There now, I did it! Almost anyway.
I went to Pilates this morning (still recovering, thank you for asking,) and had coffee with some of the class afterwards. Then came home, pegged out (the towels) and, as promised/threatened, got on and dusted and Dysoned.
( An outing (rained off) and housework (which wasn't)Collapse )
Right, fruit, another drink, then maybe, I can do something I actually enjoy doing rather than desperately needs doing. Then it'll be time to get tea. Hmmm, wonder what's on the menu plan?
Y'all have a good day now!
Have you seen the latest John Lewis & Partners/Waitrose Ad, Dear Reader?
Even if you have, I reckon it's worth a re-view
Good, eh? I'd send it to Damian Hinds, the Minister for Education in the current government, as a prime example of why it is IMPORTANT to teach music in schools, particularly primary schools (ages 4-11.) Only I fear he might just miss my point!
That's the trouble with people who, in making sure they know the cost of everything, totally neglect the value of anything. Particularly as things that Really Matter - love, joy, health, family, culture (however you define it) - are effectively price-less.
( Discourse . . .Collapse )
Slight change of subject: Saturday we had a leisurely trip to Petersfield, a town north of Portsmouth. The SWR guards were on strike that day, but enough staff/management had been found to run two trains per hour, rather than the usual three. I have
As we were having a leisurely day we got the 11:30am train, which meant that the tickets were cheaper than had we wanted to travel before 11am. These things are always worth investigating.
( Craftsman/womanshipCollapse )
And this morning I did Pilates again. The gammy knee was playing up, but some of it appears to be getting easier.
Dear me, is that the time? Hmmm, maybe taking the duster and Dyson round might have to wait. At this rate the mere act of showing the duster in any room will set off my dust allergy. Maybe I'd better ask someone else to do the initial go round. Offers? Anyone? Please? Pretty please? With Sprinkles? Will supply tea/coffee and cake. Maybe small knitted item too.
Y'all have a good day now!
This week the Local Council has managed to find yet more money in its coffers so, having already given us a swanky, smooth, new road surface a while back, is fitting out all the streets locally with LED streetlights.
Monday they did a nearby road. Tuesday they did the road along the front of our house (we live in a corner property.) This meant that Tuesday night we could look out at one road, illuminated orangey by SOX lamps, and to the right at one illuminated by the flash, new, low energy, white LED panels. It was an interesting comparison.
The aim of all this is, of course, to vastly reduce the electricity bill for streetlighting, LEDs taking so much less power and being, reputedly, more reliable and longer lasting.
Thus the Council are ticking several boxes, to whit: i) Saving Money (on electricity bills), ii) Saving the Planet (less electricity used equals less fossil fuel burned in the generation thereof, plus using less power anyway), iii) Lighting the Streets Even Brighter, or at least no darker than the previous arrangement, and iv) Directing the Light Where It Is Needed, ie: down onto the streets. This may have the bonus of darker skies over the city. Always assuming you can view them from your rooftop as the lamp posts come up above guttering level (on two storey houses.)
The effect, as far as I can see tonight, is akin to Very Bright moonlight (hence title.)
To those who complain about it shining into their bedroom windows keeping them awake I say,
'Get a thick blind or curtains!'
It's what we did. One large blackout-lined aubergine velvet curtain. It's a tad heavy. I have to keep remembering to squirt some silicone polish along the curtain rail so it glides rather than having to be jerked when we draw the bedroom curtain, but it keeps the light out effectively.
And in case you think that blackout-lined velvet curtains are expensive, I remind the Reader that it is one curtain. I suppose I could always divide it to make a pair, but I ain't no tinkering engineer. If it works, why try to fix it? And it wasn't expensive, I picked it up, years ago, in a charity shop.
Of course, being a shade of Very Dark Purple does rather limit the decorating possibilities, but it's a bedroom for goodness sake. We're in there to sleep, mostly. We aren't going to get all 'Ideal Home' about décor. Well, I'm not and H never has been. He's far more interested in having it dark enough to sleep, undisturbed by the headlights of passing cars.
On which note: H tells of a friend who fitted a light sensor to a motor to open and close his bedroom curtains. The friend is an engineer, you can tell. His idea was that when it got dark the curtains would close themselves and when the sun rose they would open.
A good idea, you may think, Dear Reader, but think on. In the height of summer, dawn at these latitudes is around 4am. Would you want the sun shining into your bedroom at that hour of the day?
As 'twas, what happened was that every time a car went past the house after dark . . .
And quite how that light sensor might have reacted to these new Bright Moonlight streetlamps . . .
