Tuesday, 23 August 2011

A good news day?



Post garden project blues started to wander through my brain! Life is so calm and peaceful but the flurry of others ops happening recently had started to highlight how many had sailed past me during my time here on the net and somehow I was failing to ever finish this body project by running out of time and age related health making it impossible to continue.
Just as I am contemplating renaming my blog along the lines of “Cinderella needs size eleven glass slippers” a call to the GIC to make my six monthly appointment, see how interested in me they are!?, It was mentioned that the mistakes in applications for funding had been solved and go ahead given! How that will translate into action I have no idea. I know that the lists from Scotland are oversubscribed and places few at the best of times but the possibility that next year may be my year had an instant effect on my mood and interest in life! I have been trying to slowly loose some weight and maintain some degree of fitness to be ready for this mythical hospital date but now that it seems like it might actually happen everything changes. I have to loose more weight and keep a closer check on blood pressure, fitness may help here. House projects have become more urgent to progress before I get laid up for recovery. Garden has to be ahead of schedule rather than how it has always been, way behind! I had better have everything dug and prepared before the winter this time, you can see I am already wanting action by the spring! No dreaming of holiday trips for next year until some kind of timetable is mentioned…
My next scheduled visit is in December on my birthday which I am no longer marking in any other way. I will have to try and get some earlier clarification of the position and routine from here on in. Perhaps I have raised my hopes a little too high and soon but for the moment my mood has peaked and I shall use it to get as much done before the winter sets in.
Even before this happy news I have shocked myself by how much I am getting through even with the loss of “T” power, just by being positive and alive. I am trying not to think about how much better this place would have been if I had been in this kind of mood for the last thirty years since we moved in together.
Better late than never I guess...


Cinderella's worn out gardening shoes.



Saturday, 20 August 2011

Summer almost over before it begins!


Rustic handrail
carved from tree branch.

20 th. of August already! The summer has been a washout, wetter than almost any ever and cold growing weather with many vegetables not developing anything like their normal size or vigor. The broad beans (fava) have given up their last good picking and the french beans have not yet given a single bean pod! Black berries or brambles as the call then round here are now hanging like bunches of grapes so we were happy to have a guest here tonight to help eat some.
A week ago I was working all hours I could to catch up the time lost through rain to get the garden presentable for a party organised ten weeks before when we returned from our holiday trip to find everyone bronzed from the hot dry weather they had while we were away! After two wet summers I thought this was going to be reasonably dry, how could we have three wet in a row! Easily as it turned out!
By Saturday night at midnight when I finally finished I could hardly bend to undo my boot laces but the garden had places to take all the guests plus space in the greenhouse and house if all turns out wet. The first two guests arrived dead on time and for once I was almost dressed! Within seconds the sound of raindrops hitting the greenhouse roof was heard and all the outside chairs got wet! Thankfully it was a rare day of sunshine and they quickly got dried off before the next brief shower, I joked to those sitting that they would not get wet if they remained seated and though meant as a joke most did so I joined them as the last brief shower passed over and then the party went with a swing. A crate full of pink Cava helped as did a table full of food. Judging by the volume of noise caused by the conversation everyone had a great time. Being a hostess does not let you stop to join in many for long but once everyone else had served themselves I filled a plate and joined a group where a professor of ancient French declared that he knew little about british accents but loads about French the proceeded to differentiate british accents with interactive examples from all present and exquisitely subtle demonstrations of the regional differences. How much does he know about French if this counts as nothing!? My accent as I knew is dull and uninteresting mainly because I pronounce most words in a correct standard English in my overeducated under qualified way!! He said it better than this but I forget how…
After the rush of the previous week I took some time for myself, even read a whole book in a couple of days rather than the month it has been taking recently and after thirty years finally discovered that it is possible to lay out in the warmth of the greenhouse and doze away. Seriously have to reconsider the growing of plants in there if the growing beds can so easily be made into sofas with the hoarded cushions found in the attic.
Friday became a day of pleasure. First we met up with Louise from Edinburgh to visit a five-hundred year old royal hunting Palace in Falkland in Fife. For three months in the winter not a single ray of direct sunlight reaches this town at the foot of the Lomond hills but during our visit it was bathed in sun. Over five hours wandering about and stopping for coffee and for a light lunch all passed so quickly, real time still beats net chat. A diversion on the way home took us to friends / distant relations who live in a divided country mansion of some considerable age Their time there had been spent filling up the vaulted storage spaces on the ground floor with all sorts of junk, normally this would not be a problem but builder arrive in a few days to renovate this part of the house to make it habitable again so people have been invited to take whatever they want in return for a donation to a charity. The invite had come with an apology since they know we already have too much of our own junk! We really just wanted chat and home made cake…
The day was rounded off with dinner at home with an old friend who we don’t see so often now that he is married to a vegetarian and has a busy home life but with wife and child away in the heat of Paris he was able to entertain us before catching a train to meet them for the second half of the holiday in London. We were soon back as if it were those carefree days in the 80’s and 90s again and he , and we, got to enjoy a juicy steak and ripe blue cheese which is forbidden in his home!
Now conscious that time to fix and repair various parts of the house exterior are running out for this year so have to get back into action. It all helps to take my mind off the thoughts of being a kind of cinderella amongst those I know online. A sudden flood of folk going through operations in these past few months leaves me sometimes feeling like the ugly puppy who never gets chosen from the pound. Many I knew when I first arrived have long vanished back into the world and now many who came after are speeding past to their futures. I have few things to complain about in my new life but it is now hard to get the enthusiasm to follow new blogs like I did the old. 
I guess we go through all this much like a class and I have had to repeat a few years! So many of us don’t even get this far so I have no real reason for regret or self pity but it does sneak up on you when you least expect it...

