popping in, as usual.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Talking music.... does any of this strike a chord with you? (Sorry!)

These days I rarely listen to music. At one time it was there most of the morning whilst I worked at whatever I was doing, and always, always out in my little Mini I would have music playing, usually something with a good beat, deep bass notes... that would get me dancing on my bum, tapping the steering wheel with my hands, singing - badly and loudly. Yes, I was one of those annoying people I now berate who seem to find it necessary to have loud music in their cars, windows open, destroying the peace for old fogeys like the person I have now become!! Now all I listen to in the car is the strange noises it seems to make... 'What's that knocking sound?', 'Did you hear that?' etc., etc.
Of course, there is an exception to my preference for silence... it's coming up to that time of year when I like to have something a little seasonal, these are just a few of my current favourites which will be played as background to my baking days in the kitchen, to my addressing and writing Christmas cards in the conservatory, blog writing and reading in my workroom. Ah yes, she who must be obeyed shall have music wherever she goes!

My husband's music collection includes everything by The Moody Blues (some of which I love to play loudly on a summer's day with the windows open!), George Benson, he even has a couple of ZZ Top albums. Ah, ALBUMS.... there must be some of you old enough to remember buying them?????
How about this little group, anything you had in your collection, still have maybe?

Then of course CDs came along, and the advantage to them is that they are small and take less room, but somehow lack the romance of vinyl. But shown here are some of my favourites, and you can see, I have a wide range of tastes!

Some is for bopping about to, some for exercising to...
And then there are those you just play when you want to sit and be quiet and relax, nothing with words that can distract you, just gentle music to wrap itself around you like a comforter. It could be classical like these...

Or not....

And then there is my collection of spiritual music, music as a background to meditation...

Music for whatever mood I am in. When I am in the mood for music that is.
Just a short one this week, to maybe jog a few memories? Have a good week and thanks for popping by again.

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Talking books.

And that's talking about books, as opposed to talking books on disc. I know books are important to many of you, as they are to me, and so I thought I would share some of my favourites, just a few otherwise we'd be here all day! And tomorrow probably....
I enjoy reading about 'famous people' but mostly I prefer an autobiography to a biography, though if the latter has been authorised, that makes it all right. But I feel that if it is actually written by the person, then you are closer to the truth. So in here there are two that fall into the latter category, those of Katherine Hepburn and Dusty Springfield. I wonder if there is anyone else reading this who remembers Dusty Springfield, and whose name conjures up happy memories of teenage years? I once 'played' Dusty in a school concert, the one and only time I ever appeared in one, when I was fourteen, complete with back-combed hair, lots of black eye make up, and miming to 'I Only Want To Be With You'.

The book above by Imogen Smallwood is about life with her mother, Enid Blyton... cost me 35p from the library, and the one about Gertrude Jekyll a princely 50p from another sale at the local library... aren't library book sales marvellous? The Monty Don book was the first of his I ever bought, whilst on a visit to Hay-on-Wye, and a happy hour spent in a shop specialising in garden and nature books.... don't you love the fact it's by MONTAGU DON?
These are just some of my favourite authors, and I have all the books written by most of them, having just treated myself to Elizabeth Jane Howards' 'Cazalet' series of books, my winter reading project.

I'm a bit picky when it comes to Alexander McCall Smith, as I only like his Edinburgh novels, I don't read crime fiction and in any case, would find the time it took to get the pronunciation of his African ladies correct, too testing for a woman of little patience! I have all Maeve Binchy's books, but this is another of those 20p bargains from the library.

There are also books about travel, people's lives and so on, and these are just a sample of my favourites. 'Mrs. P's Journey' by Sarah Hartley is a fascinating read, being about Phyllis Pearsall, the lady who created the London A-Z. A slightly eccentric lady, she was increasingly fed up with the lack of proper street maps of London, making journeys within the city longer than necessary, so she single-handedly set out to change all that and in so doing created 'a publishing phenomenon'. During the course of one year she covered the entire 23,000 streets on foot and mapped it all out, as the author says, thus disproving the theory (by men of course) that women can't read maps.
These are some of my spiritual books. I have some self-help books, just a handful I kept out of my collection. The top one is WISDOM OF THE TAO, since you can't read the title properly, and all of them are books I dip into now and then.

