Ten, Dogs, and Cats

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Ten is back on the Riviera. He has been secretly HAND WASHING everything that was in the dishwasher ready to wash ELECTRICALLY. Also, he wants to measure me for a bra. You remember yesterday I said I wanted the fancy sports bra, well he has decided that measuring must take place. Weird perverted creature that he is. Ten hates to be blogged about, so this is my revenge!

***

Plus, yesterday I offered to take one of All Dogs Matter‘s dogs that need fostering. Of course I see the little boo boos’ faces and want THEM ALL FOREVER but that is not realistic. Poppet must be number one girl, but we could have a guest couldn’t we? So I’ve said we could have a male. There is less likely to be trouble with a male – if he is young Poppet will treat him as a puppy, and if he is older she will treat him like a boyfriend. Experiments with socializing with females have been… awkward. But Pops is pretty much always successful at socializing with males. I did want to get her a kitten, but after the, shall we say “cat slaughter” or “aggravated misadventure” or “accidental death with knobs on” I thought better of it. She’s always liked a chase, but this one cat ran toward the river instead of away from it. Pops had it in her maw and when the cat gashed her face she let go, the cat stumbled back, fell into the river and drowned. Not a high point in our career as new residents of the towpath.

Of course if I was super rich and living in a massive place with grounds I could have as many dogs as I liked. I like the idea of having grounds. I like the plurality of it. I’d like to have a herd of staffies and have them race! HA! There might be nothing funnier in the world than a staffie race, they all run squintily, they all have different weird gaits, and if they run together they bump into each other constantly. It’s hilarious! Ten says we’d need a greyhound to train them, but I’d be worried for the greyhound’s mental health.

***

In case you were thinking “Well, that’s quite enough about dogs, what about cats?” I was clicking through this picture in the vain hope of finding out who made it when it led me to Tea and Kittens which has enough cat pictures for anyone, I think you’ll find.

Dream House, Swans as Pets, and My Current Wants

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Friday, November 16, 2012

Would you buy your dream house if the price was right BUT you also were told it was inhabited by ghosts?

Absobloodylutely! Unless it had the bad feng shui, but then it wouldn’t be my dream house, would it? I’d like a space with lots of south facing windows, lots of heat and light. Low windows, reading nooks with the little day beddy thing in. Fireplaces and stoves. French windows – lots of french windows. Small rooms, big rooms. Rooms with connecting bathrooms, a walk in wardrobe, comfy furniture, space for making art, great views, animals outside and in. Plenty guest rooms, a music room, a viewing room. A room with a huge table and chairs all round for eating and for late night conversations. The forest, the sea side, crashing rock, soft sand… To get this kind of thing at my price, there’s pretty much have to be some deal breaking ghosts on my side.

Oh! And a swimming pool.

***

Since today I am soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo tired after Bowen, I’m going to cheat the rest of this post. But i will provide quality padding. These photos, for instance;

Quite simply ganked from tumblr wholesale, with the following caption;

A pet swan named Leila being helped into a car where it enjoys a ride to the shops. Its owner Mrs. Watson of Chesham, Buckinghamshire, says that Leila, who has been a family pet for two years, can open doors and is a good guard dog, England, 1936 *

photo by William Vanderson.

What I can add to the party is that Anna Pavlova had a pet swan, Jack. There is no record of whether she took him car rides, though. I doubt it. Taking your swan to the shops seems rather an English thing to do. I cannot imagine Anna Pavlova being that parochial. I could see her taking him somewhere fancy, though.

***

So, my apologies for being a bit *thin* (on paper, if not in life) today. I am quite borked. For some reason I seem to be in rather an acquisitive mood, though. I have been researching the Panache sports bra on the recommendation of my friend @Mockduck who runs. I don’t need ‘sports’ as such but I could use a softish non fancy bra that you don’t have to struggle to get into – and not only does this have back fasteners, but it has a fancy adaptor so you can wear it either scoop or sport back. AND IT COMES IN PINK. yasss! 

The other thing I find myself in lust with is the new Kobo Mini eReader, which is authentically pocketable, not tied to a particular seller (I’m looking at you, Amazon, you conniving greedyguts) and is available for £50. Although I tend to listen to audio books, my eyes are not as bad as they were since I came off Duloxetine, and I have enjoyed reading books when I have been away from home (and for home, read THE INTERNET). Although it was possible to go online the last couple of times I went away, I chose not to take this life with me, but to have a ‘real’ holiday (with small borrows just to check in).