What will be interesting is how the garden plants and the local mollusc population react. Are the streetlights dim enough to convince the plants that it is night time and that they can rest (and transport sugars etc from their leaves to other parts of the plant)? And are they bright enough to convince the garden molluscs that it is too light for them to venture out to predate my plants? For the latter, I do hope so.
Right, think I've been up more than long enough. Time to tiptoe back to bed so as not to wake H, who was snoring earlier as I went to bed then woke up. The snoring doesn't bother me (that much.) Going to bed and waking up does.
Y'all have a good night/day now!
Yes, well. The passage is currently in hiatus. The next step would be to go find some carpet, but I've noticed odd marks appearing on one of the walls just above the skirting board. This might indicate damp. Aaaarrrggh! The house has a history of damp. Alas.
( Looking, A 'Look' and Look At ThisCollapse )
Y'all have a good day now!
I thoroughly recommend The Clothiers Arms, Stroud, as a place to stay should you ever want a base in the Cotswolds, Dear Reader.
As one of the reviews says, "Good food, good service, good value and a nice place to eat."
I think this rather undersells it. It's excellent food, as much as possible sourced within a twenty mile radius of Stroud, and cooked well and imaginatively. The service is prompt, friendly and the waiting staff the most attentive and efficient we've seen in a long time. Even on a hectic Friday evening with a couple of large parties in. The rooms are comfortable, clean, en suite; I found the bed a tad 'Daddy Bear-ish' (ie: a bit on the firm side, though it didn't quite bruise my hip!)
The town of Stroud itself is now a bit of a dump. It has plenty of History - being located in fertile dairy and sheep country, on a river, main industry wool-cloth production, and a once-thriving canal and rail network. One of the rail lines has been closed and is now a walkway/cycle path. The other still connects Stroud to Cheltenham at one end and Swindon at the other. Try travelling it in daylight, it's an extremely pretty ride, with some station buildings still being the original GWR Cotswold stone constructions.
I gather there is plenty of walking country around, particularly if you like rolling hills. I don't do slopes that well these days, even paved ones, but there we are.
Then there is the canal. As with so many, it is in the process of restoration. The Cotswold Canals Trust are busy repairing locks, digging out silted up stretches, and generally trying to render the whole length navigable, from Saul Junction on the River Severn, to Lechlade on the River Thames. Then people will be able to do the Kennet and Avon from the Thames to Bath and back via the Stroudwater Thames and Severn. Or vice versa. And of course they'll be able to access the whole network of English canals. In the meantime there are very pretty walks and trips to be had. Hey, for a fee and on certain dates you can even go inspect the infamous Sapperton Tunnel ('legging' optional.)
I thoroughly recommend the Canal Trust Coffee Shop for excellent coffee and cake. They also have a basket of miscellaneous yarn and knitting needles available, should you have forgotten to take your own. Score! (In my book at least.) They also do light lunches, various evening events and you can go look at the Museum next door. H did, reported they have an extensive collection of canal-related photographs, etc and volunteers only too happy to talk about the canal. At length if you're interested.
The main attractions were, for H: BaseSound, who run various "How To Drive A PA System (Better)" courses. H had enrolled for a two-day course last week.
For me: Mum and Sis both live a short bus ride from Stroud. The buses come hourly, to time and, if you get a Day Rider, are quite reasonably priced.
So H headed off to BaseSound to learn how to drive the Church PA system even better. I headed off to visit Mum.
And a good time was had by all. It's been too long since I've seen H that enthused about anything! He's 'on' next Sunday. The PA and recording will be even more amazing that when he usually does it.
I'll tell you about Grandad's wartime Bible and how, as a result, we're all here later.
Y'all have a good day now!
We've just spent a few days in Stroud. I'll blog about it later. Perhaps, given Life, but have just noticed the time. Specifically, it's Bedtime.
He left the kefir 'grains' (our 'livestock') in a largish volume of combined skimmed and semi-skimmed milk (Kefir grains really like whole milk, organic for preference. Think about it, Dear Reader. Kefir 'grains' are squillions of different strains of bacteria and yeasts and . . , and . . , and . . ,)
I really will have to give up on these midnight postings . . . As 'tis I went to bed at an entirely sensible hour, cos I was tired. H came up not much later, so we were warm. And I gradually woke up. Poo!
What is it with people these days? First there's Boris Johnson making ridiculous comments, in print, about Muslim women wearing the Niqab (full face veil.) Yet no one has brought suits of either slander or libel against him.
The rise in racism bad enough - attitudes, verbal, actual attacks, since the Brexit vote. But for a supposedly intelligent man to come out with such statements . . .
