Monday, October 13, 2014

Time for tweed and tights.......

When dressing each morning now, for me,  it seems that we have shifted into that season of 'crikey I need a cardi' and 'bare legs today? I don't think so'.....and the dresses and t-shirts are being ignored in favour of something more substantial to cover my pale, slim, firm young limbs. Oh hang on....as much as I wanted to type that description of my body I must confess it may not be quite correct......exactly. I cannot tell a lie (well that isn't exactly right either...) but I'm not a size 12 anymore.
I know! who knew?......but the size 12 boat has sailed.....to be replaced by a solid ocean going heavy freight boat.....substantial and work ready but not overly a joy to behold. The sky may look like this......
so you could be fooled into thinking that the weather was bright breezy and warm.....
but trust me, when dressing,  the time for layering is upon us. Ladies am I right? So I was very happy to spot this beauty in a charity shop........


A  Boden Moon Tweed skirt in Autumny colours.

I'm thinking of wearing this sweet thing with a cashmere cardie,
 boots and I just can't decide what colour tights......
My daughter said that perhaps wearing flat shoes with the whole shebang was not the way to go.
I thought it might look chic but then an image of Margaret Rutherford (lovely lady that she was) flashed into my mind and my cankles need the kindness of knee length boots.

Earlier this year I had imagined that I would approach my 60th with a diet so that the day itself would be fireworks and fizz and me being smug about having reached the big Six Oh without being huge......shallow? me? oh yes.......but don't judge me please...we all have our funny little ideas....and anyhoo
 there was a problem with my plan......Aldi.......yes the purveyor of fruit and veg and chainsaws.
 This otherwise fabulous shop sells cheap chocolate with nuts in it that is just heaven on a stick to eat....and so I do......every night.....and have done for months............
and really? who cares?  As the days shorten and the temperature changes I love the fact that Autumn is the time to hunker down, eat up, and cherish comfort.......bring on the woodsmoke in the air smell and the walks in the crisp frost, followed by plenty of comfort food and I'm a happy gal.
Time to bring out the slow cooker I think.........

Sunday, October 12, 2014

A reminder to my selfish self.......

I certainly am appreciating the work/life balance that a reduction in working hours brings.
I am poorer financially but so much  looser if you know what I mean...less tightly wound.
There may not be the same amount of money in the paycheck each month but my-oh-my a 3 day week is fan-bloody-tastic. Who cares if you can write your name in the dust on the furniture in these here parts......housework is very over rated. As long as the bed is made and the dishwasher is on
then s'all good with me. I do wish I had fully realised this really important fact when the kids were at home.
Sometimes, now, I stand on the landing and look into the empty bedrooms and recall those years when the rooms weren't empty and tidy.  When the kids were in them, either alone or with friends, and there were books and uniforms scattered around and music playing and I seemed to spend lots of time frowning and worrying and dusting and hoovering and picking up clothes and towels, and cooking and washing up and dealing with dentists and school trips..... daily life and work and school and activities and sleepovers and.........y'know.....was immersed in the whole, noisy, busy, blessed, gorgeous, tiring, laughing, crying, shouting amazing familyness.
Which, as you probably know, goes by in a ...look....there it was...gone. Sigh.
And as much as I tried, it was hard each and every day to stand still and appreciate the now..relish the loveliness....relish the love.
So, now, semi-retired that I am, I hardly ever dust, or worry about tidying up.....and do sometimes feel sad that I wasn't a little more cavalier with regard to all the chores etc., back when the kids were with us. That I was a little less tense. I was tired and I didn't have the sense to see things differently back then.
You just do the best you can I guess.
Now, with just the two of us here, the place stays fairly presentable and we devote more time to being just us. I am certainly a little older and I hope wiser...more relaxed I like to think.
So we love this little window of time we have together.
Which is not to say that we don't love it when the kids visit. This weekend our girl is here with us for a flying weekend visit from that-there-London and our son and daughter in law are joining us for lunch later....and I have given some thought to what is important today....so I'm not going to dust or hoover .....but try to listen really hard to the people in my life that I love.
I telephone my parents less and less now (although the weekly visits continue) because daily calls became such a ....chore. Sad, but true.
So. As the kids will be here today I will try to pay attention - to them and what they say.  I know that I'm not terribly good at keeping quiet .... I'm an 'interrupter' and I hate myself for it...it is a constant work in progress with me ......so more listening........more really listening.......because I suspect that one day it might not just be their physical presence I miss.....but the sound of their voices.




