Friday, 30 January 2009

Kentish skies


I have been lucky enough to visit 
and live in many town and countries
IF you severely twisted my arm,
Kent is the probably place 
I would choose as home...
I think...

In mid December I visited with my folks in Kent.
One day on the short drive home, 
after a shopping trip I tried to capture the view from the car window... at speed!


Mum stopped the car so I might capture the thick bank of cloud dividing the sky


For other participants in Dot’s concept, go to Sky Watch HQ.

Thursday, 29 January 2009

Helping herself


When the papers kick off  with their stories of  Britney, Amy or Jordan, I balk at their lack of integrity and their willingness to knock a girl when she is down. To sell to the masses their poor excuse for a newspaper.

I haven't a bought a red top since the early 1980's when they slandered a young tormented actor  who reacted badly to one of their 'features' and he tragically took his own life. I felt they were partly culpable. I also felt they played a huge part in the death of Princess Diana.

Amy Winehouse  is a talented songwriter, an amazing singer - usually-  who for one reason or another got herself into drink and drugs. I was dreading hearingmore bad news.  But when l saw this picture of her last week on holiday, the mother in me thought what a relief it was to see some flesh on her and not seeing all her bones. Her husband is apparently off the scene. She's looking healthier,  let's hope her mind is in a better place also. 

I am hopeful for her.

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

ABC Wednesday Round 4


B is for...all the B's in my world...

I have posted on these items before (as in P is for my Passions) 
so for some of you this may be terribly boring...sorry!

Books...
just a small bookshelf in the hall



Bottles
My dusty perfume bottles on my dresser,
life's too short to dust regularly!


Bags, 1950's lucite box bags ... 
this is my shelving behind my bedroom door, 
old books, bags, more books...

more books....to read...


and ...

I even came home with two more books today... 
charity shop buys, who can resist? Not I obviously!


For the home of ABC Wednesday, go to Mrs Nesbitt's Place.

Monday, 26 January 2009

Slumdog! Slamdunk!

I have been to see the celebrated Slumdog Millionaire film, with my daughter and a friend this week.

I have hesitated in posting about it, as it is difficult to actually put my feelings about it into words. So I apologise  if this is more meandering than usual, but I will try.

The story - and I won't give it all away- is about the city street children, two brothers and their friends. The kids collect rubbish from the refuse mountains that they sleep on and which they are seemingly surrounded by in Mumbai, India. After appearing on the Indian version of 'Who wants to be a millionaire'  Lamal is accused of cheating and is interrogated about his answers. The story that follows is Lamal's story and explains  how he comes to know so much.

The film is a feel good film for sure, but it feels a bit incongruous given that much of it deals with the harsh realities of the children -of all ages- living on the streets and of what appears to be the commonplace abuse of these children, by not only the adults looking to exploit them in exchange for a meal and a roof, but also by their contemporaries, more like dog eat dog.

I felt a bit like l did when I saw Shindlers List  or  Life is Beauitful in saying what a brilliant film it was afterwards but feeling uncomfortable about it at the same time.  That is so hard to say when it seems to be at such a cost to these children. I'm sitting there stuffing my face with sweets or popcorn and the people on screen are starving and being abused and manipulated.  What price this enjoyment l thought! I love to be transported in books and films, but this didn't sit so comfortably.

On Friday I saw on BBC Breakfast TV a feature on a real life Indian  Who wants to be Millionaire winner. He won 1,000,000 rupees. He still lives in the same one room home with his family and mother. He still drives his taxi cab, he has spent his winnings on a mobile phone, a fish tank and exotic fish, a washing machine and dishwasher, a flat screen tv and other 'luxuries' for his family. He is a very happy man. He continually plays a recording of his winning appearance on the show o his tv and mobile phone.  Now of course, he is a celebrated local! 

There are hundreds and hundreds of films made in India and some on this subject. These aren't seen around the world. The fact that this film has an Indian author, the diplomat Vikas Swarup and has been made by a British director  Danny Boyle - and l believe is a C4 produced film-  it will actually be seen around the world. 

In the Sunday papers I've read about the Indian premiere this week, apparently Anil Kapoor the famous actor, who plays the quiz show presenter,  grew up in a slum himself, said the film, "...would be terrific inspiration to kids all over India.....It's a a film of hope.''