Anyway, I’m not for jumping the gun right now. Tonight is all about chillin’ with my dawgie and watching bits of telly, playing Words With Friends, and listening to radio plays.

Happy rest of friday to you,

e4q

x

Poppet my Pet, a Painting and a Philosopher

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Thursday, November 15, 2012
Tell us about your favourite pet.

Sorry all cats, but Poppet is the best in class. And it’s not just me, either, the INTERNET loves her too! One time I was walking her in London Fields and someone came up to me and asked “Is that Poppet?” because he’d seen her on the internet!

i love you – feel my tongue

Here she is loving up Lahikmajoe during his recent visit from Germany. If you click through you’ll see the blog post where he admits his infidelity to his own dogs. It’s just how it is. Poppet = ALL THE LOVING.

All Dogs Matter, the charity where I adopted Poppet from are co-hosting a photo competition here.

The Kirsty who shall remain mysterious suggested I put this photo in;

I am not entirely convinced it’s her cutest photo though. Not as such.

I must say, though, it always makes me happy.

***

Yesterday I broke two habits – first of all I painted without tidying up first, and secondly I did two of these small pieces in a day!

It’s not that they are so very labour intensive, it’s just that doing any kind of art making is really new for me. I have been a good 6 or 7 years away from doing anything of the sort, and I am rather Bambi about it all. You know, that bit where he is just born and is shaky on his pins.

I am working in a sketch book which I wrote in in 2003. I am using a limited palette, and I think I am being rather influenced by the colours that surround me this autumn on the River Lea.

I expect I will graduate to larger works at some point, but for just now making marks is quite enough to be getting on with.

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Just listening to an In Our Time about Simone Weil. It seems that a huge part of her philosophy was to do with ‘affliction’ which was partly influenced by her chronic migraines. Not what I expected when I started listening to the show.

A Painting, A Meal, and A Petition

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“Nothing was, nothing will be; everything is, everything has existence and is present.”
— Hermann Hesse (1877–1962, German-Swiss), Siddhartha

Today I broke my routine and just cleared the table and painted. Since I have started this project I have tended to want everything to be ‘just so’ before painting – which mainly means I don’t get on with it. Today, though, was different. I just wanted to paint and I wanted to do it immediately.

I read a biography of the composer Gustav Holst years ago. It was written by his daughter, and one or two things really stayed with me. First of all, rather than get up every day and go work with a gun to his head, Holst had a policy of not writing music until it really irritated him not to.

He also said, when addressing singers “Those of you who can sing, sing, and those of you who can’t, make a glorious noise to god”.

Here, then, is my glorious noise.

***

Back to NaBloPoMo;

Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Tell us about the best meal you ever cooked.

I am not a terribly enthusiastic cook. This is partly due to an ambivalence about food, partly due to my own energy levels and partly to do with whoever is around me. I have been an enthusiastic cook when I have been around people who encourage me. The meal I made most often this summer was fried halloumi with sesame seeds, fried pineapple, salad leaves and tomatoes. I tend to be faddy, so if I am cooking for you, the most likely ‘best meal’ is the one I am doing most often at that moment. After a while I forget what made the meal work, and always fail to write down what I have discovered along the way.

***

Meanwhile on the internet, there are moves to make the internet government controlled. The wild west days are over, I guess, but I am fairly sure that a cabal of governments working in secret to control the web is a terribly good idea either. Individual governments haven’t shown themselves to be particularly generous, why would a group who is not answerable to it’s people be any better?


Take action here

We’re all just walking each other home

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We’re all just walking each other home.
— Ram Dass

Tuesday, November 13, 2012
What is the bravest thing you’ve ever done?

To be brutally honest, I am often brave. Getting through the day with chronic migraine knowing you’ve got it all to go through again and again is far braver than anything else I have ever done, I do it often and I tend to do it alone, without any witness. I appreciate people who really see me suffer because even that experience is ineffable once it is past.