I begin to wonder whether he is so inteligent after all. Educated, yes. Clever, clearly. But intelligent? If his aim is to keep his name in the news and therefore in peoples' minds, he's succeeding. But to do so in such a way? Hardly intelligent. Maybe the buffoon act isn't such an act after all.
Then there's the ongoing row about Jeremy Corbyn and whether he and/or the Labour Party are anti-Semitic (meaning specifically 'anti-Jewish'. Sorry, but the Semitic peoples include the Arab races too. Look it up - Genesis 10:21-12:5. Very few people, particulary the Jewish and Arab races, seem to remember this.)
As far as I can gather, Jeremy Corbyn questioned Israel's treatment of the Palestinian people. Likening it to the way the Jews themselves were treated by Hitler (barring the actual gassing.) Having heard News reports about the way Israel has treated the Palestinians this year, let alone in the previous seventy years . . . Maybe he has a point. Only one isn't 'supposed' to say such things.
Hmmm, where is the public outcry following Boris Johnson's anti-Muslim ravings? Double standards, anyone?
Then again, the way women in general are treated seems to be getting worse. And rabid Feminists are only partly to blame for that.
There is no excuse for this kind of behaviour, or sexual harrassment of any kind - that's of women by men, or of men by women.
I hereby give notice that any man (apart from H) attempting to grab my genitals* will find his being similarly grabbed. And squeezed. And twisted. What's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander after all.
And should I be near a woman being similarly assaulted, I may well join in, if she doesn't belt him herself!
Please, Dear Reader, other people are just that. Other. People. Real people, with thoughts, feelings etc, just like you. Try to remember this in future. Particularly when publicity-hungry politicians start spouting off without putting their brains into gear, then others start reacting to something which they thought they heard but might not have actually been said.
And while on the subject of responsibility and thinking - all these media types who merrily report 'what was said', or soundbites thereof. Whatever happened to trying to tell the whole story. Accurately? Or even not inciting various groups to hatred under the very thin veneer of 'reporting what happened'?
I know, instant 'News' - most of which, these days, seems to be mere speculation.
Maybe it's time to discover JOMO - the Joy Of Missing Out. Or, to put it another way, switch off, tune out and try thinking!
Y'all have a good, and thoughtful, day now!
*Not that this is likely to happen. Not only am I over 60, I'm over 6' too. That kind of man tends to pick on smaller women. Then tries to pass it off as a joke. Yes, well. Wonder how they'd take similar treatment. Would they find that amusing?
I have a stick, may have mentioned this before. Originally it was to support my painful left hip, now I use it to support my duff right knee which, on two occaisions, has totally refused to support me. These days I tend to use it round the house too, when I've been sat for a while and have stiffened up, or when I get up of a night or in the morning. Just til things loosen up and start working again, you understand. As a result of all this my right shoulder and right elbow are also beginning to protest, though the elbow could just be pressure of knitting.
Anyhew, it's a very good stick: metal, adjustable, folds into three for ease of storage in my bag (I even have an elastic band round the handle to keep it folded when in my bag,) it has a loop to keep it on my wrist should I let go of it, and it's prettily decorated with a Florentine pattern. I know it's called that, I have some stationery in that pattern. Consequently I call it 'Flo'.
The thing is, Flo can be a tad vicious. She'll throw herself at the floor, or at people passing, or she'll slip down a bit and try to trip the unwary. One day she even shot up into the air and only just missed a passer-by. As for the shenanigins she'd try getting up to if I didn't fasten the rubber band around her when folded . . .
There was a time when swords were regarded as semi-magical weapons and also given names. There was a tradition among some warrior groups that once a sword had been drawn it couldn't be resheathed until it had 'tasted blood', ie: killed, or at least put a serious crimp in another warrior's day.
Now metals of various kinds, particularly iron and steel can persist long in the environment, despite depradations due to rust. Given Flo's somewhat homicidal 'personality', it is my contention that at least a few of the iron atoms in her were once, at one time, part of one of those semi-magical named swords*. Hence her propensity to try and injure people.
Then there's 'Fred', my main, every day use bag. The bag is a product of BIDBI (bidbi.co.uk), a company based in Sheffield. The bag is made from heavy 227g/8oz cotton canvas and has long webbing straps. It measures around 37 x 49 x 10cm or 14.5 x 19 x 4 inches. This means it's big enough to contain: my reusable cup, a small packet of peppermint teabags, my purse, my keys, a bottle of water (or two,) my rolled up waterproof, a folded up 'bag for life' just in case, my current 'travel' knitting project (usually socks,) and even my entire swimming kit (in its own plastic bag). This is why Fred is so useful.
