This week I have been seeing, and reading, a lot about the Charlottesville debacle. It is so disturbing, and what strikes me is that it now appears more ‘mainstream’ to be such a thing, no masks, no white pointy hats down to the shoulders, full face frontal hatred and bigotry on display. This is not happening in my country (yet), so I am not commenting on the rights or wrongs of removing confederate statues, the nuances of that are better understood by the people who live in the USA, but I will comment that anyone who believes white people are superior to the rest of humanity, are, in the words of their head honcho, sad. It makes me sad for the future to come. I wonder if the irony that the girl they killed was white is lost on them. In one of the articles I read I saw a screenshot of one of their websites, where the leader had written something along the lines of ‘I want boots on the ground at the fat skanks funeral’ and that just blew my mind. No shame, no humanity there. I take exception to the terms alt-right and alt-left. There are no such things, there are bigoted white supremacist groups, and there are people who are reasoned, compassionate, and not full of their own importance in relation to others. Evolved I think is the right word.
So on to how nice it has been to have a sunny day, some warmth in t he air, and some butterflies on my Buddleia and in my garden
and flowers are blooming and popping up
On Thursdays it’s my shout out to blogs I really love, and today I’m going to recommend one of my favourites, Vinnieh whose blog can be found HERE. Vinnie reviews movies and TV programmes, and has great skill at explaining how a movie looks and feels, how the actors work together, notes the musical scores and how the director has used his skills, He’s also adept at explaining how the plot runs, without giving spoilers. He is a gentle soul, but funny and naughty sometimes too, a thoroughly loveable character. Check out his blog and be inspired with which movie to watch next. Tell him I sent ya.
Phil and I went to the pictures on Sunday afternoon, a rarity indeed, but we really wanted to see the Dunkirk movie on the big screen. It was different, in that most of the characters were nameless, and the whole thing was an ensemble of pieces shot in different time scales. The beach part was over a week, the little rescue boat a day, and the fighter plane an hour, which was a tad confusing as they were interspersed, so that parts of the hour in the plane were seen at the end of the week on the beach. Not sure if that made sense to anyone reading but I only got my head around it after the event. We were not too impressed with the beach scenes, everything and everyone was in neat order, but old war photo’s show chaos, and considering how many were really there, (over 300,000 were rescued) there didn’t seem anywhere near enough in the movie. Of course hiring that many extras is probably implausible, and they did use cardboard cutout soldiers, but a bit of CGI wouldn’t have hurt to make it more realistic, I know that’s a dichotomy but there you go. Some great actors in the movie, Mark Rylance plays Mr.Dawson, the owner of a boat who went off to rescue some soldiers, Tom Hardy plays the fighter pilot, not much dialogue and his face in a pilots mask, but the flying scenes were some of the best in the movie. Also good was the overturning of a destroyer and how the water was filmed as it overtook the ship. In the press a big deal was made of Harry Styles playing one of the soldiers (he of the ex boy band One Direction-which pulled a huge amount of otherwise not interested teenage girls into the cinemas) and he was no worse than the other 2 soldiers that were focused upon, competent if not outstanding. I couldn’t find anyone to make an emotional attachment to, and I think I prefer to have that in a movie. Christopher Nolan wrote the script and directed, and he is not known for the simplicity of story telling, and Hans Zimmer did the score, which was quite honestly bonkers and needed to just shut the fook up now and then, lots of bonging booming drums and electronic chords. So we came away feeling underwhelmed. The next time I go to the movies I’ll stick to the Marvel universe!
I have just finished re- reading Bernard Cornwell’s The Last Kingdom series of 10 books. Originally called The Saxon Stories/Chronicles but they’ve changed the name of the series to match the TV series based on the books. These are wonderful tales of England before it was England, when the Saxons had ousted the Britons and in turn were overrun by Vikings, and while the stories are fictional, the historical settings are well rendered and evocative. The main character Uhtred is a joy to read about, a huge character it’s impossible not to like and root for. A fair amount of the plot is in regard to Northumberland and in particular Uhtred’s dream to reclaim Bamburgh Castle from his usurper of an uncle. Plenty of excellent gory fight scenes, and Mr.Cornwell fleshes out the historical characters of King Alfred and his family, and the historical norsemen who he includes in the series really well. I love it when characters come to life in your head when you read a book, and Mr.C really excels when it comes to characterisations. I have to say I have watched the first 2 series on the TV and they are doing a great job, though as always, there is so much more in the books.
