Archive for April, 2013

Am I a reader or a writer?

Trouble is, I love both! I believe the two go hand in hand; to be a writer you need to be a reader. Now I have always wanted to be a writer and indeed I have books and boxes of stuff I written from poetry to almost a complete novel but, and this is the question, why, oh why do I prefer to read when inside me there is a whole library waiting to get out?
I know I am the world’s best procrastinator, drifting from hobby to hobby as the mood takes me and it irritates me. I want to write, ideas come to me all the time but by the time I get to put pen to paper, the words refuse to sound as good as the thoughts in my head. Hmm, I need to focus and make some sort of strategy to encompass everything I do.
I am a writer, I know I am, I am a reader, avidly so, what I also need to harness is the belief in myself to succeed.
I started a writing course in order to focus and be a little challenged but the problem remains. I can give advice, point people in the right direction, I mean I taught creative writing, so why can’t I write it myself…?
Then there are the books, a big passion of mine. In fact it might categorise me as a hoarder, I have hundreds. More than the stories I have written, but I love each and every one. I keep records of the ones I have read, I keep records, scribbles in notebooks, ideas for stories that I never get to write and every time I find them and reread them I am amazed at the philosophy behind each statement or quote.. So why can I not write to demand? There has to be an answer!
Hmm… ok an outpouring of thoughts, hey, Im good at that and now all I have to do is work out how to use it all.Maybe I should stop trying to analyse it all and sit down and apply myself ….

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Inspirational Question?

What was the one experience that completely changed your life? What happened? How did it change your life?

The one experience that changed my life eh? Now that is an impossible thing to answer. Maybe I am someone strange because there isn’t one, an experience that changed my life I mean. Does anyone have just one experience? I ask myself this over and over again. My life must be incredibly chaotic when I think about it because I have have an experience every day that changes something in me and therefore how I see, feel hear, taste and live my life.Taste life

If there was to be one thing I guess it would have to be… being born or was it my first word or step, school, the bully, my first sexual experience, marriage, giving birth? I could go on and one could say they are just ordianry things that happen to everybody, so what other stuff that might not happen to other people has actually changed my life?

The way I see it is that every living moment is an experience that changes something about me. I see something crazy or beautiful, poignant or tragic, something minute or something magnificent in its magnitude; hear a voice, the sounds of nature, an emotive piece of music or an article on the radio; Hearing time passing[/caption]

Hearing time passingnotice changes in me, my partner, the world around me, my garden and feel tiny things that only I will ever know just what they mean. Every single one of these things makes a change to the way my day will be or influences how I will do things from that moment on. Each one of them is as important as the next in forming my world and how I exist in it.

So I think this inspirational question has itself, changed my life. It has made me think about the little things. It has made me think that maybe my life is boring because I haven’t experienced an epiphany of any kind but then maybe it shows me that I am a person that walks through life noticing the little things and appreciates every single one of them as a special lifechanging moment that makes me into someone new every time I become aware of it.


Hmmm, I can see that this is one of those questions that goes round and round and ends back where it started. A bit like the circle of life really. I know, today’s experience has been trying to answer an unanswerable question because it has made me notice the little things, shown me a different train of thought and given me an idea for an article I could write… Don’t ask me tomorrow though, I’m not sure I could cope with too many life changing experiences like this….


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Those quiet weekends!

I just love the weekends, or maybe I should say I love the unpredictability of weekends. Ok Saturday we shop, like it or not there is always that trip or two to the shops but after that anything goes. I just love waking up knowing there is no need to get up early on a Sunday morning. Harry doesn’t have to go to work and generally the housework is all done so I can relax. Then once I get up there is nothing to do and somehow I miss the structure of the week and I’m bored. The weather isn’t good enough to garden yet, although maybe someone should tell the bugs that. In particular the snails.

Most people know how I have battled the bugs and diseases in my garden, well it looks like this year is going to be no exception. Barely have the first few green plants poked their shoots above ground then they are there, waiting like a wave of germ warfare at its strongest, to dessimate the few plants that have survived the feline invasion trying to unearth them while they slept.

Outside my back door the light wall seems to attract snails, they even park themselves on the bathroom window, watching, taunting me. A daily roundup does nothing to lessen their numbers and despite a vigourous ‘sweep’ of the wall and surrounding garden, another marauding wave arrives to start all over again the next day. Tender leaves on a goji berry plant disappear overnight, flowers on the primula that struggled to get above ground level last year are once again a tasty meal for either the slime brigade or the fodder to ease the hunger of the green and mutiple legged walking mouths.
The pond is another trap for anything that is destructive and the blanket weed that has resisted all treatment finally choked the pump, filter and fountain to death halfway through the winter.

Well, we planned to spend time on trying to eradicating the problems as soon as we could but never quite got around to it. Then this weekend two of my children came over, one of whom was my very energetic and strong son. It took him less time to fix the pond pump etc, sort the electrics and get everything working and catch a few baby fish promised to a friend than it took for me to prepare the Sunday lunch for him, my daughter who popped over too see him, and two granddaughters who played perfectly in the garden gathering snails.

I think I should maybe retitle this entry as those wonderful, unpredictable weekends. What a super day, and far from being a relaxing, do nothing, lazy kind of day, more was achieved in the garden than would take me a week to get half way through, Harry managed to recycle some old timber to make a bridge cover for the drain, we fitted in a visit to friends in the country to deliver the fish and share a cuppa and a chat with, we ran a couple of errands to my other daughter’s as well as spending the precious time with the children. Best of all, after all that ‘hard work’, a lazy take away supper was the final order of the day. The bugs and slugs will have to wait until another lazy Sunday.