India Knight writes that it educates and entertains all audiences, British, American as well as Indian. I heartily concur.

btw if anyone knows where I can get some 'Bollywood' type dance classes let me know, it looks so much fun!
In case you are left in any doubt I did love the film!

thanks David!! Author blog award

Sunday, 25 January 2009

Bear Ugg!

I have coveted my mother's Ugg boots for years. 
I keep telling myself I will buy a pair, 
but at over £150 plus P+P I've put it off numerous times. 
My train of thought being, when in doubt leave it out
I haven't  spent that much on a coat let alone pair of booties. 

During my adulthood there have been times, 
when I have had to live frugally 
and so I do find it hard to splash out sans guilt! 
Don't get me wrong l do treat myself, 
but I think once, twice, thrice beforehand.
 I do also believe very strongly - 
and l have posted on this subject before-
 that the anticipation is the fun part, perhaps this is a case in point.

However during my December visit to my folks, 
I wore almost constantly my mum's older pair of Ugg's 
and they were wonderfully comfy and warm.
(Though not so petty since ''le bodger' applied his handiwork)

So with some Christmas cash and a bit more,
I researched the Ugg phenomena carefully 
and on Boxing Day I ordered a pair from Australianuggs.com
 they were on sale and with the P+P were affordable-ish. 

Yesterday I was advised they were waiting for me at the Parcelforce office 
and I could collect them when I had paid the VAT and charges. 
I wasn't  sure whether to be pleased or miffed, 
they were here but I had incurred charges. 

I had to pay £23 and collected them on the way to work, 
and when I was settled I got them opened. 
The gallery was so quite I tried them on. 
Ahh! so  warm and comfy, though a tad snug, 
as the sheepskin was all springy and upright like a lamb.
However this morning I wore them out as it was cold. 
We dropped off my daughter at work, 
then Larry and I parked up dropped by Starbucks for a skinny latte, for me not him,
 his is drenched with caramel syrup and sugar, I do like sweet but that would make my teeth itch!

then I whizzed around Tesco for a few things, 
which as you know 'a few things '  
very oddly adds up to a weekly ££ shop  at the check out!! 
How does that happen?
The thing of it is, these Uggs make me slop around,
 I can't pick my feet up properly and 
I feel even shorter than my now 5'7" 
(three years ago I WAS 5' 8.5" and no one can tell me why!)  


I got hotter and hotter, until I was flushing from my toes to the tips of my hair, 
removing layer after layer, at the check out 
and beside myself with frazzledness, 
I thought my head would implode 
with all the little explosions in my head. 
Is it the boots, the coffee or me?

I'm not blaming the Ugg's but my now my feet are aching 
from the flat-footedness of them. 
When I look down I feel like Mama Bear with these huge dumpy feet. 
I don;t need bigger feet I'm a size 8!
But I don't feel like that when I wear my mother's, 
perhaps that cos she's worn them in so well 
and maybe its' cos they are hers and all that that implies emotionally!?
 Or is that too deep?!


SO if anyone is after a pair of short,  sheepskin Australian Uggs, size 8 uk - 
you can have then for the price I paid, no more no less -  
btw these are not Deckers UGGS made in China, these are Uggs made is Australia, 
Ugg's but not UGG's  if you understand. 
I think they've got to go!

( or should I wait ...?! duh!)



Thursday, 22 January 2009

Hope..


Yesterday I had so much to say but didn't know where to start.

I wanted to say how proud I am of the American people in the brave choice they made in their new President. What a beacon of Hope. He has been put upon a high pedestal and we can only hope... hope he has wide shoulders!

I popped over to Fhina at her blog as I noticed she had just updated with a new post. She has succinctly written just about everything I coulda, woulda, shoulda but just have felt so overwhelmed by yesterday, and my current  S.A. D. tinged  mindset that I knew I couldn't dig deep enough to find the right words to do justice for a post. But Fhina's post reinflated me and I started to waffle away in her comments box. 

BTW....Does anyone else find this happens, you start to write something quite innocuous and then type enough words to pad out a not so short story, which appears before your very eyes!