The only TV we are watching at the moment is Game of Thrones, which unfortunately is in the penultimate series before it comes to whatever sticky end they have planned, and new to us Outlander on channel 4. I believe there have been 2 series of this on Amazon, which we don’t subscribe to, but we are only on the 5th episode of the first series on ordinary TV. It’s a time travel thing, a woman who has just come out of WW2 as a nurse, goes on holiday with her husband to Scotland (they haven’t seen each other for the duration of the war) visits some standing stones to pick some healing herb thing, and promptly gets chucked back in time to the 18th century and the Jacobean uprising against the dastardly English. The locations are stunning, the costumes really well done and the acting isn’t shabby either. It too is based on a series of books, by Diana Gabaldon, but I haven’t read them, they’re on the list!
As for real life, I’ve been to work but not done much with my cameras, I’m heartily sick of the weather, and caterpillars are eating my cauliflowers.
We had a nice blast of colour yesterday evening in the clouds, but that’s the only thing that has inspired me to pick up the fuji this week.
It was my day off today and really hoped to go out with the rollei, but we had a day of incessant rain, again. Still, I was determined to do some photography, so invented a waterproof housing for the fuji (a freezer bag and cat collar) attached it to my trusty tripod, donned my waterproof jacket, and sallied forth into the garden. Within 5 minutes I discovered my jacket had the equivalent waterproof capabilities of a colander, but hey ho, sometimes you have to suffer for your art. 🙂
The rain doesn’t stop the visitors to the Happy Eater tree.
The weather forecast for the rest of the week is not much better, oh well, maybe the week after will be better!
My first thought is when is the rain going to stop!? Two weeks ago I was sweltering in 33 degrees and now for the past 4 days we’ve had incessant rain and 13 degrees tops. Sigh. I am worried my cauliflowers will perish in the deluge. I need to get a heater for the shed, I tried to work in their but my fingers kept cramping up in the cold so have been mostly stuck indoors doing chores. Phil is decorating our TV room so we’ve got all the windows open too, which doesn’t help, and just about everyone else is going, has gone or has been on holiday to sunnier climes soI’m pining for sunshine too!
My other thoughts have been swirling around the mess our country’s government is making of everything, a £1 billion pact with the DUP to buy the tories a majority in parliament does not sit well with a lot of people, including me, and yesterday the tories cheering at the defeat of keeping our public servants to a 1% pay rise cap just makes me feel disgusted at their ‘I’m alright Jack- f**k the little people’ attitude. Ah the world’s going to ratshit, but really there’s not much hope and all this will mean nothing . At some point in the near future the world will run out of enough food and water to keep everyone going, dystopia beckons.
Apart from all that cheeriness at least my headache resolved itself, so no brain tumour surgery needed this week. 🙂
When feeling all miserable my cure is to photograph flowers and try to focus on the little beautifulness I can create with my camera and a dose of photoshop, it’s good to put everything aside and be happy in the little things.
My outside lily today
and my indoor bedroom flowers
I love the window sill in my shed, the window and net curtain makes for a soft lit background
I’ve also being thinking about my blogiverse and the lovely community of bloggers that I connect with. This thought came from reading Pete’s blog and how he appreciates his followers and enjoys the camaraderie. So I had the thought that once a week on my Thursday thoughts I’m going to recommend one of the blogs I follow and say why I like it. Of course as it was Pete who started me off on this path, his is the first on my list.
Pete now lives in Beetley, Norfolk, UK, a beautiful part of our country, and he moved there a few years ago from London, where he was an ambulance man for many years. He writes very eloquently about his years in London, and also in the day to day happenings in his life in Beetley. He has a beautiful dog called Ollie who is a bit of a character and when Ollie is not trying to murder Pete with a lawnmower, they go on long walks whatever the weather, and find underwear in trees. Pete also writes pithy and poignant short stories, some of which have been published in magazines. His knowledge of films is vast and music not far behind, so there is always something interesting happening on his blog, and the comments section is populated by intelligent, funny, engaging and eclectic people.
If you haven’t followed Pete, do your self a favour and check out his wonderful blog HERE, tell him I sent ya!