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Saturday Shop, Bah!

I don’t know about everyone else but weekends, far from being a relaxing time,become the busiest day of our week. OK housework is all done so apart from the mopping up after any small people visiting, it should be a time to relax. Especially for poor Harry who works a 12 hour day, five days a week. We seem to spend Saturdays trawling round various supermarkets and shops. I like to have a list, get into the store, shop and go home to put it away. Well that is my plan every time but, bless him, Harry is a browser and most of the weekend is spent ‘window shopping’. I can hear my daughters say ‘And what’s wrong with that?’ I hate shopping! that’s what’s wrong with it.
This week, I tried to get round it by shopping online; I spent less, got exactly what I wanted and felt really satisfied that I had foiled the shopping wander. Hmm, there is always one thing I forget.. this week was cat food, and I do agree, the supermarket has the best priced stuff, always difficult to buy because the cats are so fussy it’s unbelievable. Never the less, I groaned at the prospect of the trip despite only needing one item, especially having thought I’d got away with it this week. Three shops later and an entire afternoon wasted I return home exhausted with sore feet.

I’m not complaining really, it becomes a bit of a laugh and if I didn’t have to deal with the pain of an auto-immune problem, I would probably love it. A friend of mine suggests I get a ‘doom buggy’ she calls them. She works in a supermarket so I’m guessing that has something to do with the name, but all the while I can walk I will and it is really so nice when I get back home and enjoy a cup of coffee knowing it is all over for another week.

I do confess to being a bit of a hoarder but I’m also a neat feak. The kids laugh at me when I do my housework and bandy suggestions like OCD. No I like my home to look nice. So where does the hoarding come in? Just open my fridges, freezer and food cupboards. I was from a large, poor family as a child where at times food was meagre and I have also a large family of my own. We lived for many years in very rural Hampshire where the nearest decent supermarket was eight miles away so we shopped monthly. You could afford it in those days! I guess I got used to keeping a store cupboard because I still do the same when there is just the two of us. I reckon I feed us for quite a few weeks without ever having to go to the supermarket, which, I might add, is probably my subconscious intention, so why do I need to go shopping every week? Oh yes, I prefer to eat fresh food. I reckon that maybe, just maybe, it might be me causing the problem after all? Hmmm
You'll never know when you might need it! Fruit anyone?

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Dipping my toes into the writing pool…. again.

The dining room floorThe Dining RoomVictorain KitchenIt has been a while since I wrote but I haven’t been idle, far from it. I think that’s my trouble really. I have so many hobbies and interests that keep me busy, I don’t get them all in. Recently, I have been busy trying to organise my work room to fit yet another new project into an already crowded space. Since I was small I loved the idea of miniature; I think must have been down to the literature I read as a child and, although The Borrowers had a pretty risky existence, it gave me a wonderful escapeism. This leads me neatly into my new project – a doll’s house.

I have been making miniatures of things for as long as I can remember and now, finally in my autumn years, my dream of doing it for a reason came true when Harry bought me a doll’s house kit for my 60th birthday. It’s a magical project for me and one that suits my tendency to dip in and out of different hobbies as the mood takes me. So far I have completed the basement kitchen, and scullery though I still have to make everything for the laundry. As it is early Victorian there is a lot of stuff to make. I know about artistic license so am employing it on that room. I made a doorway and window at the side of the  house, no problem?  I struggle with a house that has no toilet facilities and will build an outside privy later on but on the main house the chimney breasts are on that wall so a great deal of imagination is required. I am sure the occupants aren’t going to complain though.

my new camera 071           Basement            completed basement


completed basement


The kitchen, hallway and scullery have a hand painted floor because the papers I looked weren’t terribly realistic. I have also completed the dining room a lot of fun to do. A mixed bag, this room moves into later Victorian times, it looks pretty bare at the moment with only the basic furniture but it is ‘functional’ should any small people wish to join us for a meal. The lighting works in the fireplace too, that was fun to do. I only blew one fuse and did rediscover my soldering skills in miniature though. The worst part was trying to insulate such minute wires but offseting the joins and using a dab of bathroom silicone to seal them seems to have done the trick.
April 26th 13 019April 26th 13 017
The floor of the dining room has been a brilliant project. I decided against artificial floor covering and opted for the ‘real thing’, well almost. I don’t go to coffee shops very often but the wooden stirrers are perfect for making floorboards so I persuaded friends to bring back their stirrers everytime they had a coffee. Coffee stains add to the authenticity. I made a template and stuck carefully cut stirrers to look like wooden floor and sanded it well, so far so good but the next part was rather laborious. I used an awl to mark nails in the ends of every board before I stained it. I think it made a rather impressive looking floor, but I am slightly biased here.
My next project is to make a parquet floor for the hallway, now that’s a challenge for sure. I think I have just enough wooden stirrers to make a start. Thank you to everyone who has brought me their sticks, couldn’t do it without you.

Do you see how easily I get distracted, this blog entry was meant to be on writing and wandered off the path. Definitely a butterfly mind still. I enrolled on a writing course last year and have been struggling with writing articles but I managed to complete it and submit it yesterday, here’s hoping the rest of the assignments become easier. It’s a lot of money to waste if I don’t get my finger out, and my head out of my doll’s house, and get writing and that is why, as a motivational technique, I have decided to paddle once more into the world of the blogger. Here’s to bigger (and smaller) things!

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