Sunday, 17 September 2017

Moments in time

Odd how one static image can bring back everything to you in a sensual deluge.
We're all so used to firing off rounds of digital images, most to be discarded on a dusty corner of the computer somewhere, but occasionally there are one or two that completely capture a particular moment.
When I look at this picture - taken in Bordeaux on a searingly hot day in August - everything streams back to me: traffic noise, laughter from people standing in the 'mist fountains' near the river, scents of summer-weary vegetation, the heat rising from the crossing I was walking on, and that strange extra jolt of happiness of a moment in time - me with camera, two guys in a vintage Renault with a sunflower.


Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Building No 60

I'd slightly forgotten about my sub-blog of buildings but this sighting of a bungalow around Bournemouth somewhere had to be recorded.
Luckily I was on a bus otherwise I might have been compelled to ring on their doorbell (which must have a tune - I wonder what . . . something minimal; a simple, 'ding-dong'?) and ask if I could see the interior of the house. Judging by the 'garden' I could imagine a house full of carpet and armchairs covered with plastic; a lonely microwave in the kitchen and a freezer full of ready meals . . . or not. Perhaps it's an orgy of colour, musical instruments, stolen Fauvist paintings and a pantry full of home-made conserves. How fascinating it would be to see behind those flowery net curtains.
I wonder what the garden once might have been like when the bungalow was constructed in the 30s (?), certainly not an airport runway - how could anyone want/need so much tarmac? and where are the fleet of cars that require the tarmac?
Or . . . this could be some sort of alien observation craft; look at the plinth the building sits on - almost unconnected to the ground as if ready to move off in the bleak early hours to another suburban destination. So, maybe no carpets and armchairs, just banks of bleeping equipment, harvesting the movements of city-dwelling Sapiens.

Friday, 8 September 2017

Nope . . .

Cream-tea diet does not work. (See last post) 'Gosh, really?', you may say with a wry and ironic smile. Yes. I put on about 2 pounds in eight days, even though I was fairly active.
Oh well, back to the reasonable-sized breakfast (egg on toast) larger lunch - stir fry/curry, or similar, and small supper, salad/soup . . . maybe a small piece of buttered toast, bitsy bit of cake, and no wine, or at least one small glass.
If I do this, I can keep to my desired - or at least, getting-into-favourite-trousers weight, while my lanky husband laughs and crams as much cake into himself as he pleases.


Yes, strange, and unfair. Mark can still get into the pair of checked  flared trousers he had when he was eighteen that we found at his mum's house. 

Thursday, 7 September 2017

The Cream Tea diet

I'm trying this one out . . . or was. I've just spent seven days with Mum back in the UK, mostly wheeling her around tea-shops between downpours.
It's a guaranteed brightner - 'oo, lets have a lovely cup of tea, AND a scone, jam and cream'. Whatever the prevailing mood - and being trapped in a care home doesn't make for elation on the whole - Mum rallied with the sight of the afore-mentioned calorie-laden trio being placed on whichever tea-room table we happened to be sitting at. As did I. Really, what can be more wonderful than a good cream tea, and I think I could be now classed as an expert.
Cake . . . well, you just eat it, really, but the scone thing allows for a bit of architecture and sculpture, cutting at the right point, spreading the jam, heaping on the cream, and then not dropping the whole thing if it's all fluffy and crumbly . . . Hm, could I have become obsessed?
I reckon, and I could be wrong, that if you eat a sensible breakfast, a not too calorie-stacked lunch and a light salad/soup/stir-fry in the evening, the cream tea can be wedged in at about four 'o'clock and not make a great difference to the flab - especially if, as I was doing, you walk up and down hills, push heavy objects about, and worry a lot.
So. Tomorrow morning, I'll do a weigh-in and may regret my greed, or not . . . could be the next fad.


Café at the Priest's house museum in Wimborne, Dorset. Good museum, divine garden, handsome tea-room, friendly staff and 50p second-hand books. Got a great one printed in 1935 - 'trees of the wayside' Scone rating: 4 stars


                            tea-room with a view (Branksome Chine, Poole) Scone rating 4 stars


               The reliable 'Cloister's' tea-room in Wimborne, Dorset. Scone rating 5 stars.

Monday, 4 September 2017

We know how to have fun

The British on the beach.
Took me back to summer holidays with my nan. We'd sit on the sand near the beach wall; her with her chiffon scarf pulled tight over lilac-rinsed hair, fag in the corner of her mouth and copy of the Mirror flapping in the sandpaper wind haring down from the West. We didn't have a wind-breaker but we did have a thermos and checked blankets. I loved it, especially when she promised chips on the way back to her bungalow.


Thursday, 31 August 2017

Plastic rant

Again . . .
A couple of posts back I'd gone on about the overuse of plastic, mainly in the form of containers in the home. This is a following rant about water bottles and the encouragement to buy them constantly by the manufacturers - not exactly the right word . . . the gatherers/ robbers? of water itself. Actually, do Evian/Perrier/Buxton, etc, etc have nature's go-ahead to take water, encase it in plastic and sell it to us? Anyway, they do it, and we buy it - a million bottles a minute as a rough estimate (Guardian), bought and discarded.
On a long, cross-city trip yesterday, I decided not to buy a bottle, or even carry a re-used bottle. It was fine. I drank a mug of water, topped up with another in a café along with a cup of tea, peed on the train (in the correct place) and arrived hours later at my destination perfectly hydrated - wee still the right colour and no headache. Sorry for the bodily info, but I do wonder if we all get so bludgeoned with info about fluid intake that it's become a sort of mania - fuelled by the bottled water companies.
Yes, it's vital to drink enough unflavoured and unsweetened water but most (unless you are in somewhere that doesn't have the privilege of good sewage systems) tap water is perfectly good, more than good. We are so bloody lucky to be able to turn on a tap and drink.
Take a bottle of tap water with you - a small glass one, or a fancy little designer bottle for that purpose; resist the urge to buy another small plastic bottle with a special 'feeding stopper'. There's something slightly repulsive about those, to my mind - an ever-ready 'teat' to suck on, made of even thicker plastic.

So, now we are brain-washed into feeling fresh mountain water must be available at every second of the day, what about other ways of companies providing it while still making money?
How about . . . large, (preferably, metal) water containers - a bit like the office ones only bigger, stationed in shops, in stations, everywhere that we normally buy bottles. You could pay, say ten pence for a paper cone of water, throw it in the recycling box and go on your way, happily re-hydrated and free of to carrying anything extra. Companies could jostle/bid/share (ha-ha) for who was positioned where; there'd be less ferrying water about, less plastic at every step, less waste, less space taken up in shops . . . simple! Better still, would be the re-introduction of free water fountains everywhere but then the massive bottled water industry would squirt to a gradual halt - not going to happen. But maybe it has to along with so many other huge changes we need to make to halt the environmental mess we are already in.


Saturday, 19 August 2017

Last gig for The F.E.W?

or maybe not.
I hope they may get together from time to time, my lad and the others to have a mad intensive rehearsal and then perform where they all first got together in our small French town.
The end of an era . . . Ezra off to Bordeaux, and the other two F.E.W members, William and Freddie in Toulouse. Many happy memories and great to see their progress from a few tentative number's in Carl and Lisa's garage to energetic and captivating performances for various town and village fetes over the last three years.