Most of my thoughts this week have been scary as I’ve had an unprecedented headache since Sunday night, though headache doesn’t really cover it. Severe pains in my neck muscles and a banging throbbing thing go off in my head when standing up from bending or sitting, followed by a dull ache when it’s finished beating my brain up. I am not a headachey person as a rule so this is uncharted territory for me. Of course I googled the symptoms (rather than go to a doctor) and ended up with a possible migraine/brain tumour/stroke but finally settled on Tension Headache as that one fitted the symptoms better than any of the others. Painkillers have turned out to be useless assassins and so I’ve been ‘putting up’ with it all, but not that well. Poor Phil must have a headache from me moaning on about it. Anyway, today it seems to have settled down somewhat, though I don’t trust it to stay away completely as yet. Fingers crossed it’s gone by tomorrow. The thing that’s most upsetting is that I’m NOT tense about anything, so don’t feel I deserve it really. If I was a freaked out stresshead I could at least accept my fate, but 5 days of it for no reason in particular seems most unfair. Still, life isn’t, and we must soldier on. Phil thinks it was due to the mad hot day we spent walking out to The Toppings (Universe blog report to come on that) on Saturday, as I really had a bad time with the heat that day, and maybe he’s right. No more tromping about in 33 degrees heat for me!
Luckily we in the North only got 3 days of the heatwave that has been sweeping through GB for the past week, and yesterday and today have been back to normal temperatures, with rain due tomorrow, which I quite like as I won’t have to water the plants. The cauliflowers and potato plants are are doing well, though I think something is eating the leaves. I will be off to buy a Bug Gun tomorrow, death will come to the munchers.
It was Fathers Day here on Sunday and Phil’s son Carl visited with two of his brood,
but Shelley and the others couldn’t make it.
Along with the endless ‘Thanks to my wonderful Dad’ posts on Facebook I had a fair few thoughts on Fathers too. I can’t relate to any of it as I never had one. Well not a real one. I mean, of course someone (who already had a wife and 2 kids) donated a bit of you-know-what to my Mum, but that was what was known as ‘out of wedlock’ back in the day, and my Mum was sent off to the next county to produce me so as not to bring shame on the family. Luckily I was a bonny baby 🙂 and my Mum’s parents fell in love with me and brought us both back into the family 3 months down the line. I had an idyllic childhood growing up in the wilds of Yorkshire, my grandparents and Mum looked after me, and when first grandma then grandad died, the neighbours stepped in when Mum was at work, and I never even thought about not having a Dad. Then when I was 11 my Mum met and married my step-dad, who I wasn’t keen on. I loved my life as it was, and where we were. But we went off to live on RAF camps which was cool, a whole different world, and when George left the RAF we moved to Bedfordshire. By this time I was a teenager and I didn’t get on so well with him. After a couple of years I left home to go into nursing accommodation and was relieved to get away. Later on, my Mum found my step-dad kissing her best friend and declaring undying love for her on the stair steps of Mum’s house at her 60th Birthday party, and that was the end of having a step-dad. The only thing ‘father’s’ taught me was the perfidy of men. So I was never anyone’s protected little princess, and I never had a heroic role model to base my future relationships on. I’ve not looked for a ‘father figure’ to fill the void, as I never considered there was a void. My Mum brought me up to be strong minded, self sufficient and independent, made sure I could survive a life on my own if necessary, (which I did for several years) and rely on my self awareness for approbation or criticism. I don’t think I’d be the person I am today if I’d had a ‘real dad’ so in my mind they’re quite overrated 😀
Today, as with the last few days I’ve been taking things easy to try to circumnavigate the head-banging, a bit of house work and shopping but no big movements. This afternoon I did some still life photography in my shed, and was quite pleased with the results.
It’s been a busy day at the happy eater tree, and because I haven’t been too well have had a gentle day and sat for a while with my camera waiting to see who turned up at The Happy Eater Tree. A new arrival today, I think this is a coal tit, at least on the RSPB identifier it’s the only one that comes close.
Boy did he move fast and it was hard to get a decent shot in focus, but these are the two best ones.
There are always blue tits, and also great tits, these are my ‘regulars’,
Also Fatchick sparrow turned up, followed by Mrs.Spuggy who looked at me as if to say “Will this never end?”
