Saturday, 28 February 2009

I FEEL the sisterhood!

Last night I went to see, with much anticipation and excitement I might add  'The Vagina Monologues'. 

I had no idea what to expect, apart from a ton, nay several hundred ton of women, much raucous laughter, and probably much use of the word vagina and many other well used descriptive nouns for this, well yes l guess, well used part of, and I know you know, of course you know, the female body. These nouns included the vagina being referred to as a tamale, a monkey box and a coochi snorcher, as well as many other  naughty words which I do not feel brave enough to repeat here tonight. Although I did last night and in mixed company I might add!

The monologues were compiled by more than 200 interviews conducted by the playwright Eve Ensler about  their female experiences. The monologues were recounted last night with much effort, detail, sound effects and accents to entertain and enlighten us. Facts about the vagina from all over the world were proffered.

Now I live in Carlisle, so l guessed the audience would be from the catchment area and although not in the league of the tough women of Newcastle and other northern climes, who seemingly go out dressed to the nines, as one would for a Christmas or New Years eve party  every night if the week, with not much more on than a silk slip. I wonder if this is where the phrase, 'fur coat no knickers ' was born. Please don't take offence, lady geordettes, but you must admit its bloody cold out there in mid February, in little more than a new born baby wears, even with a few snorts of vodka! The men wear short sleeved shirts all year round, no one carries a jacket, much less clothes! Anyway, what I'm saying is that the northern lasses seem more, well out there, more confident before they drink, more let's have a great time eh? Fine by me. But well, in my dotage I've become a less is more kinda girl, I'm getting to bed when they are just putting on their makeup and glad rags and age hasn't anything to do with it in their book! So I did wonder if I would be one of the elderly ladies there.

Tina Gambe

So three of us went last night, wide eyed and all agog with the anticipation! It was a marvellous experience it has to be said. The monologues, some sad, some hilarious, some poignant and all with one thing in common,a  shared knowledge, a common understanding and like minded women all on the same page for 3 hours was spellbinding. This wasn't like the tribal gathering for a football match, it wasn't like a hen night, when all or most of the women, cackle together jeering at rude jokes and/ or men's tackle and for some who are there under duress, it just ain't usually my bag. It was so much more than that, it was gathering of women, who were as I've said in the main aged 40 or 50 something, some were older and none were younger than mid twenties and those who were, were few and far between. Some were definitely well into their 70's and 80's. None appeared shocked or uncomfortable. 

Sally Lindsay

This was an event for women who had shared a so far unspoken - less over a glass of wine with bestest pals - understanding of their vagina's on several levels. I thought during the show, that my daughter would love it, and I know she would, but probably only on one or two levels, it would not be an event for her for the same reasons, nor would her appreciation of it be for the same reasons. More for the swearing and stories. But not because she has any of  the life experiences that are explored , from life to death and all that is inbewteen is touched upon, nay probed and entered - and in detail I warn you.

I was invited to join in with my sisters - and l use the term sisters endearingly, as I am no women's libber in the tabloid sense, but in the purest sense I am -  together we shouted out words that have never passed my lips in company let alone mixed company and in an appropriate and no-judgemental or guilt inducing setting.  
We the audience smiled at, shared laughter and looks with each other, between total strangers and all knowingly. We really felt at one with each other.

To the 8 men who attended the show we applauded them without apology, as they would've known what they were getting into. Not once were men belittled or  laughed at. It wasn't about the sexes, it was about the sex and the power of our personal sex and how we should worship it and ourselves and be at one.
I thought it amazing, and more and more so since I've thought about it today.

Sue Holderness

I wholeheartedly ask you to embrace the Monologues should they come to a town near you. It is a delight. It cannot offend because every word spoken is true. It made me laugh and cry.  It is a must go see!

Oh and by the way, now I'm not man bashing here, because as I said the show is definitely NOT about that, but here is one interesting fact....
... the clitoris is the only organ designed solely for pleasure and has 8,000 nerve endings, which is twice the number of nerve endings on the head of a penis.
Post of the day 
Awarded by David 'authorblog' McMahon. We aspire to be recognised like bees around a honeypot! Go visit, be inspired!

