Monday, October 24, 2011

A Novelty Jump !!!

In Burghley that is, and not even in the house.I just hugged the grass and the odd tree like some weirdo hippie conservationist.
I suspect that might in fact be an accurate description. I fantasise about having a little cottage in the grounds, rinsing out my smalls and hanging them on the antlers of my favourite deer to dry.

In this fantasy, somehow the family don't mind my living in their garden and really quite close to the house 
  (well I might need to borrow a cup of sugar)            

There is a slight niggle at the back of my mind that says that during Horse Trials, I might not have privacy  in my wee cottage, though I am perfectly willing to discuss being a novelty jump ( don't say a word!)

Anyhoo, I was very stressed yesterday and so went to Burghley where I happened across Tom Glencross, the Stamford archivist . He said I was very lucky to be allowed to take a photo of him as there aren't many who are!

 He had a huge amount of historical anecdotes at his fingertips and I was enthralled. I feel so peaceful at Burghley but now it is also populated for me with the ghost of King Henry VIII planting his tree, and years later his daughter doing the same.
 I can see Cromwell's army  rounding the house and sacking the town but thankfully not levelling it altogether.
 I understood, honestly for the first time ever, why Capability Brown has such a well earned  reputation. I could never see it before.
It doesn't look like it has been landscaped does it? THAT was his skill.

I saw a gate without purpose

I learned the personality of trees and how to touch their energy; I have a much clearer idea of why I feel so much part of history in their company

Look how much history this has seen.

Bullet holes from Nazi Guns.

Beetle Fatigue  - Tom thinks the bark looks like map contours and mountain ranges now.

What does a sweet chestnut look like?

It looks like this.

Tom is passionate about history and really brought it alive for me. He has kindly agreed to let me be his apprentice for an outing or two. He showed me the bench he sits in to gather his thoughts, the trees that honour the dead,he told me that my beloved boathouse houses the body of (Chariots of Fire hurdler) Lord Burghley

Living history
Double history on a Friday afternoon with Slurper Patterson  was never like this or I'd have passed that A level.
I bloody love Burghley!

I start volunteering at Rutland Water next week -can't wait :)

From Malibu to Tizer

 I lied in my blog header. I was never fuelled by Malibu except for those two times 

No, I loathe Malibu and it's probably because of those two times. Memories can be very sensory-linked can't they?
I can remember the smell of a new doll when I was 4, I can virtually draw you a map of the room that Santa left it in if I smell that same smell now.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

rachel and guitar

write about the above -losing your voice and yourself

Saturday, October 22, 2011

weekend rewind midweek post- post to at the bottom of the garden in a couple of days

 My current incarnation is Postcard Pam Goes Large!  Come and join me there.
Remind me to give you my  things to do with shower curtains list in a bit. Scroll down if you are in a hurry. We might need a laugh later and I think that you must have dozens of things that haven't even crossed my mind. Think on't whilst I navel gaze.

I am not sure that I like being self aware.  In fact, I fucking resent it at the moment. I can live with the 'need to write' bit - that's taken as read. Boom Boom! 

Or maybe an exchange?

I would be prepared to trade it in for halitosis, psoriasis or ferrets. They all have their challenges. I'd still not have it easy but there would be a margin for mischief.
Psoriasis can be scratched and fashioned into a profile of George Clooney, halitosis can be used as a legal weapon and ferrets, wellies and trouser-legs has always been a popular combination for farcical mirth.

I really liked drinking too much and getting flirty (and the rest Spikey) with someone's husband. I don't want to know better! The guilt and self flagellation for weeks afterwards was very nearly worth it once.

Miss Venice Beach by rickeyrephotoHow else would I have half-learned so many musical instruments or very nearly set sail on a cruise ship,  lead singer with an elderly show band?   Oh stop it! I'd have phoned the kids as soon as I was on dry land. What do you think Pot Noodle is for?

Oh, and my shoe collection is to die for, darling! I know some people splash out on cars when they are on a high but not me, I risked the mortgage for sexy feet.
You don't need to be able to walk in them, art is worth more if it's one of a pair!
Still got a scar on my knee from these ones.

But, I used to be childlike and innocent in the boundless joy that I had. Now, I will never have it again because I know there will always be a heavy price to be paid. There will always be responsibility to be taken. There will always be a voice in my head, telling me that I have drifted into the dangerous waters of Golightlyland.
The tiny oases of unfettered joy in the midst of a difficult life, will never again be there without a bloody great fluttering flag that says 'For chrissakes, take those shoes off and do us both a favour.'  Killjoy!

