Monday, 31 August 2009

'What I did this summer' Part 2

You've seen my the pictures of my trip with my daughter to
Blackwell, the Arts & Crafts House
here are few more

It was a sublime house, with all its original features, which is very rare.
The only house of its kind in such complete in the UK.

My son and I took two trains and a tube down to Kent. Yes my friend,
Mr BS5 it was a Pendolino and only 3hrs 23 mins, Carlisle to London Euston

We stopped off and went on a must do visit to the Oxford Street Apple shop and Borders Books, but with my Mary Poppins' handbag and a large carpet bag full of travel 'must haves', I got very hot and bothered and didn;t venture any further.

We managed, just down through Regent Street to
Leicester Square,
through to Trafalgar Sqaure.
The National Gallery- one of my favourite places to visit

Tall boy had not done Londons touristy scene before
so this whistle stop tour, took in a few of the London sights for sore eyes!

a humungus pidgeon on the People's Plinth

a view through Corinthian pillars

.. a few hours later, we continued down to the Kent coast and to the Bay.

We spent a few days with my parents and were then collected
by Larry who took us to Bluewater to SHOP!!
It is the best shopping centre by far in the UK I've ever been to.
Of course I look for photo opportunities wherever I am
and completely, well almost, forgot about the shops!

the ceiling at Bluewater

I have also been pampered in the spa,
all fluffed up with a Birthday gift of a facial,
pedicured & manicured. Thank you Larry.

I have been to the cinema to see, The Ugly Truth & also The Proposal which were both funny & shallow & easy chillout entertainment. I also saw The Time Traveller's Wife, all by myself, because no one else was free and I wanted to go, so I just did! True to the book's plot line, but rejigged to best explain the premise or chance people walking out before it making any sense. In the book I was confused to the half way point until it caught up with itself. Like the adaptation of Ian McEwan's Atonement it lacks the length of a book and so lacks anticipation, excitement and so empathy with the characters wasn't entirely there for me. Although I admit it still 'got to me' twice. Read the books for the full experience!

I have managed only to read three books and I am only sorry I have not painted nor sketched. But I have taken lots of photographs and so a few are here

I met up with two blog pals who were passing through Cumbria on their way home from Scotland and we spent a delightful few hours in a local pub The Kings Head (the oldest pub in Carlisle) chatting and laughing a whole lot.
I can tell you a little about them; they both live in the same 'greenist' uk city, one is a keen cook, bird?watcher and train spotter/traveller who must have a head for heights and who enjoys sharing pizza and a glass of wine whilst perched upon his wall with friends or family. The other blogger I met is a brave suburban super mum by day who morphs into spiderman's gal on her rare child free days out. Her blog is raw, real, intelligent and she is often hilariously funny! Do you think you know these bloggers?

Back to the old work/school routine tomorrow.....

and here's the first part.

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

We're off...

for a few days, my tall boy and me!
Off to visit with Moannie and JP in Kent,
to park my rather humungus backside on their couch,
drink in some sunshine,
apparently they haven't had 3 weeks of rain.
To replenish the batteries.
Big girl and Larry are staying home.

So (BS5) at 7.45 am we'll be on this....

so I might be pretending to read this....

but probably doing this...

see y'all soon....

Saturday, 22 August 2009


Our lovely dog Pippa passed away yesterday.
She had been uncomfortable for a week or so
and our trips to the vet this week,
led us to decide what was best for her. Not us.
She gave us so much. She was so loving and amenable to the end.
She is now with Barney her best friend, in a better place.
Together. Forever.

Pippa posts here and here and here

Thursday, 20 August 2009

'What I did this summer' Part 1

I have been off for most of August and have been quite busy.
So in the spirit of the annual return to school essay, set by our teachers on our first day back, this is, 'What I did in MY summer holidays!'
I have been regularly going to to classes for Pilates, Yoga and also the gym.

I went with a pal to Shambellie House nr Dumfries. This the Scottish National Museum of Costume. A bit of a grand title for what I thought was an average collection and display. It is in need of a makeover, for my taste too quaint and too homespun. We went specifically for the Jean Muir retrospective, which was one room with approx 18 mannequins. Displaying sublime examples of Miss Muirs designs. It was well worth the entrance fee of £3.50. We wondered around the garden and admired the Wicker woman scupture. She was stunning from all angles.

Larry and I spent my birthday weekend in Manchester, just the two of us. Eating, shopping and lots of walking. On the Sunday, Larry had to attend a corporate event held at Headingly for the Ashes and so I had the day all to myself without clock watching , browsing the shops, the Manchester City Art Gallery, walking the streets,

Albert Square, Prince Albert Monument & Town Hall

the Urbis Exhbition Centre

a pavement of ducks

amongst the stalls in the street markets,
I took tonnes of photos

The Manchester Wheel, a smaller version of The London Eye

and I drank lots of milky coffee
and ate more than one krispy kreme donuts...