Thursday, 26 February 2009

This is fun - I'm super!

thanks to Shrinky & Suldog
for the enormous fun that was had by my inner child
this is my super hero!!

why not have a go yourself HERE

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Great Quote #3

Having children makes you no more a parent 
than having a piano makes you a pianist.

Melanie Levine

Monday, 23 February 2009

The Halls of my Yesterday

When reading someone's latest post, I often feel that they must have been inside my head and written out my thoughts for all to see! But in a more succinct and beautiful way than l ever could. Yesterday the wonderful Erin posted about our yesterdays and talked about living with one foot in the past and one in the present.  

I let her post wash over me. I questioned myself and then l sighed. I inhaled her words.  

I felt that she had walked the halls of my yesterday. 

I do seem to live with one foot in the past. I tend to hanker after a simpler life, a world where I felt safe and sound, without a whiff of responsibility. Although I surround myself with furniture and bits and pieces I feel I can't part with. This is I think the way I fill the hole inside, it may replace the missed feeling of security that we children have when young and are rotected by our families, by our environment and by our parents. Some of us have been lucky enough in this world to live with the two parents who gave us life and in the bosom of a 'happy' family life.  

Those early summer days and evenings, were often spent wandering aimlessly but happily along the small lanes,the soft downs, the beaches and the coastline of my childhood. Talking with strangers without fear, nothing innate or infected to make us wary. 

Just passing the time alone, with siblings or friends or with friendly elders. Being offered a sweet and accepting without hesitation or inhibition. Then come the Saturday nights at the disco's, the hoping, the yearning, the excitement of not knowing. The anticipation of the unknown, the temptations laid bare, innocently ignored. 

I know this to be true, whenever I see my folks on one of my almost quarterly visits down to the 'homeland', I can relax totally. I can breathe without any sense of worry over the kids,-as their father is with them and if he isn't he wouldn't be fretting the way l do!- I can go to sleep without a care, for a few days. My Dad has checked and locked up the house, I needn't double check it. I don't have buy or prepare any food, no need to do a wash, to see to the dog and all that whilst being as a wife, mother and employed house-frau dictates. I can just be a daughter and for that all I need do is relax and breathe deeply of the soothing waters of mother and father.  

I believe this is a healthy activity, the appreciation of things past, their value and their position in a time and place. I do not feel it is maudlin, nor melancholic, although not to confuse, it can have a tendency to be emotional. When I hear a certain song or tune unexpectedly, I do sometimes find that my throat tightens up and I feel it raw with emotion, the tune riding my mind and breaking free, a hidden memory of a day when I was free from wisdom, knowledge and experience. The lost innocence of our childhood cannot be regained. It's intense magic stored away until our own children are drinking of our well, we relive it through them and it tastes just as fresh and oh the clarity! It's value is then appreciated fully now we are long grown, we then fill up with a longing for the simpler times.  

Regardless of our age, our decade or our journeys, I'm sure many of us feel that getting older isn't all it's cracked up to be!

p.s. I am enjoying this third period of my life, it is just that being a grown up is really tough and hard work, you know!?

Sunday, 22 February 2009

I am what I am

Fhina challenged me to this 'meme'...

I Am: Moody, high or low, nothing in between

I Want: always to do the right thing

I Have: the children I yearned for

I Wish: I could live forever

I Fear: only fear itself

I Hear: myself sing in tune not unlike La Streisand, I KNOW that I don't

I Search: for a spiritual enlghtenment and fullfillment

I Wonder: what it's all about

I Regret: too much, then regret that I even bother to regret, I'm getting over it

I Love: My children more than life itself

I Always: wear red lipstick & dark glasses, a silk scarf on my handbag

I Usually: take my watch & bra off when I get home

I Am Not: all that I could be, yet

I Dance: in my dreams

I Sing: in the car

I Never: refuse good food, walk past a charity shop or book shop

I Rarely: do anything without a list

I Cry: when I read about something happy, something good, something sad or watch an old movie, l'm a sucker for them.

