Saturday, 30 January 2010

hair today

Bit of powdery snow last night.

Took Hatters for a walk, my first since return so must be recovering. Managed to slip over in the Lane however, but that is what buttocks are for, as I have been eating more to keep out the cold I was better cushioned than on warmer days.
Birds are enjoying the sunshine, saw some chickens and ducks in a garden queuing up and muttering while they waited for the ice on the pond to melt.
Pigeons are stalking RP's broccoli, but he has hastily covered what is left of their feasting while we were away and left only decoy broccoli still surviving in the seed bed. Sounds technical, hope it works. purple sprouting is delicious and good for one [and pigeons I guess].

Farm reservoir is unneeded at the mo, as whenever the temperature rises we are getting bucketing rain, depressing.
The farmers are gathering the sugar beet into mini mountains and annoying all other road users by chugging it around in their own secretive ways. Also just to say up yours to us townees much manure is being spread, the smell pervading even when it is cold. Bad news for nose already the only part of my body exposed to the elements.
It feels far colder here than in Nevada, it's the damp what does it.
Before we went Daughter forced me to buy hair straighteners, [because she hadn't got hers obviously]

Nevada is very kind to my hair, being so dry, and daughter struck again by sending me back with 2 different and expensive conditioners. Today a I wore a big knitted hat, much the best solution.

Thursday, 28 January 2010

income & outgoings

Largely Women went really well it seems. Did manage to crawl over and help take it down, but otherwise the other SLAPPERS managed admirably without me!
I think we all sold well, despite the weather, two of my big and expensive pieces, "Thinking of Frida" and "Boxed in" were hauled off to new homes, plus two ceramics.
Of course now I miss them, but at least the money will help to pay off my American Bills.
The gallery owner kept two more ceramics to sell, but "as a potter" critised my glazing. I Hate glaze, it rarely does what I want and sometimes does something entirely opposite.
One ceramic of two young people struggling, their hands tied to each other behind their backs {I know, weird - I made one like it when I was young and commissioned myself to try it again...anyway some guy apparently asked if he could commission one of two men in that position - No.
Several people liked Lust for Life it seems, which was Not for Sale, and wanted to commission another, no chance - If I did try I would have no confidence of how it would turn out, and thankfully I don't have horrendous bills that often, so I can make what I feel like doing at the time.

Avocet was sold over Xmas by a Gallery in Felixstowe sadly not my bloomin Snape Arches which apparently no-one [wisely] wants. May give it to ma for her birthday.

Monday, 25 January 2010

mixed reviews

Well I have found my car keys so i feel I am finally settled at home. The flights were delayed by stormy weather but otherwise it was straight forward, if extremely long.
We definitely didn't sleep for 24+ hours, so the first night in my own bed was wonderful, except I wasn't conscious for 12 hours so don't remember.
Next night I woke at 3am and stayed as wired as a demented squirrel the rest of the day. Last night we made it thru to 5am and had done the big shop at Sainsbury's by 10, so I guess by the end of the week I shall be back to slouching around complaining I am bored.
Dunno why this goes sideways. Heard today GG is sprouting a back molar, which took me a while to identify as a tooth description. I have been too long out of the game.
We went food and thrift shop shopping most days in Reno. it was either sunny or wet, no snow.

Just looks like every other wet shopping day. Daughter drives with one hand, and elbow it seems, sort of leaning on the wheel. It seems to be the accepted nonchalance.
Tried it today when I drove to collect RP from garage but I haven't the air of confidence that enables the body to assume the position. {His car is in for MOT, ouch, this is not the year of the Ox, it is the year it was skinned to make a wallet and that is now empty. Two new tires and brake pads]
Year of the Tiger coming up, so definitely Daughter's year, I hope.
Reno supermarkets are bigger possibly, but mostly because they have such wide aisles

As we would go in the middle of the afternoon it encouraged a placid dreamlike response, dreamily rotating [GG our first item in our trolley entranced by the mountains of colours]
All the employees are super polite, which raises my hackles in deep suspicion that they are taking the piss, being more used to being ignored or snapped at back home].
They don't have our current obsession with not providing plastic bags. Years ago I used to enjoy the brown paper bags that would snap open and be packed with military precision into a satisfying solid block.
The check out is of a whole different cultural technique, requiring several manoeuvres I didn't dare to try and master.One can look a right idiot not being able to perform the simplest task that everyone else has practised since birth.
We had to fly over the Sierras as they were blocked with snow. If I was brave I would provide a pic of their majesty but I am terrified of looking out of the window, in case I suddenly understand what the hell I am doing.
San Francisco was very wet. All the TV commentators were out standing under bucking umbrellas to prove it. We ate Thai and had a look round the Asian Museum which was pretty amazing. Each culture expressed in sculpture and pottery.
No pics of course, but i did buy a Warrior Woman string dolly! to clip to my handbag zip. She advises me to pick my battles wisely.
As it happened this was good advice as Number One and Only Son has been going to therapy lately, he wanted to know if I blamed myself for anything in the way he was dragged up.
Oh good, where is his father to deflect the coming deluge, dead. Typical.
I wanted to say "I left home when I was 18, and just got on with it" but as P says - our mistake has been to be friends with our kids,so they still talk to us and tell us things, everything. Certainly things I would never tell my mother even now - but I did try and be supportive until I got fed up anyway.
Fortunately Daughter is still pleased with us at least.
But even tho we had to wait six hours at the airport, I was quite glad to be pointing East again.
And Hattie the dog was very pleased to see us.

