Monday, 13 July 2009

On finding beauty where you may.

I'm not a doll person really, my thing has always been teddy bears, and I still have one given to me when I was about ten I think. At the moment, my 'hug' (the official name amongst beary people for a collection of teddy bears) numbers about forty... now that may seem a lot, but the majority of them are between six inches tall (or less) and eight inches so don't take up much space. And whilst forty may seem a lot... it is about half of what I used to have. The rest were packed into huge boxes and given to a children's hospice a couple of years ago. I decided then, that if I were to buy any more bears, I would concentrate on bear artist bears, but haven't bought one for many years now, but below are a couple of examples. LULU on the left and LUCY LOCKET on the right, who has a mechanism which turns her head. I also love squidgy ones too, and have a couple which sit on the floor of my workroom, beiing more than eight inches high. But all of them are beautiful in their own way, and in the case of the bear artist bears, the amount of workmanship that has gone into them astounds me sometimes.. not to mention the imagination!


I also find beauty in fabrics and yarns, in colours and textures, and those of you who read my blog regularly will know I had been amassing pinks and oranges, plain and fancy, for a snuggly I had intended knitting. Well, dear readers, the thing got so darned heavy I knew it was going to be impractical as a comforter - you'd never crawl out from under it without the aid of a tow truck, that was assuming you hadn't melted away under the combined weight and heat of course. Plus knitting it was also becoming somewhat of a feat of endurance, no need for gym visits this week then. Not that I go anyway, but if I did, well, I could have saved myself some money whilst making this. Thankfully the weather had cooled down last week, and I was able to crack on with it, and once I realised it wasn't going to be fit for the original purpose, and I had decided to make it smaller, I wanted to get it finished. It now is finished and sits on a newly-painted, very pale pink directors chair in my workroom, ready for when I want to sit and check out a pattern book, or read a bit of poetry, or plug myself into some relaxing sounds for a meditate, all of which I am wont to do, when the mood strikes.

Yesterday morning a huge cavalcade of old scooters, Vespas and the like, drove through the village, en route to Sunny Hunny (Hunstanton) presumably. They were of all ages and colours and boy, did they bring back memories! Had I been quicker off the mark I could have photographed them, but at the time I heard this unusual noise as they approached, I was in the midst of cooking Sunday lunch - for those of a culinary bent this was slow-roasted pork cooked on a bed of carrot, butternut squash, onion, garlic, onion, fresh thyme, lemon thyme, pineapple sage, ordinary sage, mint, parsley and seasoning, with some elderflower cordial watered down a bit. I often use cider, apple juice or wine, but fancied a change, and as it turned out, when all these bits and pieces were mashed and the liquor drained off, there was a lovely sharpness to the resultant jus... too posh to call gravy, sorry but I have to be a bit cheffy here. I served it with fresh garden peas and broccoli, and new potatoes. Pud was apple and blackberry pie by the way.
Anyway, the scooters were followed by two chaps on elderly motorbikes, hardly a Hell's Angel chapter, more a sentence really.
But the sight and sound brought back such memories of the Sixties, when my first 'boyfriend' was David, who had a motorbike. Now he was a friend who was a boy, well young man, rather than a boyfriend. He was gay, the first time I had ever encountered one, and as you might imagine, back in those days, and living in a small parochial place, he rather stood out and came in for a bit of a hard time on occasions. He was a hairdresser, so not only did I get a brilliant friend, but one who cut hair for free too! Of course, when my father discovered I was going out with a biker, he was not amused... that turned to puzzlement when he heard David speak and it became obvious I wasn't his preferred choice of partner.
I don't like the word 'gay' applied to homosexuals, and I don't much like that word either, but what else do you call them? Anyway, I have had three such friends over the years, David was the first when I was 16... and I quickly learnt that when on a motorbike, you DO NOT lean into the curve when you go around corners! Then there was another David, this time one who was in the Royal Navy serving during the Falklands. He and I had such a hoot when we spent a morning in Harrods, after that particular crisis was over and he was back home.
Then there was Stephen, who was/is absolutely gorgeous looking, a talented musician and really nice chap. None of these friendships are a part of my life any more. The first David ended up moving away, the friendship with the second David just sort of fizzled out and with Stephen... well, that was down to a jealous partner who seemed to resent me, our friendship, so for the sake of peace and quiet for Stephen, we let the friendship drop. But I miss it, they were all great friendships but his was the best. Just because they didn't last longer than a few years doesn't mean they were any less valid or important as those friendships which stand the test of time and are with me from schooldays, or my early twenties, to the present day. Some friendships last a lifetime, others are a mere interlude in our lives, but each was special in its own way, just not permanent. I find beauty of a kind, in such deep friendships, no matter how long-lasting.
And of course, there is beauty in flowers. Yet another little bouquet from the garden, this time containing red valerian, deep magenta lychnis (campion), nigella both in flower (blue) and the lovely ripening seedheads, lavender, clove-scented pinks, heuchera flowers, alchemilla, marjoram, cosmos and cranesbill.