I Am Not Always: good with money

I’m Confused: about the state of the world, is it about perspective and is it all relative

I Need: the smell and touch of my children's skin I don't care how old they get, they better let me at them!! And the sun on my face, but not in a deep dark tanned way, been there done that, but in a warming, vibrant, warm the cockles of my heart kind of way

I Should: live in the moment more. the writer Sidonie Gabrielle Colette said '
What a wonderful life I've had! I only wish I'd realized it sooner.' ...Mmmm... quite!

Anyone who wants to have a go, be my guest!

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Great Quote #2

I love people. I love my family, my children . . . 
but inside myself is a place where I live all alone 
and that's where you renew your springs that never dry up.
Pearl S. Buck

Faraday '06

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Daylight evenings on SKY WATCH FRIDAY

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

In the last week alone, 
it has been almost daylight,

 then more daylight, each evening
and when I've finished after work
 I have been able to take Pippa for a good solid walk

Come on woman!! Always looking up and NOT at me!

I continue to be mesmirised by the naked branches reaching ever upwards

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

I've read about blog guilt

... but as I have only been blogging on my Vintage blogs Sara's Attic Blog since 2005 & more recently Handbag Diva , the subject of 'blog guilt' hasn't raised it guilty head. Until I started my FFF blog that is and joined the generic blogsphere as a regular blogger!

Over Christmas the posts are a tad thin on the snowless ground and are mostly of a festive nature, then when the very last cracker is pulled, the last mince pie morsel- ed(I know that isn't a word!) and the last decoration boxed, we tentatively start to think about a new post. Inspiration is seemingly lost along with the post seasonal humour and general bonhomie.

There has been a plethora of meme's doing the rounds and whilst I do enjoy responding to them, I find I feel I have to complete them it bugs me. (Meme; I still don't know how to pronounce this, except that it is a french word, which means the same and that resonates with me as appropriate, a meme is just that, non?) so before I post one of my 4 meme's in draft, I have to post this.

Then I ponder on whether others will think I'm shallow and don't have much to say as it appears I pad out my blog with meme's?

And if I don't complete their memes, will jack or jill take it personally?
If I don't have more than 3/5/10 comments is that a direct comment-less criticism.
Which really isn't a good thing to dwell upon else it distracts me from writing proper posts.

Stinking Billy ( before he left blogland, please come back Billy!) & Moannie have both recently talked about blog guilt and the pressures they feel this blogging lark is quite addictive. I have to get online, in terms of having to get my ideas down in a draft and then tweak it later. having a comment or twelve is the icing on the cake, that does l admit spur me onwards. I do find ideas come to me at the least expected times, in the bathroom, just falling asleep, in the car, more often at work ... as I have so much thinking time, whilst patrolling the larger galleries for hours on end.

Heck! what the feck should I care what others think, but you do don't you? or do you?

Monday, 16 February 2009

Great Quotes #1

Before you were born I loved you
Before you were here an hour I would die for you
This is the miracle of life.

Maureen Hawkins

Sunday, 15 February 2009

Simple pleasures

Not having the amount of personal free time to indulge myself in spa weekends nor painting holiday for one, I have honed my list making skills and created my own library of simple pleasures. There were some quiet moments yesterday in the Museum and more by boredom than curiosity I spent some time jotting these down, as I always have pen and paper in pocket during this much appreciated thinking time, which by the way is crucial to my sanity.

As I have been actively aspiring to be more a glass half full than an empty kinda girl, I try to consciously be more thankful and grateful for the little delights in my life on a daily basis. I wondered how many every day pleasures I have that I fail to notice, that are just a part of my day to day existence.
I quite surprised myself and here are some of them...

The washing line - neatly hung washing drying in the wind, slapping and cracking themselves dry is so satisfying to watch, hear and see. The smell of the wash dried in this way is heaven. Hopefully you read my post about NOT ironing, just folding everything very well and using Art books as visual aid and prop.