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Daughter has 2 cats, Little Boy and

Little Girl. He disdains to even speak to us, but Little Girl will sit on my lap in the evenings.
Ishtar is an elderly chow who loves to walk with us to Starbucks for our morning coffee, but this trip we have had to leave her behind as it is too cold to sit outside with her and I am anxious she will be dognapped if we leave her outside, she is such a beauty.

Snookums on the other hand is older than Mrs Methusula and has awful breath, she too loves to walk but her back legs are so arthriticy that she can hardly stand some mornings, so even a short stroll means she is aching for days.
There was once a snake, who possibly died of cold and there are still some gold fish but I haven't been introduced individually. They live in GG's room, so at night the lighted tank glows and bubbles in a very reassuring way.

side saddle

The days are slithering by, I have taken to waking at 3.50a.m. and reading my medieval who dunnit [Susanna Gregory] which confuses my poor brain even more.
Nana and grandpop are certainly feeling the pace of small mobile and verbal offspring.

Daughter has a chronic sinus cough so goes full pelt for each objective then crumples into a heap demanding hot soup.

Today we went to the Hunters bat cave to buy feathers [they use them to make flies and lures for fishing], but daughter plans we should knock up some "fascinators" on some cheap alice bands we bought for the purpose..........partly pre-planned but partly because we went shopping in this ladies bat cave where oceans of second hand/retro and adjusted clothing is for sale.
Daughter has always wanted to get into this form of retail as it combines her skills at blagging and her arty clothing making.
Of course I came out with a purchase, in the "steam-punk" genre apparently, a fitted band boy style jacket in brown aged suede look with brown lace.
Unlikely but true. Now if I could only get to attend one of our exhibitions I could look the part - arty eccentric is my aim, more likely - raddled Victorian whore in an old cowboy film, where is Hopalong Cassidy these days?
I will add a pic if I can find one that won't frighten the horses, important to cowboys and girls.
PS Tonight we have heard that 10 days of snow are forecast, so goodness knows how we will get over the Donner Pass in time for our flight from San Francisco on Thursday.
It seems every time we jump one fence on this trip, another springs up and the horse threatens to refuse. It is very tiring.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Various toads in various holes

Somewhat to our surprise we find ourselves back in the Casino, as daughter's plumbing has packed up, possibly an excess of wet wipes down the loo by a previous visitor.
So GG, daughter and us have decamped while Son in Law paddles in the crap trying to unblock things.
Could be said to be an allegory of the marriage, but we shan't dwell on that.
Casino rooms are very cheap, as they want you to book in as long as possible and then descend to Valhalla to gamble away your life savings and future earnings.
Valhalla is no longer burning, but the smell of smoke in the gambling halls is strong, as casinos are the only buildings in USA that still allow smoking, a special dispensation.
Fortunately we don't gamble, so we had supper in the Mel's Diner [I had meatloaf with gravy and sliced carrots and courgettes and mash, my favourite American meal] and then adjouned to the 11th floor to watch the gog

Last night we had a dinner party for the friends that have aided Daughter and GG in their extremes, to say thanks.
First D&I took Bonnie to the movies to see Sherlock Holmes, which was fun, while RP cooked a huge toad in the hole for us and Randy when we returned home. They were delighted the food did not actually include frogs legs, which was all they had been able to surmise from the title.
Unknown to us the plumbing was plotting, but did not revealed its dastardly plan till today.
Daughter did her first counselling session yesterday too, she took to the ancient Wise Woman who suggested most of the strategies we had murmured of, but this time they seem to have made an impact - so we have hopes......and a counselling bill no doubt.
Son in law is hoping kind acts will overcome obstacles, such as shit shifting, but daughter is determined he should get some counselling too before the nest is re-feathered.
Some guys in the corridor were just in a slanging match, one shouted - I am just a f***ing milk carton in a f***ing grocery store to you, the other replied - give me my f***ing guitar. Intriguing.
Security soon appeared and calmed the savage breasts, sadly, before we could learn more.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010


Stitchers Lacemakers And Patchworkers Practise Embroidery Regularly in Suffolk

Just before we flew away we put up the Largely Women exhibition, without shedding blood or ego, the group of us largely women were very solid.

