Tuesday, July 31

Comfort is the root of all evil....

(Apologies for stealing your picture Lorna.)

As I was driving into work today I was in a good mood. I'd had a blood test, and for once the nurse had gone straight in and had no issues.

Then I had a combination of things - a low email from a friend; a meeting with HR; and thoughts about art and life - and here I am feeling that I'm wasting my life.

So what do I want to do? Experience that high that lifts you from the mundane - I find it in art, in music and sometimes in people. I'd also like to be able to capture it in some way and pass it to other people - but I haven't found a way yet. Words turn to dust in my mouth and my hands aren't skilled at shaping. I have my camera, but I don't yet understand how I can raise my photos into something 'real'. At the risk of sounding precious I don't yet have a 'voice'.

Nor do I have the kind of drive or vision that moves people to live in rat invested garrets or live on a South Sea Island. I like my comfort too much - I like my home and my bourgoise life (that said a bourgoise life didn't do Magritte any harm). So am I a coward? Or sensible? If I had 'talent' would I already have kicked off the traces and be 'out there doing it'?

I guess we all want to be 'other than we are'.

Monday, July 30

Hurrah - I've got all my camera bits!

Thanks to my beloved Andrew (who I have many reasons to be thankful to, God alone knows) and The Boy, I now have my camera bits.

WARNING - these pics are huge, but I'm too tired to resize them ce moment and I want you to see what my baby takes in all its glory. I will repent and resize from now on.

Van Gogh eat your heart out!

For those of you who were worried about the cash cow - she is fine as you can see.

No...I don't have flood lights in the garden. This is the BUILT IN flash. Heaven knows what it'll be like when I use the external one!
Why is he smiling when he hates having his photo taken? Because his trip to Cambridge to pick up my bits has been vindicated by my leaping up Lazarus like from my sick bed (just a tummy bug, and I am drinking plenty of fluids Huw) and snapping away like a paparazza. And making noises like Meg Ryan in 'that scene' in 'When Harry met Sally'.

Now it wouldn't be me without a flower close up - here's buddleia by night - yummy colours.


Not sure what kind of plant this is...but isn't it crying out for the Sue Cook treatment!

Typical Saturday

Here is my typical Saturday. Pootle up the road and buy some nice veg. OK - it's not France or Florence, but it's a damn sight better than the alternative. Plus they are LOCAL.

And Anneke and David are really nice people (and I'd have written this even if David hadn't given me a free fig on Saturday).

Then for a coffee...and maybe a little something at The Emporium. OK - this wasn't a typical Saturday as my folks were visiting. Here they are with the lovely Lorna and the alluring Fiona.

Then we head off to the butcher for the Sunday joint and a bit of banter. Martin, one of the butchers is a martial arts expert of some kind. I have visions of him karate chopping the joints up in the cold store.

And then onto the deli for other food delights. As you can see, I was stalking Fiona.

Then I usually relax. My Ma is incapable of relaxing - it makes her ill. Here she is weeding and stroking the cat at the same time!

Blog Slog? Slog Blog?

OK Hutch - here's the proof I've started training again. As you can see, I've even managed to get The Boy going! I doubt I'll be doing the Austrian IronMan with you (you mad bugger) - but I'm on my way.

Should I be worried?

That I had a dream about swimming moles?

Moles can't swim can they?

Thursday, July 26

Crisis? What Crisis?

Bleugh - had a shitty experience at work yesterday. My manager sorted it all out very promptly. I'd say he was a pearl amongst men, but I think he deserves an upgrade from semi-precious, to precious status.

Then this morning I realised that I'd almost run ot of TEA! I normally buy from Cardews in The Oxford Covered Market (this is the 2nd best place I've found to buy tea - the best is the stall in Cambridge market). My folks are coming this weekend so I won't be able to pop into town. There's a postal strike on, so I won't be able to resort to e-commerce. This is probably a GOOD THING as I found this wonderful and very expensive tea site...

I'll have to resort to MONKEY tea (a friend of a friend in Cambridge refers to all bagged tea as monkey tea beacuse of the PG Tips chimps)! QUEL DISASTRE!

So...on the off-chance, if you're LOCAL and can pop into Cardews over the next few days and buy 500g of Assam Tips, I'll be eternally grateful. I may even give you one of my new art works!


As part of my 'reclaim the kitchen' campaign, I made some meatballs yesterday (to have with some tomato sauce and pasta). Once I'd made them I thought they looked like little brains!

They were delicious BTW.

Tuesday, July 24

Ye Apocalyptic Floods

I have been too knackered to go out and take a flood photographs but there are some good ones on Eynsham Online and on the Eynsham CC site (tended by Sue).