I think the word Hope just about covers my thoughts of yesterday's historic day. It is such a small word but the message is HUGE! I think it's probably the most important word in the world. Without hope what is there?

It's the one emotion I don't think I could be without. 




Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Six things about me...

Fhina - a woman of no importance who is another blogger 
whom I find soulful funny and interesting,
who has a a self depracating blog name. 
Anyway she tagged me for this  so I must do as asked.

1. I am not fat, I just fluctuate between very curvy and very voluptuous (I think)


2. I don't think l'm frumpy, not all of the time. I'd like to think I have the french, 'je ne sais quoi!' chic, but l'm kidding myself, I lollop around the house in jeans and a tee. My Dad in his 70's can still wear jeans and look like well you know, like a bloke who CAN wear jeans. No that sounds all wrong, but he has 'style'. He can just turn back a cuff or lift a shirt collar, and he walks that casual, slow walk, he just has it and Moannie has it too. Did you see the recent photo of Rachida Dati the french minister who returned to work last week on the fifth day after a ceasarian? Absolutely her choice. But I aspire to have the style she has with a bit of what Paloma Picasso has thrown in. (But I don't but I can aspire.)


3. I AM fifty, so what!

4. I am half French/ Half english
and if you want to split hairs, 
I'm half english/ quarter french/quarter Italian but hey does anyone care!

5.  My name is 'Saz' and I'm a bookoholic and handbagoholic
I collect vintage bags- one arrived, a gift, today and l buy books of all kinds,
 full price and great quality in charity shops, a few a week and this is me in recovery!
 Larry can get apoplectic about them all. He reads a book and gives it away, 
even if one of us has bought it for him and have written some bon mots inside, 
when it's done it's done! He IS Larry David sigh!

6. I had fertility problems, after a miscarriage. 
10yrs later after 2yrs of tres expensive infertility treatment, we called it a day. 
I gave up smoking. We made plans to sell up and travel. 
We had a quiet weekend in, with films, food and some alcohol. 
We were moving on.  
Two weeks later I discovered I was pregnant. 
 This was one year to the day that I gave up smoking.

 I shan't tag anyone specifically, 
but lets say the first six visitors 
who leave  a comment may
 if they wish take up the tag meme.


The Rules of this meme:

1. Link to the person who tagged you.

2. Post the rules on your blog.

3. Write six random things about yourself.

4. Tag six people at the end of your post and link to them.

5. Let each person know they’ve been tagged and leave a comment on their blog.
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up.
*****
Go do your worst!



Monday, 19 January 2009

Our Strictly experience!!


 My pal Lynn and I regularly meet up for coffee, cinema, 
a meal out and a good natter.
 We decided last year that we would have one substantial outing each month.
It worked so well for us, we are repeating the resolution this year!

was our firstbig  day out of the year!

The celeb's and pro's in this years show were
Jodi  Kidd and Ian,Tom Chambers and  Camilla, 
Julian Clary , Rachel Stevens and Vincent, 
Jill and Darren , Kenny Logan and Ola, 
Gethin Jones  and Flavia ,
 Cherie Lungi and James

The Judges were the fab four, Craig, Arlene, Len and Bruno, 
they all joined in and danced at the end, 
Bruno was semi clad as he walked off, he was so into the dancing.
Kate Thornton was the Host again this year.

The images give you  a flavour though both my camera and mobile played up.

introductions


the opposite view
the venue holds 12000 and it was a sell out

camera, action

Tom And Camilla



roll call


time to vote

Rachel and Vincent won this show and their Rumba was electrifying!

Highly recommend the tour if you enjoy the show, it was fab-u-lous!

Saturday, 17 January 2009

Should she Sushi?

Unfortunately we only get half an hour for our lunch  break at work, whether we work a 8.20-5.30 shift or a 9.45-3.30 shift - and that's another issue in itself. Most often I take a prepared chilled lunch or sarnie but yesterday l didn't, AND I needed to pop along into the city centre to buy a couple of things. Which means that unless I try and unceremoniously stuff my face whilst I'm walking, I won't get to eat.  I was particularly in need of sustenance and so I grabbed a bottle of water and as there were no sandwiches in the chiller I grabbed a small tray of assorted sushi. I haven't ever had sushi and I guess you are thinking ugh!!! some prepacked, probably disgusting impression of sushi and a food poisoning alert! Not a good way to try Sushi or something that even resembles Sushi!! But that isn't what l'm going to tell you actually.