Some of my favouritest books are old ones with faded dust jackets or cloth covers, and again, this is just a handful of the collection. I am looking for REBECCA, since I have a few of Daphne du Maurier's with faded, intersting dustjackets, and somehow they suit the book better than a modern paperback reprint. 'Blandings Way' is the book following 'Mr Blandings Builds His Dream House' one of my favourite old movies.

Well, crafts are always on the go here, and these are some of the books I dip into for inspiration. I love making papier mache, but haven't done any for years, bowls being my favourite item to make, so tactile and such fun getting all dirty-handed (I use newspaper) and sticky-handed (wallpaper paste). Mind you, if the telephone rings, you're in trouble!

And I love what are called 'coffee table books', again for dipping in and out of as the mood takes me... though they should be called 'weekend books' since this seems to be when I do most of my dipping! The top one is THE BOOK OF IDLE PLEASURES.... and certainly reading books would fall into that category.
Oh and one final thing, a message for 'Sherlock' if he's dropped by again, skipping to the end... you might like to look at the end of your last blogs, as I left a comment for you there!!
Happy weekend everyone, be it idle or otherwise.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

A rambling we will go....

For the first time in a couple of days, it was dry enough to go for a ramble around the garden. I'd gone out quickly yesterday to pull up a few carrots, heard this rustling noise and out from my little would-be (or should that be 'wood'-be) woodland area (under a laburnum and a HUGE hebe which measures about ten foot across and high) scuttled a young black and white cat. You get used to rustlings in this garden, hedgehogs, birds of all sorts, the occasional cat, and often you walk out there when it's quiet, half-listening out for any surprise noises. (There was an interesting debate on LOOSE WOMEN today about 'listening', how much we actually listen. There is a subtle difference between hearing and listening, isn't there?) Today when I went out, the same scuttling and half expecting a small black and white furry creature to emerge at a fast rate of knots, instead out dashed a pheasant. He ran down the path and stopped. Not sure if I had seen a pheasant or not, it happened so fast and I had the wrong glasses on, I stopped too, and then slowly edged my way along the path. But it's hard to be quiet on shingle paths, and with a whoosh of his wings, he was off, startling the wood pigeons as well as me. I did try shouting that he'd be safer in our garden than out in the open, with all these trigger happy hunters and poachers about the place. My lovely friend Grace used to have a tame pheasant came to her cottage garden, and she would leave food out for him... he seemed to have quite an appetite for things out of the ordinary, and would have made a tasty roast one day perhaps. Grace should have been known as 'the bird lady' for she had blackbirds and a robin who used to hop onto the bottom half of her stable back door, when the top was open, and chirrup or whistle for food! The blackbird even had the nerve to wander onto the worktop, to the corner where she kept a container of cheese and dried fruit specially for the tamer birds.
Anyway, I took some photos of the autumn foliage, just before the skies went slightly greyer and the mizzle began again. There are some lovely colours, from the maple and mixed hedging below, to the cherry tree and dying peonies, and still so many flowers in bloom.