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Half a lifetime on...



I am somewhat amazed.
Half a lifetime ago we signed up to be a couple, Julie did the proposing, and did mention a tax advantage which the government quickly closed, but here we are still together.
How things have changed. I know you are supposed to invite a huge number of people you have never met and probably will never meet again and spend a fortune which you really need to start your new life together on entertaining these people and showing your friends that you can spend far more than they did.
We did not do that. It was not as small and quiet as we planned, in the end the party doubled in size to four since we took our own witnesses. A fabulous meal in a Michelin starred restaurant run by a famous TV chef at the time was followed by a few snaps in the back garden next to the compost heap using a self timer and colour film, the first and one of the very few rolls which ever went through that camera. Then an amorous afternoon before  the evening when a large crowd of friends, who thought the were coming to a birthday party, arrived. It was about half way through the evening, just before the fizzy wine ran out , that my new mother in law proposed a toast to a new happy couple… Much stunned silence as the penny took a while to drop…
No more fancy restaurants, no more fancy wine just something half price from the supermarket and amorous has not happened since last century but we are still together and seem to be happier than for many years now that I am less gloomy and brooding.
We are still trying to have a party, advertised as a garden party this time. It was still a building site this morning since this wettest summer, what summer, has set the work back weeks from expected completion when the invites went out two months ago.
A friend has sent sunshine from Ecuador, I hope it arrives in time...


Site of photographs so long ago, 
Julie contemplated garden party two months hence...



Thursday, 11 August 2011

Small world...



At an exhibition of some of my work just over two years ago I was approached by a guy who really liked the work and wanted to meet the person who had done it. The subjects wandered off in all directions as we chatted for nearly an hour. He was soon to set off for a year learning to build traditional wooden boats in New England so we were not going to be meeting up again any time soon. I gathered that this time away was a finding himself time after a turmoil in his life and a marriage break up, we shared a taste in melancholic music! It transpired that he played and recorded his own music and before leaving the country posted me a copy of a CD. 
A few days ago while tapping keys on the Mac, up came his music so I did what you do these days and searched for him and quickly found a myspace blog, not somewhere I have been before. The Maine trip was a success and he spent a lot of time there with a new girlfriend then spent a year on the opposite coast with another girl, some lucky guy. Then there was a small snippet about some documentary about changing F2M…
I had not a clue! Here was a really nice guy with sweet but masculine voice, not surprised girls like him. I sent a message and he remembered our conversation and had through the grapevine already had someone mention that I had changed, he was not at all surprised…
He is back visiting for a month or so and has suggested we meet up again, there may even be a concert before his return to the US, I am looking forward too hearing of his adventures in boatbuilding.
He had wondered what I had been doing in the way of work since we met saying that the change had been an inspiration to write music for him. I had just started a new blog under a new name with a lot less words than I write here, if you want something cheery to start the day then follow me and get a new photograph every day. The first was made not far from where the conversation I have written about took place and was made just last week when out with a couple of old friends for the day. In future they could be anything from anywhere and any period over nearly forty years especially when I get a scanner!
The “summer” continues cold and wet with brief cool dry days occurring at random, today was continuous rain as will tomorrow be along with a severe weather warning. The neighbour foolishly drove the ten miles to a small town to shop and had never driven in such horrible conditions and often could hardly see the road for the rain and gloom at midday. I fear it will either rain until Sunday so that the garden is a mess then brighten for a planned party  we are unprepared for or I shall organise the house to squeeze people in and neglect the garden work completely which should guarantee perfect weather but nowhere to go! I could work in the rain and hope for good weather because the house is not organised for a large party. Thank goodness for those two glasses of wine tonight, I don’t seem to be worried...