Saturday, October 4, 2014

Lisbon....

The sky really was that blue.
For four days.
Walking.
Wonderful views.
Lemon tarts and cherry brandy.
Trams.
Tuk-tuks.
Beaches.
Best meal ever in a small Russian restaurant.
A 40% proof vodka...chilled glass.
Smallest glove shop ever seen.
Fado.
Sculpture.
Cheap taxis.

Suitcase unpacked and passport put away...just for 3 weeks though...when they will be needed again.
So far I'm liking the 'travel instead of a party' plan..very much indeed.

Monday, September 22, 2014

You don't know what you don't know.......


Let me explain the photo.
I am sat in the car with Ma and Pa.
Ma has not left the house for many months.
We have just been to buy her a lightweight
walking aid to boost her confidence.
At the traffic lights I remark that I hate
to see beautiful buildings looking a bit
sad and sorry (this one is up for sale).
Pa says to Ma 'remember that room?'.
Ma says 'Oh yes.....' in a dismissive 'trying to forget
something unpleasant' voice.
I ask why they remember it?
Pa says 'we had our wedding night drinks in there'
Was is a party? I say.
'No....just people drinking' says Ma with a sniff.


Monday, September 15, 2014

Don't think I haven't been keeping up........

In the Autumn this blog will be 5 yrs old and I (if God spares me,,) will be 60.

Ker-rikey.

At the start of the year I was asked if I would be having a party for my 'big' birthday......and I had to compose my face and smile sweetly and say 'No'........but inside I was quietly saying 'are you mad? a party? that is so so so not me'

Party Animal I am not.
As you may have guessed.

I did decide though that in the months surrounding my 60th I would want to count my blessings and mark reaching 'a big birthday' in my own way with all the people in my life that I love, that are important to me, that would have been invited to a party if I were to have one.

So I came up with a plan.

I know that I 'compartmentalise' my friends and family and never the twain shall meet...for example my friend from school that I still see has never met my friends from other parts of my life, and my work colleagues have never met my family or friends etc., and I know this might be a strange way to operate for some people but it works for me.
To be honest at a party I imagine that the host has to spend time with everyone in equal measure and I wondered how on earth people manage to do that......my friends and family are all important to me in different ways .....so I decided that what I really wanted to do was devote some time to each person in a particular way. Ask them to be with me for either a trip or an event or a meal or a visit somewhere - share an experience (or even just a pub lunch)..... and without sounding too Golden Girls here...allow me to say thank you for being my friend....for still being in my life. ...and to that end, and having just returned from a week in Mallorca, between now and Christmas I will be visiting Lisbon, Liverpool, Paris, Leicester, Bratislava, London, Seattle and somewhere else that hasn't quite been identified yet.

So instead of a party, this year I have been saving a little money for travelling spread over some time, instead of paying for a party at a non descript venue with beige food and balloons.
One womans treasure is another gals trash so to speak.
In truth if I could I would also add to that list visits to Scotland, Oakland USA, North Wales, France, Brighton, Long Island, New Zealand, Spalding....well you get the picture....you all know where you live.
Judge me if you will....and if my plans are a little eeugh and not your cup of tea? that's ok...........each to his own.
I am excited about the coming months, yet also, given my pessimistic nature, a little scared.....I keep thinking about the 'make plans and give God a laugh' idea...........so watch this space and see if I can post a pic from each place eh?
Starting with Mallorca......

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Mini Holiday........


The sun shone and the 4 days away from work at the coast was just what the doctor ordered, a little break from the hamster wheel that refreshed and relaxed us.
The 'goats cheese gripey' tum that I had for a few days after the risotto was not great, and the feeling hungover one day was really not great...but the eating out, and drinking and laughing and walking and relaxing was just smashing.



Sunday, August 17, 2014

Very Margo........




A rail of long floaty dresses from the 60's in the Charideee shop yesterday......I forgot to take a pic of the label but they were all by some chappie in London. They were obviously all from the same person and I couldn't help wonder who she was and what she got up to wearing these fabulous creations. In my imagination she had long earings and a cigarette in one hand and a drink in the other .... and the music she danced to was Bobbie Gentry ..'I'll never fall in love again...'
I can't remember how much they were but I did want to buy them all .... perhaps use the fabric?
Gorgeous gowns. With a story to tell no doubt.