Watch for Part 2 coming soon....

Visit MamaGeek and Cecily, creators of Photo Story Friday.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

No Lippy!!

I had a bit of sleep in today and so I rushed out to the dentist for a check up, BUT without the must do, always do, eyebrows and lippy and shades. Don't you just know something is coming?Sod's law I'll get run over by a bus and be wearing no knickers me! That will teach me, to do as I do not as I say, silly moo that I am !

As I drove home coming up to the turning off the main Scotland road to our street, I noticed a man was running towards me on the pavement, blue shorts and top and carrying a St Georges flag. I took in the ruffled reddish blonde hair, the goatie beard and those twinkling eyes. I'm surprised I didn't steer the car right into him! 'Holy crap' I shouted, and without consciously thinking I indicated to turn. I took two rights and a left and came up behind him, like a stalker might, or a very BIG fan ... OMYGod, I thought I've turned into one of those screaming ijits that screech and shout out inane things, like rock on Eddie. Oh for gods sake Saz you are FFF and you should know better, but tell that to my hands and feet, I have no control, he is now walking and looking down into his mobile phone...
I bring the car up beside him,

'Hello Eddie Izzard, why are you running?' oh my god, let the earth open up and swallow me now! My eloquence astounds me.

He turned and looked at me, at Moi .... with no lippy, no eyebrows, no sunglasses and bed hair and a dry, gammy dentist mouth!!! Crap, crap, and crap!

'For SPORT RELIEF , look at my website.'

'I will yes, good luck, BYEE'!

I sped off feeling foolish, but chuffed really, those eyes! And not a stiletto nor painted nail in sight... shame!

Please sponsor Eddie HERE

Friday, 14 August 2009

Am I?

My tall boy, 15 on Friday, told me a few days ago,

'No one is themselves online.'

Mmm...I have been thinking on that, and then I read a very heartfelt post from Erin in the window...I have been on my holidays from work since 28th July and although I have been busy and away from the laptop I have been pondering and contemplating my navel wondering on the subjective nature of blogging, our perceptions, our expectations and how actually does anyone know us. Really? Does it matter?

Whether here on my blog or in daily life...

I am what I am, wherever I am, you see me, you judge, that is the way.
I am what I am, for me that is an internal whirl of decisions, mistakes, compromises and consequences.
I am what I am, on the outside the make up I paint on to cover the blemishes, the scars, the fears.
I am what I am? The facade or the whirl.
It is what I am. Me. What you see. Understand. Like or not.
I can hide from the touch. The nails in a bed of words, I lie upon. I write. I feel the truth. Not the whole. But the sum or the some.
A lions roar masks the skitty cat.
Is what I see, what you see?
I am a lion, 5' 7", 200+lbs, 51yrs and 5 days, arghhh! I am sitting at MY window, fluttering and second guessing each day. Who am I? Is this me. Who knows.

Friday, 7 August 2009

15 books that shook my world

I first saw this post at Suldog's and the at Lime's, so I pinched it and had great fun thinking and thinning down the books. It was very hard to do this task! I still have all of these books. I find it more difficult to part with books, read or unread, than I do loved clothing.

A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett - first read to me by my Mum. Then when I could I read it to myself, I did over and over. I loved the magic of it. I escaped into the role. I have several copies including what l believe is a first edition. I am named after the central character.

Now we are six by AA Milne/When we were very young by AA Milne - I cannot tell you how many times I have read these, or how many copies I have. Read by my Mum and by me to my babies. I know them off by heart. Some with added tunes. The childrens' Prayer. Bliss. I wrap myself up in these when I feel down and fearful.

My First Big French Dictionary (out of print) - I spent hours pouring over this book, learning vocabulary, loving the illustrations and conquering new magical sounding words. I still have this though it is rather damaged.

Shindlers Ark by Thomas Keneally - I read this when it was published, recommended by Mum and I was blown away by the quality of the writing and of course the 'story' heart wrenching and heartwarming and horrendous.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle - one of several books I read and reread to my children. We have so many favourites this one will do to represent them all.

Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger- I was thirteen, on holiday in Cannes. I walked by myself to the bookshop every few day to buy a new book. This blew me away. At that time it didn't depress me, but in retrospect it could have been crushing as I was very impressionable. Thankfully it wasn't.

A Widow for One year by John Irving- Only because I can only choose one of this author. I Love the 'voice' of the man. It is so seductive in the reading. Some threads unbelievable. But he makes you really believe in the characters. You really care. The author really loves his craft. You know it. You heart beats faster and you hold your breath. His imagination is incredible and yet you still want more after the final page is turned.