For the past few years we’ve had a breeding pair of robins visit, but this year they’ve been very elusive. Today I managed to see one, well chuffed!
and after I got back from the local shop I was excited to see a return visit from the bullfinch at the feeder. I knew if I got out of the car it would disturb him and he’d fly off, so I gingerly crawled quietly out of the passenger door, kept my head down and went round the back of the house, in through the back door and crawled to the window and my camera as he was still there and got some shots of him. Half hour later he was back with Mrs. Bullfinch (I think, as she’s a paler colour), and then he came back again later in the afternoon by himself, so hopefully it won’t be the last time I see him.
All the pictures are click throughable for the bigger versions. A good 1/2 hour at The Happy Eater 🙂
This has been a blue-arsed fly day, I was in Asda for 8.30am and home by 9.30, done loads of housework, & changed all the flowers in the house. I was tempted by more lilies I do so love them, but £8 for 1 bunch that lasts 5 days is a bit of a treat, 3 bunches of carnations for £2 a pop and last for 10 days is much more cost effective. 🙂
Had my lunch, lovely chicken and avocado sandwich in my own home made bread, so yummy.
This afternoon I transplanted the rest of my seedlings, took ages!
It’s not just caulies, theres some coriander and chives and rosemary and mint growing in there, the tiny Broccoli only child is holding fast but not really progressing. Just out of shot is my grow bag with potato’s growing in it. Am quite impressed with how they are coming along.
So far no slugs or snails or bugs, might be a bit early for them to come out yet, but I am ready to go to war when they do. 🙂
I started sprouting garlic cloves then found out it’s a bit late or too early to plant them out for a good result as they prefer colder weather, but I wasn’t going to kill them obvs, so I’ve planted them out anyway and put them in a shady spot, at least it’s practice for when I do it at the right time of the year. 🙂
My shed is looking spiffy,
some nice artwork on the wall by my friends Kathy in USA and Clare in Ireland 🙂
I made a start on Tigger’s face this week..you get a better idea of it if you squint at it through one half closed eye, trust me 🙂
I find I’m quite zen when mosaic~ing, photographing, doing garden things, and am ‘in the moment’ as they say. I concentrate on the task in hand, but it never works that way with housework. I suppose I’ve been doing housework for nigh on 40 years so there’s not that much to think about it. So instead I find myself mulling over the world, the universe, the election, or Trump or the family. Today I had all the windows open to let air blow through the house, and as I was cleaning the West Wing 🙂 the door gently blew open and for a split second I thought Skye was coming through to see what I was up to. Of course then the other half of the second kicked in and suddenly I felt the tears burbling up, managed to stop myself though, and I got to thinking about grief. It’s just another word for pain really. I remember when my Mum died in the hospice, I was offered ‘grief counselling’ but refused, I didn’t want to talk about my grief, and shut it away somewhere I couldn’t get to in my brain. I couldn’t, wouldn’t, didn’t think about her for two years or so after. Guilt played a big part in that, I thought I should have done more for her, been there more for her, and I didn’t want to tell a stranger that. You’re not supposed to do that apparently, you’re supposed to let it out and all that, catharsis and self forgiveness etc. etc. etc. but I didn’t. Not long after she died, Ben moved out to house share with pals, so now looking back I was an orphan and an empty nester in a short space of time. Lonely times. So I moved up north to be with Phil and here I still am. I can think about my Mum now, remember her good and bad bits (no-one is perfect, not even your Mum!) and smile at the photo’s I have of her and Ben, her and me, of her life before us, when she was younger, and there isn’t any grief now. So maybe my ‘wrong’ coping mechanism worked out OK for me. I only miss what she is missing, on her behalf, she loved Ben and I think he suffered from her passing on more than I realised.
I am not a great fan of housework, and that in part is down to Mum who was always doing housework when I was a kid, or so it seemed, drove me mad as I had to help when I had nicer things to do! Then she’d do it all again the next day, and that was never going to be me, and isn’t. My previous husband used to say I was allergic to the hoover, the current husband would probably agree, but I do more than he thinks I do, and nowhere near what a house proud housewife would 🙂 but when I do do it, its blitzkrieg!
Lessons of the day:
Housework makes you think too much
Garlic should be planted in cold weather
Gardening ruins your nails and you can’t transplant seedlings while wearing gloves.
