Friday, 30 January 2009

Keeping it Fluid

What never ceases to amaze me when I'm writing these days is how I never (or rarely) know what I'm going to write about when I set about the task. I think that I have my studies to thank for this sense of discovery which makes writing such a pleasure. I won't bore you with the details of that but I will bore you will the details of this ........ Oh no I won't, which just goes to prove the point. I was going to show you a photo I took this morning but it wasn't to be after all so I'll have to explain it instead.

There was another pretty sunrise this morning so whilst our daughter took the dog out around the front garden, I thought I'd take a picture. Just as I was about to press the button, he cocked his leg which was both unwelcome and unexpected because usually he doesn't bother these days. It was only then that I noticed how the cat was perched on top of the bird bath in the middle of the lawn. I'm not sure if he was frozen solid to the stone, waiting for it to thaw for a drink or even expecting breakfast to arrive. All of these little incidents sparked off a train of thought different to the one with which I had started off. So, filled with creative, inspirational ideas - albeit very small ones - I thought I'd post the photo here and write something outstanding. I connected up my camera but the pictures I took don't seem to be there. I'm not sure if it's because a), the battery is flat and I can't seem to get the cover off, b) I'd had to wrestle the camera away from our youngest son before connecting it up or c), what I had suspected all along is true; that I never really understood how to use it, only pure fluke has enabled me to do so up until now and I've finally been discovered for what I am. A failure. Whatever, you're not going to see the photo now.

So, I'm back to square one telling you how unpredictable writing can be, how it is both joyous and frustrating. Willingness to keep it fluid (I'm not referring to the dog's poor joint mobility here) bring me tales of the unexpected on a daily basis.

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

A new broom sweeps clean ... or something like that

I knew it, I just knew it!

Readers of this blog - and I know that there are a few of you poor masochistic souls out there - may or may not be aware that along with the pretty Maploco picture, there is a list of places inhabited by the people who have visited. This seems to be a good time to thank regulars or say 'Hello' to any new people passing through today. I often have a look and usually I see my friend Cheryl has stopped by, Lost Star, my mother-in-law Pat and it's always nice to know that my sister, Maureen, in Australia is still alive (unless, of course, there is internet available in the next place) and I know that the lovely Pierre is a follower too.

However, today, I am especially excited because I got a visit from Washington DC and I am amazed that he's got back to me about the muffin situation so soon. I feel most privileged that I can hardly concentrate. I've cleaned the kitchen up just in case he pops in to give me a demonstration.

Saturday, 24 January 2009

Monty indulges

I was a bit shattered from my first session down at Sussex so Monty has taken over for today!

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

A Momentus Day

I know it's the middle of the night here and technically, the early hours of the morning when I really should be asleep but I'm wondering what stroke of literary genius I can pull which is commensurate with the enormity of what's going to be taking place the other side of the pond tomorrow. None, probably. Neither can I stun you all with my powers of political analysis or satirical wit. But I do know that it is a very important day. I also know that Mr Obama is a man of the people. A man who would surely not mind being asked a very important question.

Now, cast your mind back to Sunday when I was doing a little baking. You may or may not be wondering how it went but I'm going to tell you anyway. Flapjacks? Good. Bread and butter pudding? Excellent (in fact, sufficiently nice that we were secretly relieved when the children didn't eat their main courses up at all and therefore were not allowed any pudding - harsh? Maybe. Oh well, have to make some more then ...) Blueberry muffins? Edible but only just. I used proper blueberries and followed the recipe but they bore no resemblance to the ones I've eaten in our favourite coffee shop. They tasted like fairy cakes with random bits of fruit shoved into them. Which, I suppose, they were. British food is just so easy. Good, honest stodge, fat and sugar. I obviously haven't completely mastered the American way of doing things.

So, do you think that the new president will be able to spare a little time to tell me where I went wrong? In between sorting out two ongoing wars and a country in financial meltdown, surely he's got a moment? I await his instructions. I might be waiting a little while. In the meantime, whilst I pontificate over my puddings, I wish him luck. The Best of British.