The bag has been screenprinted in white by The Knitting Goddess with a picture of a Dalek, only the 'bumps' on the Dalek 'skirt' have been replaced with balls of yarn. The caption reads, "I don't want to do world domination today, I just want to knit"** which is remarkably restrained for a Dalek (Fred.) Davros would have soon seen it off!
Readers who know the outward appearance of Daleks might wonder how one might knit. I remind you, go look it up Dear Interested Reader, that the Daleks themselves are actually living beings, with various appendages, which live inside armed and armoured mobility scooters. You never know, they might all indulge in a spot of knitting as a way of relaxing between bouts of world domination and other-species extermination!
I've since lined the bag, complete with attachment point for key and purse lanyards, separate pocket for tissues, pen, paper, aspirins, cloth napkin, re-usable plastic spoon, etc (all things useful to have, but to have to hand and not forming compost in the bottom of your bag,) also a long pocket in one end to hold a water bottle (another thing you don't want wandering.)
So when I go out, Fred is my usual companion of choice.*** For heavy trips, eg: raiding the market or to the local library to change/renew books, I take my shopping trolley (unnamed.) I value my back, it's one part of me that, currently, doesn't seize up, then protest like mad when I try moving.
And so we have the naming of things. Fred is, mostly, harmless. Flo is more vicious.
Do you name things, Dear Reader?
Y'all have a good day now!
*Turns out it isn't just plastic that hangs around in a semi-permanent form!
**Taking over the world one sock at a time!
***Apart from weekends, H isn't there to be gone out with.
Yes, BiL, I said I wouldn't be posting as frequently, but the alternative is housework! Even if we have friends coming this afternoon!
I told Mum about the 'Mint Macaroon' colour in our usual Sunday afternoon phonecall. I was wondering about overpainting it with another shade (sure we have some somewhere, maybe in the shed. Hmmm, hard to get to, currently, and Very Old paint.) She suggested it would be easier if I decided to get used to the colour. Sensible woman, my Mum! I aspire to turning out as good as her one day.
Saturday we checked the forecast, "21°C, overcast, 10% chance of rain." Right, pack waterproofs, just need the one, large, waterbottle, take camera, take knitting (we are travelling part way by the reliably unreliable Great Western Railway after all) and off. Where?
To the Sir Harold Hillier Gardens and Arboretum. Good place. Excellent canteen and 'facilities'. Always something of interest to see. They do a weekly list of 'Plants of Current Interest', plants currently in flower or looking particularly spectacular right now. As it's the back end of August there were only ten such featured plants and all in the bottom right corner of the map. That was fine with us, the house with the nice cakes and tea/coffee for 'afternoonses is also in that corner!
On display was work by a local group of embroiderers - part of the ongoing series of exhibitions HHG hold in the pavillion throughout the year. That was beautiful, inspiring and staffed by the embroiderers themselves; very nice women.
Through the gardens themselves was an activity trail, aimed at visiting Small People (and their accompanying Big People,) Find the Flower Fairies** - complete with Trail Pass (£5) and Fairy Wings (Free.) I really fancied a pair of fairy wings, though not, perhaps, for £5. I remember when that was a LOT of money!
We lunched, then set off around the 'Plants of Current Interest' trail, spotting small people with Fairy Wings, Mums with Fairy Wings and even a Dad or two so adorned. Some of them even had their wings on right way up! We spotted a couple of the Fairies too - Scabious and Convolvulus, and the Fairies Tea Party - which included a crotcheted foxglove. Pardon? Yes, of course there are photos. No, Dear Reader, I'm not going to faff about processing and posting them. Sorry. Try This Link.
It was a good afternoon - we were together, in a beautiful place, among not too many people, among beautiful flowers, and there was CAKE!
And afterwards I asked about the fairy wings. They said, "£5, please." I said, "But it says on that notice" *points* "that the wings are Free!" So they sold me a trail pass and gave me the wings!***
I offered to wear them on the way home, easiest way of carrying them and all that.
H offered to catch a different train! Which might have been difficult as we had a combined ticket.
So I carried them in my hand. When people asked I said, brightly, "I'm a fairy!"
H would roll his eyes and put on his, "I'm not with her" look. He says he enjoys being with me, but sometimes . . . like when I'm painting high bits of wall, or having one of my 'Big Kid' turns!
The train back home from Romsey was late, by 35 minutes. Fortunately we'd stopped off at Waitrose for sustenance (sushi, yum) on the way back from the bus station, and I had my knitting. Remember, God is growing my patience!