The thing is in the Museum we cannot eat on duty, (the odd sweet maybe) but patrolling the galleries of the museum is serious stuff I'll have you know and it just won't do. With walkie talkie in hand or attached to my person usually waistband, my keys, their keys, my diary in hand, a surreptitious book placed under the arm - for the quiet dead periods such as now, my mobile phone vibrating under me bra strap (as you do, and l know there is a joke there somewhere but I ain't going there) there isn't much chance of eating anyway. So enough rules are bent there then! To compound the wrong by eating on duty it would,  if caught by one of our Managers bring  a stern word at least, a warning at the most, plus I wouldn't like it much either. 

So what's a girl to do in this situation? I decided l would pop it all into the cupboard where we keep the charts and stationary and other items we use regularly throughout the shift.

A small chair appeared in there a while back and the chair is known to be ' Trudi's chair' as it is universally acknowledged that Trudi will spend her cherished lunch break in M&S and then eat her lunch in the cupboard. She thinks no one knows but even the management know it. They turn a blind eye l guess, but that doesn't mean FFF has to do it, until yesterday. I was so hungry, my sushi and the banana l found in my locker would do me and the cupboard would be the place to assuage my hunger.

I checked no one was about, and in the cupboard I tenderly unwrapped the tray, opened it and poured the sauce? soy over the sushi ( don't panic these didn't have any visible signs of fish or shellfish in them) l then slathered the wasabi and the pickled stem ginger on each of the 8 delicacies - I use the term loosely of course as they were prepared in Salford and I don't know what l'm talking about! 

As l turned to throw the packaging into the bin I caught the edge of the tray of sushi and the lot fell onto the floor! 

'Aw Shit!'  I muttered, closed my eyes then opened them hoping something was still in tact on the tray. Not  a bit of it, the small sushi parcels had unravelled and each piece of rice and whatever the other bits were had scattered all over the dusty, dirty concrete floor!  Not one bit was left for me to eat. I took the evidence home with me to throw away. 

Today while I was passing through the gallery a colleague said to me 'there's a funny smell in the cupboard FFF did you notice it yesterday?' 

Before I had a second to fess up I heard myself saying, ' No, I didn't notice it!'

Moral of the story? Dear FFF,  it is just a fact that you cannot get away with bending or breaking any rules, you never have been able to, so don't bother trying, oh and make a packed lunch for yourself!

thanks David!! Author blog award

Friday, 16 January 2009

Opinons sought...

image courtesy s.wilson vintage clothing  from www.sarasattic.co.uk 

I wonder if I could bother you for some opinons please. Some of you may or may not know that as well as my p/t job at the museum, I also run my own small business, Sara's Attic an online vintage clothing site here. I launched this is 2002. It is a passion and l'm too close to it to think clearly.
 
I haven't sold very much at all this year on the attic and this is probably more my fault than not, as I haven't been able to organise and update the site. With the downsizing house move a year ago, I cleared out much of my stock holding and still have no place where l can really manage this. The greenhouse was great for a couple of months but soon l noticed slight damage as soon as condensation appeared, l moved it all out.

So...I have swithered with stopping the site completely, but am loathe to do this, as I love it so much. It isn't a money spinner, but a few pennies in my pocket at the end of the year is a bonus, it of course pays for itself, a mobile phone and my computer so it isn't all bad. 

Today I made a rough outline and plan of what I have decided to do, subject to a little more research and some calls. I will reduce items on the site for a period, then sell the residue on MY ebay & etsy shops . Meanwhile my i.t. guru/nephew who created the graphics for the Attic mark 1 & 2 has said he will makeover the site for me.He will take my floral motif and change this to a butterfly and use similar colours to retain atmosphere.

SO l have a theme, colours etc  l will specialise, I will sell party dresses and bags only, as l can accommodate some rails of hanging stock well wrapped in my garage ...IF I get organised...and relaunch on Sept 1st this year. I will close the site in about 6-8wks with a notice to say we are closing for a makeover!

Soooo heres the rub... this is where I would love some input as I am awful at decision making and you guys may get the feel of  where l'm coming from, my friends and hubby just don't get vintage at all. That's fine but not helpful.