A pedicure - as I can barely see my toes clearly, even when wearing my contacts nor when wearing the varifocals. I just can't get them to look good, I can't paint inbetween the lines, I can't even see the lines let's face it! And a pedicure is so relaxing and luxurious, I feel like I'm walking with baby feet again. If I could I would have one a week. Check out your local beauty school, the 2nd/3rd year students take an hour or so to pamper your feet. BLiss.

not unlike my feet actually

China tea service - I try and have my tea and I do drink a lot of it, in a pretty fine china tea cups with side plate, milk & sugar. It's more elegant and just makes you feel less rushed and frazzled, it does soothe away the stress and makes me feel so lady like. And that's no mean task.
Pretty trio's from the 1920's & 1930's can be found in charity shops for just pennies. I try and have a cup of camomile or peppermint with my book at night, not always practical nor appreciated when Larry's home.

my tray laid with various china

Charity & Vintage shops -
In these credit crunch days, if you haven't ever tried it why not start now, but not near my patch! I never go out with more than £20 in assorted change and usually just a tenner. I'll come back home with carrier bags full of treasures. Books, clothing, vintage items, china to resell or keep. If you really have 'look' through rails, shelves and boxes, it's no use just glancing at the stuff! Cos you will miss something great! I usually go on 'the ratch' when I have something in mind to look for, from an armchair, to a lampshade or a jug for my watercolour brushes. I have recently found a new slow cooker, a winged armchair and my latest acquisition is a camel and mohair early 1960's jacket, barely worn, for £3 and I've it worn each day since as it is so comfortable, warm and a great length for the car! And it's all for a good charitable cause too! So feel good on several levels.

Ritzy Retro Boutique, Broadstairs, Kent

Sunglasses - not to hide my bloodshot eyes, but because it makes me feel glam within a fragrant monochrome moment in the company of Audrey or Jackie O, shallow it might seem, but actually necessary as they are prescription and I hate the winter glare or the summer sun as my eyes water otherwise!

Cut Grass - I just adore the smell of newly cut grass and if there is a pattern of parallel lines to boot then then that is even more pleasurable just to sit with a cuppa and enjoy the view.

Cut the grass Pictures, Images and Photos
this made me laugh!

our back yard
Red lipstick - My mum has always worn her lippy to go out, and l used to marvel as kid in how she could apply it sans mirroir anytime, anywhere. I can now do this too, and l have red lipstick in my locker at work, in my coat pocket, work jacket, handbag and if it's by Chanel it's deeper red than any other! I am not a label kinda girl I actually eschew the logo culture and wouldn't be seen dead with a logo on my chest, if you get what I mean.

Cold pillow - I need a firm pillow and am currently road testing my 6th memory/foam/ down pillow in as many months, as I have neck pain. I have to turn the pillow over during the night, if I waken and find it is warm then I can't get back to sleep unless I turn it over, Egyptian cotton or antique linen is a must too.

Comfort- In the evenings I love after bathing getting into some comfy trousers and a top, the level of comfort is directly linked to whether Larry and the kids are in or if I am -rarely- alone. Then I can can go all out with cotton pj's dressing gown, and really slum it. But I usual settle for a t shirt and jeans, but what I do not negotiate with myself about is a cashmere sweater or a pashmina, so I can warm up or down depending on the frequency and/or length of my hot flushes or if I am in a cold spell. A good book, of which I have several hundred AND curling up alone with it, in the fashion of Amanda Price in 'Lost in Austen' is my style.

A young girl - Fragonard

Flowers- I buy myself flowers most weeks, they just lift my mood and bring a grace to the living room. I prefer tulips, roses and gladioli, but would never refuse any variety. I love the summer, as we are awash of peonies and olde english roses and often have to argue with myself whether to cut them of keep in the garden.

Silk- I fell in love with silk when staying in a hotel in Paris, I always thought it was the George V, but I think not Mum will put me right when she pops by. But I remember it was very grand and I stayed in a room with Mamacita, my step grandmother and I kept going on and on about the satiny, slippy sheets that were so soft and beautiful. I think I was a pain about it I could see that I was getting on her nerves, but ever since the feel of that gossamer fluid fabric on my skin makes me tingle as it feels so sumptuous!