On the other hand, what looks brave might not really be brave. While ordinary acts like leaving the house might take real gumption, I, for instance, rather relish public speaking whenever I get the opportunity. Yes, I was physically ill the first time I gave a lecture, but the buzz is amazing and ‘nerves’ are really the same thing as excitement.

Acts of kindness can feel brave – one does not know in advance how they will be received. I think I was fairly brave to volunteer to visit a senior Buddhist Order Member who had had a stroke – I thought he would quite possibly find me naive and annoying. As it turned out it was a teacher I knew from my earlier days of learning meditation, and I had rather a good rapport with him but I didn’t walk into the hospital knowing it would be him. And I certainly didn’t expect to ‘get’ anything from the experience, but I did. He was an amazing man. While he was teaching there was this one time when he said he couldn’t remember which meditation he should be teaching and he mentioned in passing that this was probably because he had a brain tumor. I didn’t see him for a few weeks, so when I did see him I was relieved that he was alive! I asked about the tumor. He said that he had probably had it for years, but that it had only been recently diagnosed because he’d blacked out and someone thought to look. It seems that when he was younger he found it difficult to read, and was considered rather dim. His story humbled me so much, and heartend me, too. I’d just recovered from several months of near constant brain fog, after my health tanked and I had been signed off from my job. I couldn’t even follow radio or TV programmes, I just had the radio or TV on for company. I had really prized intellect in my former life, and considered my brain to be my best investment. Yet it didn’t save me from becoming ill. I was so relieved to find something I could learn that rather bypassed brain work, and to meet someone so very wise who was intellectually challenged.

When he died he had fallen out of bed. At the head of the bed was the commode that he used. It is entirely possible he spent his terminal moments on this earth with his face on rather a grubby carpet with a view of the underside of his toilet. For some people this would be a very upsetting experience, but I wasn’t in the slightest bit worried for my friend.

At the funeral there was an open coffin. It was the first time I had seen a dead body. I really wanted to get close and have a good stare, but I didn’t dare. A lot of people spoke about how he had been rather a harsh teacher, but that wasn’t my experience of him. To me he was only ever kind. I can only imagine he approached people on a case by case basis. His sister was too upset to attend, but his niece managed to say a few words on her behalf. She spoke about how, one new year’s eve, he had suggested a bike ride – the pair of them rode their bikes into the new year. What a lovely imagination he had, and what a lovely memory for his sister. I sat with the niece after the funeral and we talked for a while. Afterwards I received a letter from the sister, and wrote back as best I could. We wrote back and forth for a short while.

As well as being a sobering experience, spending time with him in his final days was such an honour.

*** 

I was looking for a quote to share with you and found myself collating an enormous collection of them;
elaine4queen.tumblr.com/day/2012/11/13

click through for lots of thoughts from lots of different sources.

***

How many Hindenburgs?

Today is kind of a Category 2 Hindenburg. Last night I realized that if I didn’t take a triptan before I went to sleep I’d be waking up migraining like crazy and have to spend all day dealing with things from that starting point, and that tends to mean I have to tread gently on the next day. Not just that, though, I am extra tired possibly because you can nip the pain in the bud, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you are not having the migraine. There’s a lot more to migraine than headache.

So, while I have a little rest and listen to Front Row here’s a picture of Poppet I took yesterday.

she isn’t always entirely elegant

Thoughts on Prompts and Pictures of the Tiger Worm Hotel

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Now that I’m back on the blogging trail, and now that I have done some serious worm hotel construction and had my bath, my mind turns to what to blog about today. During my mega migraine bonanza I missed a whole week of prompts for NaBloPoMo. Lets see what they would have been…

Monday, November 5, 2012

What are your thoughts about tomorrow’s election in the United States?

Well, what with all the hindsight, I can just say it’s a bit of a relief. Not because Obama is going to be a total angel, but because things would have been a great deal worse if Mr Mitt had got in. Like here, we have a tory mayor of London and a tory Prime Minister. Romney as icing on that layer cake would have been unbearable.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012
If you were President of the United States, what would be your first act in office?

Stop the drone strikes. Drones seem to me to be a war crime in conception, construction and use. They are no better than land mines. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Talk about the last compliment you received.

Most probably the Kirsty I play Words With Friends with. She is very generous when I paste her! However, we are very often neck and neck towards the end of the game, which is very exciting. We are very evenly matched. Also, she is usually up already when I wake up, so we often play live, too, which is nice.