Of course since then we have been snowed on so I don't think we could open up till Sunday, and possibly arty farty doodahs were not uppermost in peoples minds at the time, more likely a dash to the supermarkets.

The gallery, like the V&A has an ace cafe attached so we are hoping a bowl of hot soup or a coffee will tempt some of the great British public out.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010


Escorted Glorious Grandson to Playgroup today.

He made friends with Jonathon, who unexpectedly is Mexican, as are lots of people here and all over. The two group leaders were fluently bilingual with Spanish, such a fast language.
Frequently Americans cannot understand the English accent tho, and fail to gush as much as they used to about how wonderful it is. I tried to order a cola ice cream float this afternoon and i might as well have spoken in Chinese as the guy was totally perplexed.
We went to the supermarket on the way home and reading the magazines by the till I discovered that our own dear Duchess of Cornwall is a lush and Charley wishes he had never married her, and that Mr and Mrs Obama are rowing, that's when they can get a word in edgewise round Brad and Angelina whose doings occupy the same status as Jordan in UK.

Sleeping with a monster

Daughter is hosting us in her basement which in the main remains unclaimed to civilisation.
We sleep surprisingly comfortably [and appropriately for a textile artist] in this tiny room, festooned with a multitude of fabrics to disguise the basic bare walls.
Outside our padded cell is the rest of the cavern stretching away the full size of the house.

Just the other side of our wall resides this apparatus, the heating monster, which periodically lurches into a long and heartfelt burble on it's troubles 24 hours a day. I am very intolerant of noise when I have aspirations to sleep and assumed we would have to de-camp to the frowzy embrace of a sound proof casino room after one night. However it possibly has hidden charms as we have slept well every night.
Daughter marches away her frustrations on this treadmill in another part of the gloom, watching a big TV usually waiting for the snow to melt.
However since we arrived the snow has fled and reappeared in Suffolk, which seems odd. Mother is getting extremely ratty that she can't get out of her bungalow to supervise village doings.
Have, as yet, not stitched a stitch, tho I have read the new Lee Childs on my K*ndle [thought it was a disappointment and gratuitously detailed in it's violence]as part of a Great Download Frenzy as all copyright problems are defunct now me and K* are in the States together.
NB I see from various blogs that snow dyeing is now a craze, not here it ain't.

Saturday, 9 January 2010

splashing on

So here we are in Reno,Nevada...........took some time and effort, but some luck too as the weather seems to have turned to serious snow soon after we took flight [an hour delayed from Heathrow].
The aeroplane was the usual torture for 11 hours or several centuries,even tho we had splashed out on the seats for bigger bottoms. The Glorious Grandson was wonderful, hardly cried, did a lot of gracious sleeping in his "basinette" perched high on the bulk head in front of us.
I watched a daft film called sector 9 where aliens landed in Nigeria and were herded into "camps" whe after naughtiness ensued, quite a fun if very gory allegory for illegal immigrants/apartheid.
The stewards were reactive, if not proactive, but their rictus smiles could have curdled milk by the end of the trip, very reminiscent of Stepford Wives on speed.
Exhausted we splashed out yet again on a cab from the airport, only to be informed by the driver that we would get fined $5000 if stopped by the cops as GG was not in a baby-carseat. obviously he didn't tell us this until we were on the Freeway [the guy organising the cabs had said we were Ok in a cab, as we had been in England] SO A VERY FURTIVE APPROACH TO THE Bay.......WHOOPS, PTSS I guess.
No 1-and-only son let us take him out to dinner that evening, and explained some of my and his sisters shortcomings out of the kindness of his heart. He had just had his weekly therapy session so was especially contained of the Truth.
Rented car next morning, got lost in the one way system but eventually got GG and mater out of the city and onto highway 80......where we got pulled over by the cops!
Where was that voice coming from, did someones car radio make that much noise, no it was those flashing lights behind us and a cop getting restive that we weren't taking the next exit.
we finally pulled onto the shoulder and he explained that we were driving 10 miles over the speed limit [it is 65] of course we patiently explained we were English and couldn't be expected to understand. He took one look at RP's paper driving certificate obviously RP would resist up-dating to a card] and waved us on with worries about our continued survival. We were trying to look very unthreatening]
So here we are.
Father of GG is holed up in the other house till Daughter admits her fault, she refuses to readmit him to the human race till he admits his.
This is distressing, but at the same time it does bond us together in our enclave and RP doesn't have to maintain the peace.

Saturday, 2 January 2010

Obviously a grandson of the sea.
Unfortunately is was bitterly cold at the sea side,the only palm trees being painted ones.
hattie the dog was pretending to have a good time, but really she didn't see the point of all this standing around when there was a perfectly good walk to be had along the prom with many a smell to be investigated and categorised.
A chip and mug of tea break was however welcomed by all.