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath- I found an old battered copy in a charity shop and read it in one sitting. Books that make me sigh out loud and engage with some feeling of understanding or relating to the subject can be saddening but also very rewarding. Love it. Love her! Poor poor thing.
Cancer Ward by Alexander Solzhenitsyn - I read this in my twenties, it was heavy going, but so well written, but I have not yet ventured to read any other of his books.

Atonement by Ian McEwan - read on publication, the book brings more detail and angst than the film could only imply. Though the adaptaion for the screen was very true to the book and captured the age, the atmosphere and told the story beautifully and accurately. Loved both.

The Shipping News by Annie Proulx- My introduction to Ms Proulx. A quirky book that stays with me. Her beautiful prose, rushes back and forth like the Newfoundland sea upon the shore. I can still 'hear' her imaginative phrases and metaphors from the book.

Ursula Under by Ingrid Hill - layered stories recount the ancestral histories of a young mixed race couple, whilst in they try and save their daughter from a life or death situation. The stories are remarkable, they overwhelm the present day tale in their breath and range.
A Million Little Pieces by James Frey - a memoir about losing it, recovery and hope (the sequel My Friend Leonard is fab too). Unusual prose. Stunning. Don't care if n half truths. It is compelling.

Lucky by Alice Sebold - autobiographical account of the authors rape during her college years and her ensuing journey. Brave, brave woman. (The Lovely Bones Sebold's first novel is a favourite too)

Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen - a story for all times about social morays & manners, works in the here and now too.

How hard would it be to pick one!?

Thursday, 6 August 2009

abc Wednesday ...

C is for ...
new CAMERA phone

C is for ...

C is for ...
Blackwell Arts & CRAFTS House

Just after lunch today my daughter offered to come with me to
Blackwell, The Arts & Crafts House, Lyhn Valley, Nr Windermere
I was thrilled because it meant I wouldn't necessarily get lost
with someone else looking for signposts
I find the Lake District in summer particularly hard to negotiate
as it's so busy, but it would mean some time together just the two of us
I have wanted to visit the Blackwell house since we moved here - 13 years ago
I was not disappointed, the drive down was marvellous. Down the M6, off towards Keswick at Penrith... where we stopped off at the Castlerigg Stone circle.

I pointed my camera to take a picture of the gate into the field and my batteries were dead, duds I reckon, they had charged all night. My daughter reminded me I had my NEW phone with me. Which is a Samsung Tocco and the reason I have it is the phone is also a 5 mega pixel camera with lots of gadgets, macro, mosaic, tons of settings and the fabulous panorama mode. And I only have to press the shutter once, then point and it captures four images.
And why do parents let kids clamber and stand on top of these ancient stones. Unbelieveable.

Blackwell house was built btween 1898-1900 by architect Mackay Hugh Baillie Scott for the Brewery magnate Sir Edward Holt as a country holiday home.
It is magnificent, My daughter loved it so much. I am taking her to the Hill House a comparable house by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, a hero of mine.

Black Dome sculpture in shadow, Blackwell basked in sunlight

view from the lounge over Windermere

Exterior door handle
exterior door hinge

side window, stained glass just visible

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

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Missing you...

No I havent packed my bags and found a cheap sun break, though it ain't for the lack of trying. £77 return to London back of August, what s with the train fares...bloody hell.

I am missing some of my regular blog pals, who are off the radar. Admitedly they all told us they would be taking a break. But it is palpable that they aren't in my life at the moment. I do find I am thinking of them daily.

And isn't it funny how people you haven't even met can get right under your skin!?

I worry. I fret a little. I do so miss them.

Erin - my woman in a window- who is probably lurking but not posting at the moment. Needed some time to shore up. Wrap up. Take some time.

Doris - PoeticLicence- She tragically recently lost her daughter and probably her mind. I have heard from her so I know she is fine. In fact better than fine in some ways. But on a journey to a calmer life and path.

Sniffles & Smiles- She has I think, been overwhelmed by her own journey and needs time to smell the roses without decanting every breath to us here.

The Lehners in France - left France for the Brinney and promised to return to the Internet shores too, but so far I haven't found her new home. I do hope all is well for them. They really are off the radar. Not a trace.

Beautiful Spectrum - Halo - who I know is fine. Coping as always. Taking time to read her map and find her way forward. She is posting some, but I want her know I think of her.

Sweet Sazz- she is a busy bee I know. But quite quiet these days.

The things we carried- Just as I got used to regular visits too and fro. She has gone on a Loooonng break.

And this old bag has seemingly taken a long break too.

I'm not sure I can cope. If anyone else steps out for a ciggie or summat!