Thursday, November 8, 2012
If you could have any job (and instantly have the training and qualifications to do it), which job would you want?

I would like to be David Sedaris, but that job is already taken. 

Friday, November 9, 2012
If you could change one thing about your life right now, what would it be?

I would magic away the migraines and fibro crap. Then i would be able to do ANYTHING!!!!!! Except be a child prodigy, astronaut, ballerina, stunt double, body double, chess master, or opera singer. Those are all off the table no matter how well I got. If I could, I’d be a writer. So much tidier than painting, and I admire writers so much. I don’t think I could really write fiction, though. 

Well! That didn’t take long! Now I am all caught up. Well done me.

***

I dare say you are dying to see the Worm Hotel. Let me just dry my hair and I’ll take the camera out and see what I can offer you.

tottenham hilton under construction

the black thing was full, but the compost not fully, well, composted. so in moving the contents to the clear hoppers i may be needing quite a few of them to complete the job.

ten asked how the worms would reach the holes in the next box up – i am including quite a lot of twiggery for them to climb on. ‘like an adventure playground, then’, he said

i am not sure whether the worms will like the clear plastic. they do like the dark, it’s true, but then they also like to escape. i have found quite a few who think they are steve mcqueen.

So, very much still IN PROCESS as you can see. But I am getting there, and the new drill bit is paying it’s way. Obviously if I was building this entirely from scratch I wouldn’t risk the clear boxes, but since I have so many of them it is a good re-use and if they don’t work out I will just have to get some opaque ones. Although ordinary composting needs dark I am not sure if the worms do. If you leave the lid off they come up towards the light, so who knows what they are thinking.

Let or Hindrance, Tiger Worms, Meditations, and Berzerking.

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I really did try to post every day, I promise… but I just went into this incredible migraine and allied trades wormhole and am only just crawling out of it now. You may have seen or got sent a link to about a dozen attempts to post the other day, but for some reason I couldn’t get round the fact that wordpress wouldn’t publish it in full. Very weird, and I tried lots of ways round it. Eventually I was just so exhausted I gave up and just saw it as part of the continuing cascade of things that go wrong. Hopefully this post will behave itself, and I will be able to share my thrilling insights with you without let or hindrance.

I am not entirely sure what let or hindrance really means, but it’s in the UK passport;

Her Britannic Majesty’s Secretary of State Requests and requires in the Name of Her Majesty all those whom it may concern to allow the bearer to pass freely without let or hindrance, and to afford the bearer such assistance and protection as may be necessary.

Which is sort of nice, I suppose. I wonder if I went abroad I might get better assistance and protection than I do here? Perhaps I will go somewhere nice and get asylum.

Anyway, bollocks.

***

One thing I have been *doing* off and on for the past few days is creating a multi-storey worm bin as inspired by new-to-me blog The Good Life. I already have bins, albeit that they are see through. All I needed to do was drill holes in them and play house with the tiger worms. In a house with two electric drills you’d expect there to be drill bits at the ready, but there was only one little one to hand so I asked my dad to bring one over. Which he did, but it was so blunt it was like the butter knife of drill bits, so on my way to my Bowen appointment yesterday I stopped in at the hardware shop on Broadway Market and got a nice sharp new one. When I get my wriggle on I will be completing the worms’ new home and I think I will feel quite pleased with myself.

the tiger worms when they first arrived. there are quite a few more now, i think they are having a good time.

***

Okay, that was weird, I just had another spooky wordpress moment there… I just posted a load of links about meditation and tried to save and the whole lot got eaten. Maybe by the worms? Who knows, but it’s beginning to freak me out, because I usually have ZERO problems with WP.

Here’s what I want to SHARE WITH YOU FFS!!!

1. Vidyamala’s Three Minute Breathing Space

Also highly recommended – her Body Scan and Kindly Awareness CDs here.

Good free stuff from Audio Dharma For beginners I’d recommend Gil Fronsdal. I particularly like Thanissaro Bhikkhu. Also, not to be too shallow, but he has a lovely voice.

I made a 20 minute Body Scan myself which is free. You can get that here.