Sunday, 18 January 2009

The Good Life

I have plans today. My stiff little fingers permitting (wasn't that a band in the eighties?), in addition to the usual Sunday dinner, the children and I are going to make some soup with celeriac from the garden plus some flapjacks and blueberry muffins using supermarket ingredients. I thought that this level of domestic activity was quite impressive until I had an email from a good friend in which she told me that they were doing things with a brace of pheasants and a brace of ducks. She even used the word 'bucolic' and I was a little worried about them until I looked it up in the dictionary (not the medical one, I might add) and all of a sudden, I felt a bit inadequate. We won't have corpses or blood and guts all over the kitchen, feathers flying or entrails sliding into a bucket; just a shower of flour and maybe the odd berry bursting underfoot. At least, if all goes to plan ......

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, 17 January 2009


Debris, carelessly discarded refuse, is different to plain old rubbish. Different to things that are just lost. Or debris could be things that are lost but now forgotten. In other words, something that no one cares about anymore. But how does this carelessness come about?

Tell me how people come to lose shoes out of cars. Now I know that there is a grim side to this, that maybe the odd trainer at the side of the M40 might have a sad history and of course, no one is going to risk their life to rescue a trainer for sentimental reasons. But I'm not talking about roadkill. There are the others.

Along a local stretch of dual carriageway, I counted eight different odd shoes at the roadside. Given that I was driving and therefore paying at least a little attention to the road ahead, it is quite possible that I missed some. You might be surprised to learn that the road in question is probably only a mile long at the most, very likely less. Or you may not be surprised at all. You may well have all the answers. Where do they come from?

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Fairy Magic

Fairies are very slim people. No one knows how they work their magic. The fact that you never see them is testimony to their powers. Go down to the woods and you are guaranteed never to see one. Sure, some trees are fatter than others, but all conceal a fairy.


Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Sunrise, sunset

Sarah Salway, has been playing with the idea of the 50 word photo-story and I've joined in for the odd one or two. I believe that she's in Virginia at the moment so it seems worthy of comment that her picture for today featured exactly the same colour sky as mine from the other day taken from our front porch! The main difference is that hers was sunset and mine was sunrise. Better watch out for happy/angry shepherds milling about ....

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Good Morning

This was the view from our front porch this morning. Just two minutes earlier, it had been even more spectacular but I had to drag Monty off the sofa before I could open the front door.

I promise to be back blogging soon, just as soon as I've got my term paper sorted out!

Happy Sunday!

Thursday, 1 January 2009

A Fishy Tale

Christmas has been largely uneventful here so I've nothing particularly interesting to tell you. Except that I caught some salmon the other day. Almost as bad as a joke from a cracker, I admit, seeing as what actually happened was that the food in the fridge was stacked so badly that I when I opened the fridge door, a large packet of smoked salmon (it was THIS big) leapt off the shelf and I managed to catch it before it fell into the dog's mouth. So I really did catch some salmon. But what was more amusing was how I came to have so many leftovers in the fridge in the first place.

We'd been around to my mother's for lunch on Christmas day. Due to various illnesses and a reduced attendance at the dinner table there were more leftovers than usual. The next day, she rang and left a message to say that we should stop off at her house some time to collect some food and that it would be in the fridge for us. We had to pop out to the DIY store and went via her house on the way back. We took her at her word and helped ourselves to the food in her fridge, all conveniently stored in a plastic box. She'd even left a bottle of wine, some cider and mince pies as well as the sausages and turkey. How kind she was. Whilst we were there, we thought that we would be doing her a favour if we took some cheese off her hands too. We left her house fully laden with goodies and looking forward to a repeat of the previous day's feast. What we didn't know that there had been a second message to say that she was going out and that she would actually drop the bag of food off at our house. And there it was in the front porch.

'We was robbed' said my aunt who was staying with my mother for Christmas. They say that there's nothing worse than being left with turkey leftovers for days and days. Apparently there is; having it all stolen. They did see the funny side of it although the disappearance of the mince pies caused the most distress. They weren't just any mince pies ......