Fresh Vegetables- cultivating home grown vegetables from seed or seedlings for your own table is satisfying, inexpensive and very therapeutic! The greenhouse is like a home from home in the late spring and summer evenings, I have a strategically placed sturdy mug, gardening books and pen and paper to make more lists upon! When ever the atmosphere of the household gets too much I escape to the greenhouse, even after dark as they both have light and heating.

some of last years greenhouse harvest

Herbs on my windowsill - this is both aromatic, aesthetically pleasing not mention useful for garnishing, flavouring and decorating. I am rather partial to basil, chervil and flat leaved parsley. Is there anything more simplistically pleasing than a homegrown cherry tomato and a basil leaf popped on the tongue? It try and keep all three going in the winter time, but usually stock up and the heating isn't kind t them. I do have hardy herbs in the back garden growing in pots. They will soon be flourishing again come spring time.

My children close by - need l explain?

Listening to music - whether on my ipod, in the car or on the house system. I have eclectic taste,
but a few favourite permanent residents in my musical mind are -

and the best of all, which I have popped in to add,
so obvious and part of me that I didnt mention them
books, new old, broken any type,
reading in the candlelit bathtub and my fetish for bags see here

and a simple pleasure I yearn for and imagine is a space just
for ME, my den, my space... my beach hut or airstream trailer in a field or the back yard

I wonder what yours are?

Friday, 13 February 2009

A Valentine

To all my blogtastic pals on Valentines day
that is to say anyone who ventures here
please take this heart from me, with love X

To cement a new friendship,
 especially between foreigners or persons of a different social world, 
a spark with which both were secretly charged must fly from person to person, 
and cut across the accidents of place and time.

from The Ape in Me, 1959 -  Cornelia Otis Skinner

Thursday, 12 February 2009

The Great Freeze of 1964

Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek

the winter of 1964 was a hard one, here is the evidence
My father - JP- le bodger and I are walking 
along the Hampton promenade in Herne Bay in Kent
the sea is frozen
Butch our lovely Jack Russell is on the left enjoying the ice
Dad and I

Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek

Tuesday, 10 February 2009


May I introduce my new baby!

I have many bags, handbags, purses, totes, clutchs and shoppers. Mostly all Vintage pieces but not all.
This addiction went into overdrive when I launched my online vintage clothing site Sara's Attic in 2002, each time I bought a bag for the site, I decided to keep it .  They began to mount up.
I don't know how many I have, perhaps this wee project will 'out' me!

After we moved home 14 months ago most of i
them have been rehoused in clean, dry plastic boxes and are stored under the bed, in the wardrobe and five are displayed out on a shelf, gathering deadly dust and for a handbag it can be deadly, so I only display my Lucite pieces (plastic to you and I) on the book shelves.

They all used to be displayed inside three old 1940-50's glass fronted china cabinets in my bedroom, next to my desk and I could admire and rearrange them to my hearts content, but now I no can do. Out went the old cabinets in came the storage containers.

So I thought how can I continue to enjoy these, we don't have the room to display them, I will not sell them, so I decided I would blog them! No surprise there then! And this way I can share them with all the other handbag lovers or bag freaks, as Larry calls us on a polite day, mentalists on a not so polite day and I couldn't type what he says on a in a fit of pique day!

Anyhow just posting here so that this may be seen by some other handbag anorak who would like to slather and drool over my handbags.

Do drop by and tell anyone you know 
who indulges themselves regularly in this torrid, sensuous, comforting, addictive  habit!

Monday, 9 February 2009

Do you TWITTER; have a FACEBOOK; step into MYSPACE or BEBO

I like to think l know a little about the online territory. I do feel comfortable here, I am self taught and apart from an early home based Amstrad, I  have been on a computer since 1986. When I left Debenhams and retail management (for a while) to set up a training sales dept in a local Itec. This was the then hobby horse of government, a YTS scheme with a potentially money spinning sales division ready to be developed. That's where I came in, to set it up. It was grand while it lasted, I got a choice of company car, an expense account, when these were still perks or add on's to the basic salary, not heavily taxed like they are now.