My favourite teacher is Ken McLeod at Unfettered Mind. I follow him on facebook. This works pretty well for me. Sometimes I spend a day listening to a whole course.

Now, please WP, let me publish this before you send me completely berzerk.

No Sleep til Night time, Unbelievable Government Bullshit, and The AIDS Memorial Quilt

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Good God! If I thought yesterday was uninspiring blog fodder, get today’s action.

Now, you may not know the joys of medication, but I take GET ON WITH YOUR DAY drugs in the morning and GO TO BED drugs at night. That’s right, I am actually Alice in Wonderland but more boring, older, and a bit fat. So what I do, when I get my medication, is to put them in those plastic holders with the days of the week on. I have two, a clear one and a blue one, so the clear one can be for morningtime and the blue one can be for night time. Annoyingly they start the week with different days, but that shouldn’t be an issue. However. More than once I have taken the wrong drugs at night when I am tired, and I have taken the GET ON WITH YOUR DAY drugs before bed, resulting in staying awake all night. I have done it the other way round, too, but only once. What I did to help this situation was to put the night ones in my bedroom, but when you fill them up it’s easy to forget and just put the whole lot in the kitchen drawer. SUCH WAS MY LOT, dear reader, when last night I went to bed. It took me ages to realize my mistake. I can report that nights are quite long when you are awake enough to be bored but not awake enough to do anything about it.

So today was a bit of a wash. It had rained a lot of the night and it was still raining this morning. Now, some staffies won’t even go out of doors to pee if it is raining. Poppet doesn’t mind a bit of rain, though she gets a bit itchy and needs to sulk under a blanket if she gets too wet. Luckily Ten was here, and he took her out in a break in the rain and played ball with her. But this afternoon, she really wasn’t interested in going out. We finally persuaded her when Ten’s bike tire exploded and he had to go into town to a bike shop and decided he’d take her with him. She loves the train and she loves shops, and it isn’t actually raining right now. However, there may have been a little something extra in the mix, because as she jumped off the bed she also projectile vomited all along the floor! Nice! Still, better out than in, I suppose. She does like a little casual dining when she is out, and not everything is within it’s use by date… even for a dog.

And that is basically my whole day except playing words with friends and watching episodes of Parenthood. I can’t wait til I can take my GO TO BED drugs and finally go the fuck to sleep.

***

There was something else today, though. I was reading some blogs and I shared this shocker on facebook.

“Iain Duncan Smith launched an astonishing attack on step-parents, single parents and LGBT couples this week in a move that could see welfare to work sharks brought into the family home and even the bedroom.

Speaking at a conference on social justice, the Secretary of State warned that in future the proportion of children no longer living with the same parents from birth would be a new government measure to monitor the growth of ‘social problems’.”

I mean, targeting step parents? In what way are they part of the problem and not part of the solution? This government beggars belief, I can tell you. Any smugness in comparing the UK to the USA is pretty much over right now. I can only hope that they really are wildly out of touch and we’re not just about to be forced to wear stars and triangles and so on, because seriously, this shit is scary. It inspired a fair amount of swearing in the thread.

***

While we are being bummed out, this might be the time to share the news that The AIDS Memorial Quilt has been digitized in it’s entirety.

Sobering stuff.

No Prompts on the Weekend, Listening to the Detectives, and Dogs and Gardens

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Halp! Halp! NaNowhoozit aren’t giving prompts for weekends, WordPress’s prompt for today is heinous (write a letter to yourself blah blah blah – NO!) and today is a very very quiet day at mi casa. Indeed, me and Pops didn’t meet any of our friends on the two walks so far, which is in itself WEIRDY.

Usually we meet at least one other dog+person who we talk to/ play with but today, nothing. Also, I have done very little of interest. I have been ‘doing tasks’ interspersed with watching programmes I have squirreled away and listening to radio plays. Also, the whole Mark Lawson Foreign Bodies is perfect Elaine Listening, being as it is all about detective fiction. It’s been on all week, and I just listened to the omnibus because even though I listened to every episode I am a detective fiction FAN.

Also good, is that there is a  Martin Beck series on. It’s on every saturday and I am awaiting it’s appearance on iPlayer with a sort of sick feeling, I am so excited. There aren’t, as far as I know, Martin Beck audio books, so having been averse to reading with my eyes over the past few years, I wasn’t able to gobble them up. I bought them for my mum, and she decreed them GOOD. Which made me ill with jealousy. Or envy? Which one is it? I never know.