Shower curtains
Have you had a think? Add your suggestions to my list.
Things to do with shower curtains: 

sit, wrap, shelter, fashion into a skirt, have a shower, pretend to be a shower, run a puppet booth, do magic tricks (the floating ball is always a winner). 

Repair a tent, make a tent, make bandages (though they'd be a bit crap) make a flag, lie on the beach, lie in the mud, cut a hole and make a poncho, rig up a partition, provide a makeshift loo door in the middle of a field , tie yourself to your friend so you don't get lost -either pissed or in 
busy shopping malls, shred and use as strips for waxing (ouch!).

Bedding for gerbils, making steam puddings, wedding veil, turban and finally - use for packing your toothbrush, pants and wetwipes in, tying to the end of a long stick and leaving home to seek your fortune.

 Spikey has left the building.x


karma coma/ to be finished les

matty saga -  disclaimer for matty first

people can only do what they can do

wanting cake and eating it.

hearing him say my words and the circle is complete

notes from a small island/ to be finished les!

high up in bed, seeing tree tops sway

on a small island

terrible weather - see dizraeli,perpetual winterland..stop the...but you can't stop the drizzle

buffeted on all sides - wind burn, two pairs of gloves, no summer to speak of , at least in parts, always seems to be a shock to people and yet, teensy bit snow.

I feel like a penguin, making the best of this limiting life, yet leaves its mark (Tornado files post -cut and paste or link)

why don't we move abroad where life can be lived more fully? not stuck indoors with tv's
out smiling, laughing chatting. sarah mac -this 4 u -move abroad

countryside beauitiful tho -love it.

Once Upon a Time in The East Midlands

Christ almighty! What was that?
“Sorry, sorry love”. The words struggled out into the night air in thick, Yorkshire tones. Without noticing the thought, she had the briefest image of her walking boots in November; gathering and storing a little more of the muddy field with every consecutive step. It would get so she could hardly lift her foot with the accumulated weight.  The young man’s voice was like that; it had too much mud on it.
That youth can be conveyed in a voice, she knew and did not question.  The young were absolutely known to her. She had reached adulthood and far beyond without forgetting, even for a moment, the pain of youth. She’d made it her profession.
Laura knew that he was colossal from the indentation he’d put in the tent. He’d fallen into it, stretching the white nylon in towards her and moulding it into a foetal shape of mythical proportions. The tent had welcomed him in like a long lost relative but it was only playing. Once it caught him and had him safely cradled, giving way to his shape like a hammock, the tent had recoiled and spat him back out with the ferocity of a catapult;  her own no-nonsense nylon bouncer. Their tents were tightly packed together and they’d had to be creative to get all 4 of theirs’ together- tiny porches (vestibules they liked to think) facing inwards and fitting together like some giant puzzle. Laura heard her young caller quietly curse, as unyielding guide ropes burned against his skin, then a ‘doof’ as they accepted him into their web.

Post Script
No 2 of my 'Versatile Blogger' recommendations goes to lovely Meg Slater for Project 365. She takes great and diverse photos and counts down each day in her year . She is always quirky and interesting. I find the format a bit difficult to use but there's no doubting that the girl has style!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Polly Wally Pammy all the Way!

Today finds me particularly excited because fabulous Sarah, over at People Don't Eat Enough Fudge
(no stranger to awards herself) has awarded me, both    award and her own Tap (Toast a Post) award for As I walked out one October Morning

Sarah had passed an award to me earlier in the summer too, but I was a novice then and had not- a- clue how to go about passing one on. I feel that I have watched Sarah grow in confidence with her blogging, her prose is beautifully evocative and stylish.

What between the previous blog and this incarnation, I  have now been lucky enough to be given a few awards and endorsements whilst still retaining what must be a record-breaking Teensy Tiny Follower Tally (though I have just reached double figures and am thrilled!)
So, a few things to sort :-

 First of all I am keen to say that Sarah, you are my champion and my hero. With well over 100 followers I can only snap at your heels which are barely visible through the clouds.

Secondly, I am required to give my fave 15 new blogs a shout out. This might be tricky as I don't read enough, but I am determined to find at least 2 or 3 new ones a week to guide you towards, like a beacon on these pages. But for now and first up Robbie at    transports me to another place and time. He's a loner like myself and has taken it to the next degree. His prose is quirky and at times, even gruesome but I am addicted.

Thirdly, I need your help as I have absolutely no idea why my readership remains so small.
Obviously, it may be because I am just shockingly poor at blogging (can we take that as read?) but, I have seen poorer with more readers.
Maybe I'm not many people's cup of tea. I am a bit.. weird.
 But can you, my tiny blogging community - please help me with handy hints for attracting Readers and Followers? Use the comments box after this post please.