It was an exciting time, as we were sponsored by Eurotunnel and so corporate exec's were often down for a day or so in the provinces and a lunch out.Those were the days. I'm digressing, but of course! Sorry. This job as it was IT based, I had to be taught about my product, so I attended some crash courses on MS DOS (arghhh!!) and lots of Lotus' and Sage products, it of course gave me a great foundation in computers, a confidence I may never have gained and I mastered the basics and atad more. Compared to my kids though l'm a newbie...

I've dabbled on facebook, but don't get it, it's boring, slow and quite frankly not a lot is said, just hello, how are you? So I'm shutting up shop there. On twitter, it is more interesting people watching, or reading, than sending one liners by text. One phrase doesn't really do it for me, I think you know why, if you've been there before! My space, seems great for aspiring musicians, poets and srtists, but for the rest of us just wasted time on the net, rather like a grown up facebook really, and still not a lot happens. I think they are like creative resume's online, a virtual PR job! Bebo, well that is exactly what it sounds like, a baby place -  to put your toe in, whilst still in your middle years of school, very safe too I gather! Friends reunited, well they came they saw, I went to the reunion, and very nice thank you ait was but now l'll move on!

Blogging it most definitely is for me  ... unless you can suggest I try something else? Have I missed something really fab-tastic?

I think I shall pass, I thank you!

Sunday, 8 February 2009

An emerald in the rough!

Following on from my post last week about the talented but troubled Amy Winehouse, I am saddened by the terrible news about Jade Goody. It seems her illness has worsened and if reports are to be believed the outlook is now bleak for her. 

Jade is a celebrity created totally by the celebrity/reality culture we live in,particularly in the UK. We created her by watching these programmes and though I do not feel guilty for having watched my share I do feel it is awful they way 'we' can create a celerity for celebrity's sake and then just as easily aid their apparent fall from grace! Jade made mistakes but didn't shy away, she faced them head on and apologised and learned from her mistakes. Considering her background I think the girl done good!

Jade has grabbed  her  15 minutes of fame with both hands and  through hard work and by her optimism and  perhaps the freshness of her naivety has become a self made and wealthy young  woman. Through this illness she continues to work, be filmed and interviewed to earn money for her family. It is all she knows she can to do. 

I just hope and wish and if it will help pray, she is able to watch and steer her two young boys grow into young men. My thoughts go out to her and her two boys.

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Life is too short...

Not one to beat about the bush, nor have I been known to sit quietly and bite my tongue unless under pain of death. So let's get this out of the way. Life is too short to IRON! 

I fold most items very carefully, after they come out of the dryer having used  a tumble fresh as this stoops creasing ... then sort out all  the lightweight cotton things together and then place on top of the pile a very heavy ART book... cookery book will suffice. If items still lightly warm all the better, that is  the laundry not the book.

Put all absolutely necessary items to iron, like work tops, school shirts, well only the cuffs collars and bits that are seen, as the creases fall out when the heat of the body warms the fabric, that's whats great about poly cotton!! Ha!

Sheets..well fecking hell they will be slept on, so only iron the top pillowcase, not the one underneath, whose gonna see it? only the Sandman for god sakes!

These are NON IRON items, and yes my pal Lynn used to iron these until I gave her permission not to!!LOL

Underpants, socks, baby bibs (WTF!!) kitchen towels and tea cloths, (WTF!!)
and PYJAMAS! oh dear me..... shall l gone on.?

So P-LEASE consider yourself told and you do now have my permission, if that's what it takes to stop you and other women ironing unnecessarily, let's start a revolution. Even my own Larry,  last year he started putting his washing in at weekends when I was at work. Now he takes his clen but crumpled shirts to the hotel with him and irons them there! Amazing eh? After 27 years,  so it's never to late to change your routine.

Now behave! and get a bar of chocolate or two, a good book, some ambient music 
and a bubble bath, then grab the remote, put your feet up and watch a DVD, I can recommend, 'The best days of our lives' Random Harvect' 'Penny Serenade'

Can I come round?

p.s. Embellished from a comment left on one of Suburbia's posts

just dropped by... visit Mum's blog and to say Hi to a few friends... I hope you know, you are all never very far from my thoughts. Many of whom I...