Poppet and I are still on BST, pretty much. Which means we are getting up an hour ‘early’ (that is to say, the same time we were getting up GMT) but the nights are, nevertheless, drawing in in the way that nature will do at this time of year. Eventually the mornings will be dark, too. Poppet believes I can control EVERYTHING and sometimes suggests we play ball in the pitch black. Reader, I can’t control the general overall lighting situation. I am not MASTER OF THE SUN.

I am barely MASTER OF my pinterest boards I can hardly be expected to control night and day. I was early to the pinterest bandwagon, and at first it seemed to be entirely populated by mormon housewives punting cloying homilies, vile crafts, and wedding stuff. Indeed, pinterest has been criticized for being about having or wanting. Or indeed, craving. Whereas tumblr has been criticized for giving ordinary people who like art the idea they could be curators. Naughty Naughty ORDINARY PEOPLE! How very dare they?

At first pinterest suggested friends for me, but eventually, when the hoi polloi were allowed in I got to follow my creative, funny and interesting friends, and AND!!!! GARDENING TIPS! After collecting umptie recipes I will probably never cook there appeared a wash of gardening pins which I have collected AVIDLY. Now, I don’t overdo my gardening, but I am excited about it nevertheless. Even before I got a garden I watched Gardener’s World and listened, more obscurely, I grant you, to Gardener’s Question Time on the radio. If you know NOTHING about gardening then I can confirm that listening to Gardener’s Question Time will teach you nothing except that there is always someone in the audience who has actually brought a diseased plant in to the studio. It’s like a THING.

There’s nothing to say that I will do any better at following the gardening tips I have collected than the cooking, but at least I am obsessed in my mind. I do do some things. I moved a chrysanthemum today. Well, I relocated a bunch of twigs attached to some roots. They will be chrysanthemums again in the spring, though. Ollie had planted them in the middle of the garden, and I enjoyed them there this year, even though they got a bit squished by Poppet playing with her friend Charlie.

the chrysanthemums

the protagonists

I gave them a cutting back this year, though, and am relocating the resulting clumps. I plan to move some of the flagstones and have a curved path reaching round to the railings. This year I planted sweetpeas, but they didn’t do brilliantly. This was partly because I failed to factor in the reality that this is one of Poppet’s favourite places to sit and meet her public.

Lots of people block off their railings, preferring passers by not to be able to see in, but that wouldn’t do for us. Although it means I have to wear clothes a bit more than I might do otherwise, I prefer to have the view, myself. I can see the river from my bed with the blinds open.

Right, that’s enough, mes amies, til tomorrow!

NaBloPoMo, Where to Live, an Award, and Apples

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Right! Day Two in the Gone Mad Trying to Sign Up for NaBloPoMo House

WordPress doesn’t do it’s prompt until it’s the afternoon here in That London, but the NaBloPoMo prompts are all written out in advance. EXCEPT WEEKENDS! when they expect you to fend for yourself! I’m already having a nervous breakdown after having to fill in the longest ever form for Blog Her who are running this shebang. It took me back to when I signed up for livejournal a hundred million years ago. I was quite ill and the internet was quite new, and I’d only been ‘elaine’ on citynoise.org and I was horrified at having to make up a whole new individualized INTERNET NAME! I think I was quite lucky to get the elaine4queen thing right off the bat. I could have been stuck with something much worse.

So, here is day two’s prompt from NaBloPoMo;

Friday, November 2, 2012

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

This is quite an interesting question to me. I chose a long time ago to live in London, and I am quite a fond Londonist. I moved to the East End 20 years ago and watched it change over that time. It was very exciting. It went from being a bit of a dead on it’s feet dump to being the most effervescent hip and happening place. First Spitalfield Market reopened, that slowly grew until money people came in and land grabbed it. Meanwhile the area attracted more and more artists, Hoxton went from being a total black hole with only a popular ‘wrong side of the tracks’ gay bar to being a centre of art, fashion and night life. The surrounding residential areas began to ‘go up’ and without losing the creative vibe.

