Monday, 28 February 2011

exit stage left

Mostly the funeral was annoying. A gathering of the tribes, all old, grey and ..........grey.
The vicar bloke at the crematorium spoke well and conjured up the wraith of Uncle Ron from the war in the desert, motor bikes in his black leather helmet pulled firmly round his ears. Only turning to a car, it is claimed when it became illegal not to wear a proper crash hat.
Thru his engineering and electronics jobs and up to date with his many clocks.
His son cried when his dad was referred to as his best friend [only friend muttered in my head]. We were sat behind and I wondered who was this little dishevelled lady sitting crying next to son [far left] then I suddenly realised it was my big, impregnable Auntie Cinders [in blue].

It was hard to see her gazing at the coffin in front of her, just crushed.
But that is what funerals are for, once we were all out in the cold again, curtains demurely closed around Uncle Ron] the tribes spent what seemed like hours chit chatting about what they had been up to since the last funeral, while I looked on feeling angry and guilty at the same time.

Uncle Ron lives stubbornly on however, as G**gle Street Map was down their road last year and captured him in typical mode fixing his car.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011


It is cold, wet and grey and so am I. I suspect I feel much like the latest pic of the Glorious Grandson, perhaps with not quite so much attitude, or jam.

Maybe more jam would be helpful.

Paradoxically stitching is steaming ahead, I guess being stuck in [in all senses] frees the mind to actually do something practical.

Agamemnon the Cat is following us around closely purring which must mean something is wrong. Guess he is lonely without Hatters. He is vomitty too - don't know if that is a comment or a symptom.

Should have gone up to London today to see the Threads of Feeling exhibition at the Foundling museum - some of the fabric tokens mothers left with their babes in the 18th century in the hope they could identify and reclaim their children in the years to come.
Probably not really in the state of mind to withstand the inevitable brooding that would follow. Exhibition closes on the 6th March, maybe I'll struggle up there on my Old Ladies Train ticket before then. Doubt it.
Can't find a book to read either. Blacklands was my last success, excellent read if your nerves are tough.
Have chucked a succession of library books, and worse ones I have invested my Xmas book tokens in. The library van is still chugging round the villages every two weeks, doubtless it will get cut in the Big Society even tho it is manned by volunteers. No library left to service it. We have a Save the Libraries arty exhibition next month

Possibly readers will pour in, probably not. We are not a country known for revolution but we sure as damnation need one now. Library readers unite you have nothing to lose but your books.

Had a book recommended - The Existential Detective by Alice Thompson, looks from the blurb to be a bit bleak, I probably need something a little more cheery..........

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Uncle Ron

Uncle Ron died this week. Like the clocks he loved he finally ran out of tick.
He was nearly 92.
Auntie Cinders [93] is bearing up, she has lived in their home for 55 years and I reckon she will stay if she can.
I don't know if she can keep all his clocks ticking and chiming, it is quite a manoeuvre winding them all up each week.
Uncle Ron was a very singular man, with his own teasing sense of humour and determination to do things his way, at his pace.
He was in the desert war, in the army, from which he learnt to love motorbikes; finally they graduated to four wheels.
Every summer they would decide where to go on holiday, and the very morning of departure he would invariably decide to strip down the engine and explore every widget till he was satisfied. Often they left a day late
He played the piano by ear, vamping with his left hand. He liked kids.
He played Scrabble and card games with mother, Cinders and anyone else they could rope in, till the early hours.
He demanded soup with his dinner and custard with his suet pudding or spotted dick. Cinders has arranged for Meals on Wheels to call now, finally she can stop making Bread Pudding.
Ian is their only son, he has most of Ron's eccentricities without the charm.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

fossicking about

Still working on another three dancers. A friend told me that if this is Africa the light on the moon would be on this side as they are Africa.

I was impressed until walking home last night under a clear black sky, I saw old moonie reflecting in exactly this same direction. Guess it doesn't matter, it is meant to be phantasmagorical after all.

Have also been working on the matriarchal side of the family, I want to merge the pics in somehow, probably should slap some emulsion on it or something.