Overall it was a good day. Thanks, H. Thanks God, too.
How was your weekend? Y'all have a good day now!
*Possibly the Rose Fairy, though the Wild Rose Fairy illustration may look more appropriate (stuff the 'verse' though!)
**Based on Cicely Mary Barker's classic Flower Fairy illustrations.
***The basic wings are white, with silver glitter swirls. I shall consider Cicely Mary's illustrations and decorate mine accordingly, provided my paints/dyes aren't also on the far side of the Back Room. I can feel a Saturday in shifting stuff coming on - when are we due a soggy Saturday. You Have Been Warned, H!
Today I painted the upper half of the walls - Dulux one coat emulsion in Vanilla White (a variant on off white/cream) then went and raided the market. I also raided Wilko, where I purchased a set of narrow(ish) paint brushes (8 brushes, 1cm to 8cm wide, some flat edged, some 'chisel edged'), a bottle of Turps Substitute (so I can clean gloss paint off said brushes) and a roll of 2" wide masking tape (because the reel we have is 1" wide and sometimes, particularly with my painting skilz, that isn't wide enough.)
Then I raided the market, had coffee, raided some more, went and had a wander round the shops, had lunch in Waterstones, raided some more and came home. I noticed that Waterstones had strung several rows of what looked like Very Heavy Duty fishing line along the ledges outside their shop, presumably to deter pigeons. As a pigeon came and perched (albeit wobbling) on said lines and gave me the eye before flying off (as I was also giving it the eye) I conclude they are less than fully effective. The look in that pigeon's eyes, I was glad the window was firmly shut!
And so home, unpack, check emails and, much later than intended, change into painting clothes again, select a narrow but not too narrow brush and 'cut in' the upper part of the walls. Fortunately H was home by then and was content to be with me (so he said at the time) and hold the paint tray so I didn't have to (instead of his usual Friday afternoon lie down) and could concentrate on stretching up and painting the bits of wall near the ceiling, without actually painting bits of the ceiling at the same time. Thanks H.
Having washed out the brush, I selected a wider one and started on the lower part of the walls. This was easier, I pulled up a chair, sat down and painted - Dulux one coat emulsion in Mint Macaroon. This looked a lot bluer than the shade chart as it went on, fortunately it has dried greener. I dunno about macaroons. Having three different varieties in our back yard, all separately and securely potted, I do know about mint. It is most definitely green, all three varieties (spearmint, peppermint and chocolate mint - which has dark brown stalks) no hint of blue anywhere, even when wet!
I even managed to make the join line between the two colours fairly straight and non-overlapping. I'll look later today and see if anything needs touching up.
After which we had a pizza delivered. I wasn't going to stand up making tea after all that, not even a salad. I wonder, is there a Fast Food Takeaway/Delivery which does food which tastes good and is actually good for you? Anyone?
And that's most of the painting done. Only finishing touches (like where I got cream on the ceiling or green on the cream too obviously.) H remarked that it looked pretty good, considering all the effort he'd had to put in.
He held the paint tray for me for around half an hour! !! !!! So I stood up tall and refused to let him kiss me! That time. Oh, and he'd put the old carpet, the foam back of which was disintegrating, into a couple of bin liners and our for the dustmen yesterday. All the effort he'd put in! !! !!! !!!!
Next? Apart from checking the edges? Mirror, definitely. I have one. I've had it for so long it's Really Dusty, so that'll need cleaning. As it currently has a grey frame, I think that'll need painting too (cream, maybe with added green pattern), plus some form of floor covering, probably a narrow offcut of carpet. Yes, I know wooden floors are currently fashionable, but they're noisy and don't vacuum well. Besides 'currently fashionable'. The coats can go back up once I've taken the masking tape off the coat hooks.
And then it'll be choose, frame and hang a selection of pictures. We've had some of the pictures for a long time now. Far too many of them for the length of our passage, even if we hang both sides, even if we don't hang the mirror. We'll have to select some which can stand full sun as it gets pretty bright in there on sunny days, specially the one wall. Then find some way of fixing them to the walls which doesn't involve having to fill holes in the wall with resin to hold the fixings. That's the 'outside' wall of the passage. The 'inside' one is sturdier. I did tell you it's a late Victorian house; built by Jerry, renovated by Wayne (or some other such cowboy builder)?
Pardon? Photos? When I'm done. Maybe.
Y'all have a good day now!
*What H said when I asked him what he thought. After the effort he'd put in! !! !!! !!!! !!!!!