However… I got ill and became rather housebound. I couldn’t really enjoy what the neighbourhood had to offer, so last year I moved to Tottenham – a flat right on the river Lea. With a garden. Now my life is all about walks with my dog and pottering about. It’s super quiet here – the main noise nuisance is geese and seagulls rather than drunk shouting angry people. But I certainly got the cultural bends moving out here.

a rainy view from my window.

So what about now? I am not the person I was half a lifetime ago when I moved here. Has London lost it’s shine? Well, I certainly don’t *do* London. I don’t see plays or go to exhibitions, but I still feel comfortable here. And you see that grey block between my garden and the trees opposite? That’s the Lea. I could hardly live somewhere more secluded even if I moved to the countryside. I used to travel often, and wherever I went I imagined living in the place. Sometimes I got quite excited. I had this conversation with Ken when he was here. He asked if I really would move elsewhere if money wasn’t an issue, and I really just thought I’d like a bit more space where I am. I know there are fancier neighbourhoods and there are certainly prettier cities and I do like the seaside… but maybe now, whatever happens, I am contented to be where I am. Not to say I couldn’t use some time off. If money really wasn’t an issue then I would spend January-March somewhere else, but I can’t really imagine wanting to move from here.

***

Lori from dearmsmigraine nominated me for this award;

As is my habit, now, I will warmly accept the award and then pick and choose about what to do about the rules.

Very Inspiring Blogger Award Rules

1.Display the award logo on your blog.
2.Link back to the person who nominated you.
3.State 7 things about yourself.
4.Nominate 15 other bloggers for this award and link to them.
5.Notify those bloggers of the nomination and the award’s requirements.

So, no matter HOW inspired I may be by 15 bloggers, that sounds like WORK. What I will do is to link to a couple of blogs I am enjoying right now or think you might want to click through to. A COUPLE, I said. Not 15, that’s overkill.

I don’t mind saying 7 things. And it’s not a bad thing to do at the beginning of a time when there are some new readers on the radar YOO HOO!!! NEW READERS!

1. I am 50. It’s been three months and a week or so, and I am getting used to it now. But it feels much more like a big one than 40 did. I could still pass for early 30s in my 40s AND it wasn’t technically too late to have a baby. Which I didn’t do and now it actually is too late. How do I feel about that?

2. I don’t massively mind not having children. I do really like having a dog, though. Much as I loved my cats when I had them, dogs win, they just do. I like other people’s babies though, they smell nice. But then, so does Poppet, though she smells of grass and mud and biscuits, whereas babies smell of something like a light vanilla and parma violet. Turkish delight, maybe?

3. I am a bit worried about my composting situation. I’ve got a home made bin which is now full, and has tiger worms living in it. I believe I will have usable stuff by the springtime from that. Meanwhile I have started a compost heap, which is really not an ideal thing to have in a small garden. I am thinking about buying a proper bin for a second helping. Usually you need three piles, but with the worms things should be a lot quicker. I am still festering about whether to buy a standard bin and adapt it or whether to buy a proper one, which presumably comes at a proper price, too. I stupidly asked the previous occupier to get rid of the bin he had. DAMMIT.

4. I have been internet campaigning for the badgers. Our government wanted to kill them ALL because of bovine TB. They have a stay of execution because of SCIENCE and lobbying, and the issue will be looked at again next year. Poor badgers. They never bother anyone. Badly named, I guessed.

5. I have started painting a bit again lately. I dare say proof of these exploits will be forthcoming on this blog. I’d like to think I will do a few little somethings over the course of a month.

6. My neighbour Stephen gave me some apples.

One went to brown mush almost immediately, so I washed the rest in cider vinegar and water. Should give them a stay of execution til they get eaten.

7. I am in great need of a tea or a coffee. I am going to go to the kitchen to consider my options.

NOW. Seona at pieces of me tends to keep her blog on the down low. But this month she has decided to join in with the posting every day hoo ha, so pop on over and give her some encouragement! I hereby offer her this award!

SECONDLY, my friend Helen has been a painter for a long time, and has started a couple of painting blogs… but now she has ‘come out’ as a passionate knitter! So much so that she has opened a shop. She also cooks, and she is also interesting. Here’s her blog knitonemorerow pretty, isn’t it? An award for her, too.

See? Two is enough. You should always believe me, I am always right. You’re welcome.