I've found myself in a funny old mood this past week or two, which has culminated in my leaving the only forum I belonged to, and I won't bother naming it, those female friends who know me, will know the name anyway. I had never been happy, never felt I belonged, to this forum. I felt a bit like the new kid on the block, despite having been in it for over a year. Like being at a new school, being a bit too needy trying to fit in, please people, make all the right noises, compliment them on something just to be nice. Agreeing sometimes with things because I wanted to fit in. This happened with the forum, with every other forum I have looked at over the last couple of years, which only amounts to about four. It never happened at school, I went to one school from aged four and three quarters to fifteen and three quarters, and never tried to fit in there anyway, happy with my little group of two close friends. It was all I needed and wanted.
As an adult, I still couldn't get on with women en masse, or en group of more than three! And I am annoyed at myself for trying to fit in with the rest on this forum. For projecting an image of someone who wasn't really me, partly because I wanted some semblance of anonymity, but also because I thought it might make me more interesting, more acceptable. But as others have said, if you don't fit, you don't fit and why bother trying? And to be honest, it's not like me to be anything other than who/what I am, so why did I stray from this I wonder? Many times comments or threads I made were ignored, and it felt like I was banging my head on a brick wall, wasting my time. In the end, I just left, told the people who ran it I was going, changed the email contact address I had used on there, and that's it. No more forums, no more trying to get on with women in a group like that. Just as I can't get on with women in a group in real life, so that also applies to the virtual world it seems. I don't feel any sense of loss, in fact, in some respects, it's a relief.
But the antsy mood which I have been in still hasn't lifted properly. I feel as if I want to do something, but don't know what. It's like when you want to read and can't settle into a book... do any of you readers know that feeling? You pick up book after book, nothing holds or even grabs your attention for more than a few pages. So you discard it and turn to the next on your pile, and the same thing happens. In the end, in situations like this, I often find myself returning to old favourites, classics often, or earlier novels by favourite writers, whose earlier works might not be their best, several of them taking a few novels and years to really hit their writing stride.
Crafts which I was enjoying now seem to be dragging on, taking forever to finish. Knitting a scarf using just three balls of wool, which are only 50g balls but which seem to be neverending. I am knitting until the wool runs out, but it's taking longer than expected and I am now fed up with the pattern and the knitting and want to move onto something else.
A time for regretting, to a degree, some decisions made in the past. A very introspective time, is it to do with the seasons, the shortening days? I don't think so, because I am not someone who is depressed by lack of natural daylight, or who hates this time of year because of the dark dreariness often associated with it, the long winter with the light of spring at the end of a very long tunnel, so long you can't even begin to think about seeing the end of it for many a month yet.
A time for planning as well, not just the new layout of a small organic vegetable garden, but thoughts too, about extending the kitchen. When we bought this house there was a small back room extension, which had been the original kitchen when the house was built in the early 1930s, the huge fireplace, minus range, was still there. The previous owner of the house was an acupuncturist, and this small room was his surgery. For years we would find little needles in the oddest of places, whilst we had it as a small office/craft room. Then one boozy Christmas I drew up plans for extending the space into two brick outhouses at the back of it, and turning it into a kitchen, which is about sixteen feet long by nine across. I designed it with units down the two long sides, the original back door then leading into a lean to, now into the conservatory, one window already looked over the the paved area, and I added another at the far end to overlook the garden, which is where I like to lean on the sill and look out at the pond, the birds on the feeders in the trees, the geese flying over... not to mention the odd pheasant! The plans were drawn for my own amusement, I love drawing room layouts, houses and so on. But we decided to go ahead, and so I got a new kitchen and the rest of the downstairs rooms were changed in their purpose, to suit our needs.... a cosy sitting room was made out of the old dining/kitchen at the back of the house away from the road at the front and overlooking our lovely back garden, and at the front, where we had the original sitting room, a dining room cum library.
Now I am thinking I would like to extend the kitchen again.... Himself has always regretted that we didn't double the size of the original extension, but knowing me, I would still probably be thinking about extending again! I want a bigger, lower window with a table and chairs in front of it, a door to the back garden to save walking through the conservatory, a larder cupboard to save my back and neck as I scrabble about on my knees looking for something in the cupboard under the worktop. And even as I carry on with my ruler and pencils, coloured pencils too, graph paper, tape measure, I know this will remain a pipe dream, unlike the last time I dreamt up an extension.
Still, it pleases me to play around like this, and what does it matter if the drawings get used as fodder for lighting the fire? My mind is wandering, drifting from one scheme, one idea, one plan to another, not settling for long on anything, like a nervous butterfly flittering and fluttering about. If any of you stayed with me this long, and this won't include The Crap Blog Detective I know, thank you. Oh, and before I go... the email address no longer exists; it is now just in case any of you had tried emailing me.