29 QS has never been in any danger (but thanks to all of you who called or emailed to check we were OK), as the Anglo Saxons knew what they were doing, and planted the main village about 25 ft above river level. I was a bit worried that Eynsham might turn into an island - the fear was not being marooned, but being stuck at work!

My only trauma has been finding a dead RAT in the garden. I came over all Winston Smith and squealed for The Boy to get rid of it. I doubt that Maisie was responsible as TB said "she's too fat and too lazy". The rat looked about the same size as Billy - so I guess i) they could have acted in concert ii) another is responsible, possibly Pepper, the Eynsham Panther iii) it died of natural causes iv) it was a drowned rat.

It's all go in Eynsham - explosions and floods. As Sue remarked "is it locusts next?".

Harry Potter - For or Against?

Found this on a blog I drop in on and it made me snigger. I have to admit that I DO read the books and have watched the filums (although on DVD not at the cinema). And I ENJOY them - but then I did lap up The Chalet School books in my youth.

Sunday, July 22

North Berwick

While The Boy went off and looked at golf courses, I went to stay with our friends Sadie and David in North Berwick. The camera was needed on urgent golf business, so I didn't manage to snatch a pic of David - however, here is Sadie.

They share their house with some rather good sheep...

...a funky catapiller....

...theri daughter Alex, who is writing a novel...

...and their younger daughter Emily, whose current projects include eating and learning to walk.

They live in part of a big house, that was partioned off into seperate dwellings in the 1960s. The garden is right next to the North Berwick golf links, and beyond that is the beach.

Imagine having a door at the bottom onto the garden...

...that opened onto the sea. It's what children's books are made off.

Now, I LOVE Eynsham, but wouldn't it be nice if it was by the sea (although if it floods anymore I may yet get my wish!) - and we could pop out and make sandcastles...

...watch the waves and the boats go by...

...and maybe take a few steps.

Still...we'll be back!

Holiday highlights for me (in no particular order):

Friday, July 13


Poor cow! Breached by Adam when he needed a pint to get over the shock when he thought his wallet had been stolen!

I meanwhile was being traumatised by Mortimer Bones! "All you have to do is sit in the front and drink tea" she said! Hmm..as she pointed out it's not everyday you learn how to steer a narrowboat and get groped by a man from the Evirnonment Agency (and a poet to boot). Still, I'd forgive that lass anything and she's just got another 3 years funding to look at brains - hurrah!

Tomorrow, A. and I are off to Scotland via Yorkshire and Co.Durham. The Boy is looking at golf courses and I'll be catching up with friends I haven't seen for a criminally long time. I'll also get a day trolling around Edinburgh, which is one of my fave. places. There are two exhibitions I want to see, and I'm sure I'll make my usual pilgrimage to the coffee shop in John Lewis' which has one of the best view of the city and hot chocolate to die for.

And yes, Sandy, the Golf Course Architecture gopher is coming too!

Tuesday, July 10

Caption Competion!

Sue decided being a lesbian might be fun?

Why I'm not an Artist

The rest of my family can draw and paint (my Ma even had ambitions to be a fashion designer). But I can't, never have been able to. I was always the kid at the back of the class weeping over her illustrations (when I wasn't covered in glue and paint).

"So", I said to Lorna "teach me to draw". And she said "draw the same thing for 15 minutes each day"

So I did - and I was still rotten. OK - it's a skill...but I don't know whether my hands are wrong or my eyes don't see the world in quite the right way...or whether I'm just too impatient?

In the end, I don't want to do anything unless I'm going to be good. Would it be an important exercise to keep plugging away at sketching? Or should I just leave it them that know what they're doing?

Sunday, July 8

Carnival 2007

After weeks of rain, carnival day was clear and sunny. It kicked off as usual with Morris dancing in the square. Here is Dave in habitual pose!

My Dad was rather grumpy about proceedings until the belly dancers started up.

After my recent belly dancing outing, I was especially interested in their fantastic spangly costumes. I'd have loved to have stolen this scarf. Must ask Sue 'artful dodger' Cook for tips.

Then it was a case of waiting for the parade. This lot don't look very excited do they?

Maddy wasn't going to miss a moment!

Good to see that the parade was in Larry and June's capable hands!

Frank and Nick were my fave.

Although Frazer has great legs.

Now I seem to remember promising....

...that David and I were going to take part next year...eeek.

I think the sky looks suitably apocalyptic for angels

And here's another one running off with A.

She wasn't sure about this little fireman.

I got to wear Frank's helmet.

Borrowing hats seemed to be the order of the day.

Some things were mislaid.

In the evening there was jazz at The Queen's Head.

But it was all too much for some.
See you next year!