The table cloth was a gift and it feels a bit informal to cut it up, but I may take some of the squares behind and put them on the front and put some more white fabric behind the pics........and then machine madly.

Mother suggests just framing them individually, she may be right but that is not what i want, if only I did know what I want, I really really want.

The Time and Tide title for the summer exhibition is coming along quite well.

I painted a lace doily and printed with it and through it to make what turned into three panels.

I am trying to restrain my habitual exuberance and do something more subtle.

The doilies resembled ammonites [by luck] so i am doing fossils.
This is a print of Ida, a small 47 millions year old mammal.
So far i am pleased, which is unusual, not as smug as it sounds, as it happens so rarely and will doubtless end in whimper rather than a bang

Wednesday, 9 February 2011


Went to Cambridge on Tuesday, lovely sunny day, which was welcome as Cambridge can be very cold and windy.
We were looking to buy a new sofa-bed as daughter complains, when she visits, that the present one cripples her. Side effect of down sizing.
We decided not to be undersold and went to Jlewis and purchased a very low tech pull out brown thing. Doubtless she will say it is hard, but at least the struts won't cut into her hip. However now she is a working girl she is demanding we visit her, - maybe the money would have been better spent on a plane ticket....................except I hate flying.
She has somehow managed to take time to go to the Tuscon Rock and Gem fair with an admirer and GG. The latter is probably not so admiring at the mo, as she is now Manager of a creche and he doesn't appreciate not being the one and only, so he is biting! Better than packing a side arm I suppose.
I remember biting when I was a kid, the joy of that clenched jaw, but i think I only bit myself, or maybe I graduated to that when victims began to complain.
No.1 son is going to yet another wake of a friend whom, it would seem, has drunk himself to death at 36! merits another punctuation mark I think.
They had a White Trash wake combined with super bowl party as they decided the two teams were not interesting enough to have a special theme.
Class warfare alive and thriving in the states, surely not.
I have been going to stitching groups with well brought up and polite persons, so am feeling a little white trashy myself.
However the stitching is in a good place for once and my Poem has got a good response so far from tutor.
First line "Searching through the pockets of the dead" goodness knows where that came from, I heard it somewhere, but couldn't find it on googlies, but it is one heck of a start!

Thursday, 3 February 2011


Hattie the dog returned to us in a small but sturdy box, as she has been cremated.
Strange but true, at least we feel we have completed the job now as we drove out to a posh Plant Nursery and bought her a "rampant, semi evergreen?" rose to mark her spot, next in line to the 3 cats and Delta the dog, her lovely predecessor. Clara the chicken is on the other side under the pear trees.
One would think you would get used to this kind of thing.
The rose is Rosa mulliganii , white and banana scented flowers! Requires sun and well drained soil. Ours is very well drained and on a slope so that should be OK, only glitch might be there used to be another rose which died of old age nearby, and too late we remembered you are not supposed to plant another rose in the same place, so hopefully Rosa will be OK.
Now we are wondering what to do with the freedom, maybe a quick trip to warmer climes, possibly not the pyramids this time. One day hopefully when everything has settled into a glowing democracy. I am ashamed to think that I didn't really realise they were under military thumb, tho so far the army seems to be trying to be neutral.
When I was teaching I had a pupil who was the son of an Egyptian diplomat [such things happen in North London]. Mohamed was having a deal of trouble coping with the new language and a fairly lively comprehensive.
Obviously his dad sometimes helped with his homework, and I felt Mohamed was obviously bright so I recommended he come out of the learning difficulties stream [it was a while ago] and enter a class of his peers in the hopes he would catch on more quickly. I left that year so never knew what happened but did get a nice commemorative wall plate enthusing about Nasser from his dad. Felt a bit like I had been bribed, even tho it was reward not an inducement.
Maybe Mohamed is in Tihrer square at the mo giving voice to his opinions. Hope he is OK, he was very quiet in class.
PS the pic is of our rose as it hopes to be one day. This one is in the Sissinghurst White garden.