'A thing of beauty is a joy forever' so they say... cut flowers like this don't last forever, but the memory of such a thing of beauty, like friendships, lingers on.







13 comments:

Calico Kate said...

Love the bears, not sure about the dolls and the 'snuggly' looks gorgeous. Such beautiful flowers too.
CKx

Arosebyanyothername said...

Lovely blog - s usual. No, I am not keen on your dolls either - they look a bit 'porky' to me. Too many sweets and biscuits!
However, I am with you on the colours of wool, gays, frienships and flowers.

seashell cosmos said...

Oh my-40 bears! Aren't they the best though? Lucy Locket and Lulu are very sweet. I have, oh dear how many do I have..( 14?, 15?)..ssshhh, don't tell Celtic Heart I've lost count. Yes, teddy bears are the bestest, what's not to love about them. Pretty, pretty flowers again here too. :)

Mid Life Hopes said...

I love the beautiful knitted snuggly, and the flowers are just so beautiful. I loved what you cooked, and wish I had been able to sample that wonderful sounding meal. There is just something magical about bears, they just look so whimsical and endearing.
There is truly beauty in so many things, and so often overlooked.
As far as motorbikes go, I have actually witnessed "Hells Angel's", and I can say that when they rolled through, it was for sure a tremendous event of noise and smell. An event that I would not care to experience again.
Your memory stirred mine about this.
I have experienced a motorbike ride across the countrysides of Montanna and it was truly breathtaking both ways, the ride and the beauty.
I enjoyed reading your blog, and what you share, and friendship is truly a beautiful thing, especially when it blooms.
XX MLH

vanessa said...

I'm always fascinated by the personalities bears have! I'm not a cuddly toy collector myself, but when standing in a shop with teddy bears, I always drawn to staring at them, and being tempted to buy.Dolls are almost as fascinating, something to do with the inner little girl in me I think. Your posy of flowers is just gorgeous. I love that cottage garden type of flower.
Love Vanessa xxx (do you mind if i knit)

Melanie said...

Love your teddies! xxxx

Cait O'Connor said...

What gorgeous bouquets.
I prefer bears to dolls as well.
Don't get me started on motorbikes, we are inundated at weekends and feel like we live on a race track - accidents every weekend, air ambulance always around.

Pondside said...

I love that snuggly - gorgeous colours.
I can't find any beauty in a motorcycle. I live on a hilly and winding country road, and each Sunday the peace is shattered by the howling and shrieking of the engines, followed by the wailing of the emergency vehicle coming to pick up the pieces after the inevitable skid (or worse).

Flower Girl said...

As you took the time to visit me, I thought I would pop over to have a peek at your blog too! I love the sound of your Sunday lunch...gorgeous flowers, and beautiful words about memories and friendship! What a coincidence that you're originally from Yorkshire living in Norfolk and I'm originally from Norfolk living in Yorkshire!! Rebecca x

Mark said...

Dropped by here via from Preselli Mags blog. What a good find. We find beauty in so many things, and our perceptions often change as the image/ idea burns into consciousness (well sort of) - quite often the paintings I dislike at first sight become the most influential.

Look forward to returning.

Mark

Celtic Heart said...

I won't say how many bears I have in my Hug. Suffice to say, the Leader of the Hug has his very own Lambretta. Such pretty flowers. I love hand~gathered posies, and Alchemilla Mollis is such a perfect foil for any gathering of flowers! Looking forward to my next visit already. CH xx

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