I cannot yet decide whether to keep the name..

www.sarasattic.co.uk

the pros...its known-ish, its had great press, it may have been bookmarked, its a known-ish name in vintie circles, footfall is great over 5 million hits, in each year 5 & 6, less this year for sure... that translates to 75K unique visitors. so has goodwill, regulars.

the cons...its tired, so perhaps a change is good, new start..new stock..will they find it?

I have yet to find out from my server provider whether l can change the domain name on my agreement only or renegotiate and start from scratch...dunno yet... l cant get hold of them, they only answer the phone during the day....

I can link to a new name so thats not a problem, redirection l believe is do-able...but I would have to start from scratch ref goodwill etc...so should l sticj with Sara's Attic

Can anyone thrash this out in a sane and less messy way than what's in my head?

www.sarasattic.co.uk

'The Attic' isn't available but these are....

Butterfly-vintage.com ( because of the theme and the iconography symbolism etc)

glitz-glam-vintage (to reflect the party spirit and my 70's roots)

any thoughts, rants, mercurial insights appreciated.... 


Wednesday, 14 January 2009

INTERVIEWS ONLINE NOW









Read the questions l posed to those that picked up the gaunlet from My Interview posed by Daryl ...




and Coming soon - Suburbia  and    Sass

it's not too late to join in the fun....its January and it's bleak out there...got writers block, or an intestinal block well have  ago!

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Bone Destiny


Today was my  appointment for a bone density or in my mind a bone destiny scan - well the result could be prophetic! I was offered two venues The Freeman in Newcastle which is apparently state of the art (or is it ark? ) only a smart 55 minutes in the car with a shopping opportunity grasped by the wallet and a chance meeting with Mr. & Mrs. Billy?  Or the West Cumberland which would see me within 6 days of the phone call.  So no shopping, no meeting Mr. S Billy and missus, no scenery to speak off, there obviously IS scenery in west C and no quick get there and out again, because Larry drives so much in his job when he's home he drives like a Sunday afternoon driver, he even wears a flat cap.  Well l wouldn't want to offend would I?  But I think some of West Cumberland, without the Lakes of course, is well pretty er bleak is the word, oh and dismal too. 

Larry drove me over, he said that I may arrive less stressed if he drove (!) as I'm not too familiar with the drive or the Hospitals location  that with me being a fast driver and all, I could be 5 miles past where I need to be before I would even notice - which has happened  before,  er often.

It was good 80 minute drive to there with a short drive along the coastal road which was peppered with humongous big star wars invaders  (wind turbines) now if  l had been driving it would have been most awkward to take photos but I did try.

I'm digressing totally here in the hope of finding something interesting to say and as l am failing dismally. And  I have to confess that this post is really a nothing post as l haven't much to impart and it isn't really going anywhere!

For the two people who are interested about my results, my bloods show no evidence of Rheumatoid arthritis  (yet) and the lovely lady who took my medical history and gave me the scan was happy to tell me l have the hips of a healthy boney 50 year old woman, which really shock me to the core!  I momentarily had brain ache I saw red and my heart beat faster as I took  a deep calming breath and reminded myself that I AM 50 and so that is a good result not  a bad one! Phew for  a moment there I nearly showed myself up!

She also gave me some great tips on what to take for my migraine's ( I've been taking the wrong ones all this time) and my still gnawing ankle,  knee and  three knuckle joints. My right hip, that keeps getting stuck with pain and my stiff and aching neck, don't you just hate that gristly sound whenever you move your neck from side to side. I guess the answer there is to not move it then. Basically she said I may have mild arthritis which cannot be shown in blood tests or scans or it may just be Menopausal joint pain . Well I'd not heard of that symptom, duh!! SO keep taking the tablets as and when l need them and hope for this menopain to shift its ugly red necked, hot flashing, bent over sideways hop along Cassidy, bad tempered arse!!





Or maybe I've just got the first two bits of hyper - con - driac And why then have l shrunk nearly 2 inches in the last few years? A mystery.


Monday, 12 January 2009

How is your interview technique?