Onto ....

Today, I have 3 heating installation engineers in my house. This particular one is called Mark. and he's lovely! He's the proud Dad of baby Freya and little Harry. He is also a keen amateur photographer and I was touched to hear that Mark's very first camera holds a special place in his life since it was filled with photos of his friend who died at an appallingly young age.  They had taken those first photos together. Mark's camera has a soul.
I was intrigued to discover that he is also a member of the  cloud appreciation society  and has sold it to me so well that I may be investigating shortly.
Frikkin' fantastic!!!!
 I'll have to join.

The Three are here because my old boiler     had seen better days and wasn't particularly strutting its stuff when it was young. The lads have fitted a new one, given my radiators a total overhaul and  completely replaced the pipes . It's a grand world; you can entirely replace a heating system but I can't even leave the house without 3 pairs of glasses. One for distance, one for reading and third pair in case I am reading whilst I'm  wearing my contact lenses. Wonder if there's a firm that sorts out middle age?
 The optician did ask me if I wanted to consolidate with varifocals but I reckon it's not only his frames that have a screw loose! I am fine with my specs and my trolley bag for carrying them all.
 Actually, it's a golf cart cos my knees are playing up in this cold weather. Mind you, I am not wearing much in this photo so it's no wonder!

Anyways, I asked the chaps if they wanted to be in my blog and they agreed and asked for the web address. Well, how mortifying!
They are going to spot my 11 followers and wonder how I can harbour such bloggish pretensions. So, if I tell them not to log on till Wednesday, can we make a concerted effort to up the readership please?  Think of it as a charitable appeal.

"A Blogger needs your help this Halloween... what you are about to read, may be distressing. Please donate any spare comments, to Postcard Pam "

 something like that...

Anyway, back to the boys - here they are working away (and they have worked very hard with minimum chocolate biscuits and tea; clearly they are not small and Scottish) and under the delusion that I can make them famous.
This is Mark again. Mark who smiled for 2 straight days, who never sat down despite clearly doing so here, who always went that extra mile when it wasn't strictly speaking what he was there to do (like extend a radiator pipe so I could tile under it and make a removable bar for my cupboard to allow access to the boiler and trunk things that were tricky to trunk)

I know he'll be reading, so THANK YOU and enjoy Friday's birthday celebrations and the tiny shoes.

This is Steve. He's an exceptional young man.

As with so many people who have come to support me with the house recently, I have learned such a lot from him.
I have learned that the Irish can be as softly spoken as though they were singing you a lullaby. But maybe that's just those from the West, or maybe it's just one.

I have learned that the young can hold the wisdom of ages, that gentleness radiates and that intelligence, intellect and curiosity aren't always found in academia.
I have woken today a quieter person than when I awoke yesterday. He has helped me to know myself just by observing how well he knows himself.

Finally, I have learned that he needs photos for his portfolio and  I hope that these are what he needs.

Look how messy this room is - mess and dirt are a recurring theme of these photos. It was like that before they arrived. I have no shame (nor duster it seems)

     This is my favourite radiator as the  little copper frame at the bottom is a work of art :)

He was sitting in a pool of under fridge gunk here! He wasn't vulgar enough to mention it.

Last but not least, this is Scott - another proud father of Harvey and Oliver (6 and 4), resident of Leicester, footie fan and walking enthusiast.
Being Foxes Fans ourselves, he was very welcome in our house and when I offered him Yoyos for the boys, he very politely pointed out that one would no doubt throw it at the head of the other then strangle him with the string.
 He offered to fix my loo for me (after a year of sticking my hand in the cistern and playing russian roulette with the lid, this was tantamount to Sainthood) and he drew me a diagram of the bit I needed to buy.
 In the event, it was the birthday of one of his lads and he was delayed in all the birthday morning excitement - so Mark got here and fixed it first.
Scott was soooooo patient as he talked me through thermostatically controlled radiators, digital timers and boilers. I usually get things on the 20th go and you'd have marvelled at the amount of different ways he found to say exactly the same thing, and with good grace too.
He tells me that Watermead Country Park is for walking and cycling, so I can see a half term trip coming up.
Yep, hand on heart and will all honesty, the job was excellently co-ordinated and carried out and it was a pleasure to have them all in the house.

 In summation
PLEASE !!!!!!!!!! add your tips for gathering Followers in the comments box below. You don't want to be a lonely group of 11 forever do you?

Friday, October 14, 2011

As I walked out one October morning...