Mostly today I’ve been thinking I don’t like how hot it is! 🙂
Of course it’s impossible not to think about the Manchester Bombing, but my thoughts on that are not so much the incident but the awful news reporting that goes on ad infinitum, as they always do when an incident happens. I find it annoying, they seem to be wallowing in it, interviewing anyone and everyone in a 50 mile radius, a reporter in every town that has a victim, people crying,talking heads, on and on ad nauseam. It even has me writing latin phrases and that is never good for me. I am sympathetic to anyone involved, and appreciate the praise given to the emergency services and all the people who stepped up and helped, but I think this on going news thing only encourages the suicide bombers/ISIS, they must love all this exposure. Anyway enough, I will rant all night if I don’t stop now 🙂
Did I say I don’t like this gas mark 10 effect going on? From 16 C (60.8 USA 🙂 ) to 28C (82F) in the space of 2 days, I need acclimatisation times!
I’ve been thinking of photography too, got my rollei film shots back, and also went out down the beach and shot a new roll on it, love it 🙂 More on that tomorrow.
I took my fuji with me but only used it to take a shot of my old pal Frego. She wanted to go surfing but there wasn’t any!
I also managed a couple of birdy shots this week, my Happy Eater tree is doing big business!
The first thing I’ve been thinking about today is a 3 part series I’ve been watching on BBC. It’s called Three girls, and is based on the true stories of victims of grooming and sexual abuse in Rochdale. It’s a hard watch, brilliantly acted by the 3 main young actresses and with the great talent of Maxine Peake taking the part of a health worker who worked hard to get police and social services involved to stop what was going on, to no avail at first. The exposure of the grooming, sexual assault and trafficking of young girls in Rochdale – and how their case had been systematically ignored by the police and social services for years – shook the country when the scandal was made public in 2012. It eventually resulted in the conviction of nine men for serious sexual offences, including rape and human trafficking, inflicted on girls as young as 13 between 2005 and 2008. So not an easy watch, but on reading an interview with the lady who wrote the drama it became apparent the victims she interviewed wanted their stories told. It IS an appalling story, but worth watching if you have the BBC Iplayer. Link HERE
The second thing I’ve been thinking about is my shed 🙂 and today Frego made an appearance and is living there now, of course she came with Skego, and seeing them together affected me somewhat unexpectedly and I spent a good few moments weeping for the the loss of Skye, I hadn’t realised I was still not over the crying part of missing her.
The third thing I’ve been thinking of is the things that are growing in my garden. I have a plant I bought to put over where Yoyo and Herky are buried in the garden, I can’t remember what it’s called. It hadn’t really done very well over the past couple of years but this year it’s really doing well, and the first flower is out, with lots more buds about to come out too.
My cauliflowers are beginning to pop up but are so tiny yet, can’t believe they will grow into big round veggies
Whilst topping up the bird bath I noticed some tiny blue flowers behind it under the leilandi hedge I’m thinking they are Forget-me-nots,
and under the other end of the hedge I found a little purple flower but have no idea what it is
This morning saw some nice weather so I put some washing on, and then all of a sudden the room went dark, had a look outside and saw this
and decided not to hang the washing out, which was just as well as that big grey monster dumped all over us.
Still this evening we were treated to this
which kind of made up for the earlier stuff. 🙂
Done thinking now, time for a glass of wine and finish watching a DVD documentary we are doing at the minute, which will also be written about at some point.
I’m all about the busy today, we have family coming over for dinner and I’m cooking Chinese.
Yesterday I did the big shop but had to go back for stuff I’d forgotten 🙄 so was up early to get to the supermarket and back home. I got new flowers sorted in the house
and then got cracking on dinner. Chinese food is quick to cook but it’s all about the preparation.
after 3 hours this
I am slowly moving my mosaic stuff into the shed, it’s nearly finished now, just need the sparky to wire it all up, but nice to see my unfinished table top and am excited about getting it done at long last. It’ll still take a long while though!
I love my new net curtains for the shed 🙂
the birdy’s are having chicks all over the place and my happy eater tree is also as busy as me. I haven’t managed to catch a shot yet of our new regular visitor, a chaffinch but caught Mummy Spuggy feeding her chick (which looked twice the size of her!).
So just a quick post, got to put a face on and do my hair and get cooking!