Daryl of blog - Out and about in NYC  fame has asked me some questions in an interview type meme. This is actually harder that it first appears. She asked me the following 5 questions:

1. Do you think I would know you if I met/saw you before we were introduced?  
Yes I think 
so. Why? Assuming you've seen my image on the blog  Or else I would wear a very large leek on my shoulder, that usually does the trick I find. But you wouldn't be able to miss me, you would for sure, hear me, I'm pretty loud I'm afraid.


2. What made you decide to blog? Well I was finding it a bit frustrating. I was approaching 50 and felt a bit like many women do. I felt I was blending into the wallpaper a bit and that I had no voice. Or perhaps I just had stopped being Saz in my world and was feeling overcome with my Mum/wife/colleague persona and that Saz was feeling a bit lost. I used to keep a diary regularly, but found that had slipped by the wayside too. As an online retailer, I feel very comfortable in this milieu and so thought I would write  journal, for myself in a kind of cathartic way and it's just blossomed from there as everything on the net seems to in the most extraordinary positive way.
3. If you could have ANY job at all, assume you have the education/qualifications, what would it be?  Well my dream would be either one of two things. Own and run my own REAL 
bricks and mortar SHOP not a virtual one as I'm doing that. It would be a specialist book shop or a vintage clothing store. Alternatively to design  and create some crafts, artwork or anything creative.Why? To do something I'm passionate about, which is BOOKS and VINTAGE FASHION . I would like to support myself through my own endeavours. I have run shops for other people, I know retail backwards and would like to do this for myself one day. Or to put into a reality all the creative projects I have in my head and be able to sell the on. I have done this in a small way in the past, selling through arty outlets various decorated wreaths 
and house decorations, but always in a small hobby like fashion. As time passes I see this might become  a reality later when I could do this without having the responsibilities of a family to have to put first. Or maybe never, who knows!

4. If I gave you unlimited access to free music, what would you choose? Oh gosh with 
everything to choose form the list would be endless. Certainly the whole of the Motown 'Canon', lots of 70's and 80's music and as much Johnny Hallyday and Pavarotti I could find. Some audio books, probably the Maya Angelou collection of poetry and autobiographies in her own voice I find her mesmeric to listen to and so soulful, she gets right into my soul. Lots of classical Music, particularly Piano concerto's I love the resonance of the piano, I could go on and on...

5. What are you reading? At the moment, my mind won't settle well, it;s this time of year, 
so l have a few books started and I must soon bury myself within them. I've started An Englishman by Cicely Hamlton a Persephone publication. I'm collecting the Persephone series of books, there is currently 81 titles published and all of them are selected early-mid 20th century reprints; Dear Fatty by Dawn French an autobiography, very funny and poignant I feel I know her or that she knows me and is writing some passages right from my life;  My sister, my love by Joyce Carol Oates one of my favourite authors, her books are very diverse in range and so well written. I prefer to be transported in my reading and I dream of having a room dedicated to books in my home one day, a real fireplace and comfy old armchair.

I think I'm supposed to lay down the gauntlet by saying if you put the word 'interview' in your comment. I should send you 5 questions of my choosing and you should answer them in a post on your blog. Play along if you so wish details below.
Here's the directions:
1. Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me."
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. (I get to pick the
questions).
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview
someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask
them five questions.

Sunday, 11 January 2009

RIP POTD?

Okay now,  Moannie and I have talked about this by text, by email and on the phone.  So what has happened to David Authorblog McMahon's  Post of the Day?

Sensibly we reassured each other that David has more in his life than blogging (we obviously have little else!) and has had a busy Christmas, eating, drinking, merry making, visiting friends and family, working, perhaps on holiday or  dare l say blogging, taking MORE photos to amuse and inspire us. But not making a POTD post since 19th December .

I have hesitated in asking him, because he will then see how desperate and reliant I/we have come to be upon him to virtually pat our heads in praise by perhaps mentioning us now and again in dispatches! 

Just popping by his blog an extra few times a day to see if he has made  a new post is reward enough,  as I've often said how much I admire his insight, wit and his benevolence.

But David I/we miss it, please say it will return sometime soon.

Admiringly yours ( not wanting to suck up, you understand).


p.s. 12/01/09 OKAY OKAY, please note POTD is BACK just noticed the first POTD for 2009 is here