Julia and I went for a huge walk on Wednesday.
 Here is Julia She smiles with her whole face.

We meant to have a 2 hour-er. But we had a 4 hour-er. I know what you are thinking......but no, we never got lost. We just forgot how long the road was.

We started off full of enthusiasm for the road ahead and in praise of the glorious weather for the time of year. As I think about it now, it's only mid October and so we haven't skipped winter at all, we still  have 6 months of perpetual darkness to come. But, we were pathetically grateful to leave the thermal undergarments in the drawer for another week.
We saw stuff like this.

And there was quite a bit of this
 And a bit further on, some of these

By then I needed to break out the emergency chocolate. Photographerising takes it out of you.
 I really felt that Kendal Mint Cake was called for but it makes Julia go a bit funny.

We arrived after an hour and a half, at a beautiful village which was very fortunate as we were gasping for a cup of tea.
Extremely Helpful Elderly Dog Walker #1 did not take pleasure in telling us that the pubs didn't open till 12 and there was no cafe as it just wouldn't be able to pay its way.

Later, we begged to differ because we had to elbow our way into the throngs of people that were stuffed into the local shop. Socialising in a queue seemed to be the village speciality. 

We decided to look for somewhere to sit, and found this and it had a bench near it.

But there was a man in camouflage  bathing in the river and we didn't want him to feel like he had spectators. 

So, after taking advice from Elderly Dog Walker #2, we went up here. 

It was an Aladdin's cave of stiles, gardens, purple chicken runs, allotments, tree houses and general marvellousness.
And then, and then......the thing that made my week... We met John Fisher, he was a little bit flirty in an old school way and Julia and I loved him. I started it, I told him I was admiring his building...and I was. So he invited us in to take a look. Here he is.

 He told his rather spooky story of moving here from Guildford only to find that his wife's ancestors used to own the building next door and the farm down the road. He tends not to think about it too much cos he finds that the hairs on the back of his neck stand up when he does.

Here is their outbuilding roof . I am a bit worried about it.
I also went up the ladder to the dove cote - amazing when you think how many hundreds of years old it must be. I really wanted to believe it was Wattle and Daub but Julia tells me it's much later than that. Shame!

Just when I thought my day couldn't improve any further, I met Maureen -John's wife.

 Isn't she beautiful!
They really made our day with their kindness and their stories. John and Maureen used to love keeping quails until rats burrowed underneath the enclosure and dragged the birds down the holes head first. They had to have the remaining one re-homed as an orphan. Maureen misses their sounds at breakfast.

They both look so youthful and content that I can only imagine that their's has been a long and happy partnership. I'm sure that they have had disasters and tragedy and triumph like everyone else, but in my slightly envious imagination, a shared life full of respect has given them fantastic complexions and they move  like waves -separate yet never far apart ; each instinctively inclusive of the other.

I was genuinely sad to leave them but we had to move on before this epic journey saw us snowed in until Spring and so we reluctantly started another leg of the journey- but one of us (me) left vowing to move to this  welcoming and beautiful village.

 On the way out, we passed this

 and thought it was odd  because it was at the bottom of this:

That's when we made a fatal mistake and took the scenic road back to avoid the main road,
because the scenic route had lots of enormous lorries that we hadn't forseen and no pavements at all. And lots and lots of bends. And very tiny verges. And the skeletons of many ramblers who had made the same mistake, flattened into the tarmac.

And the scenic route was 1.5 miles longer than the slightly less scenic route.

And we were nearly hallucinating through tea deprivation.
And we were trying not to be grumpy
And wishing we had made a will
And we had NO Kendal Mint Cake.

By the time we got to the Garden Centre and sat down, we were unable to get back up to go for a wee, despite being desperate. We were overjoyed at not having to put one foot in front of another. We had been walking for 4 hours and were a little light headed - delirious even. 
We ordered tea and paninis and I heard Julia say that her friend's daughter had a knitting disability. 
I took that on board, reflected upon the poor girl's affliction and and wondered for just a few seconds what that entailed.
 Did she drop every 3rd stitch?
 Did she find sleeves tricky? 

 Then I began to giggle.
Then I giggled a bit more and told Julia why I was giggling
and then I couldn't stop giggling. 
And Julia's shoulders shook as she started to giggle, and found that she couldn't stop.
 In the end, a whole coach- load of lunching pensioners were trying not to stare as two middle aged ladies wiped tears of hysteria away just to replace them with fresh ones.
We stopped in the end, when our paninis arrived and we were on our 2nd pot of tea.

Julia told me about the READING disability and we looked at photos of John and Maureen. 

Yes, we'd had a good day.