Friday, 26 June 2015

Last Friday of the month

It's the last Friday of the month, so that means invoice day. My first celebration today is that I've had a good June, so I'm sending out some chunky bills today.

Second, the yoga workshop I'm running with friend and fellow teacher Penny has already had a good response, which is encouraging.

Third, our ukulele group played a few songs to staff and service-users at the local branch of Headway, 'the charity that works to improve life after brain injury'. It went well and it was a real privilege to be involved.

Fourth, my central heating boiler has been passed fit for another year. Every time it's serviced, the engineer warns me it's on its last legs, but it looks like we're OK for a while yet.

Have a good weekend, folks. 

Celebrate the Small Things  is a blog hop. Visit Lexa's Blog for the rules, and then post every Friday about something you're grateful  for that week. Originated by VikLit) and co-hosted by L.G. Keltner @ Writing Off The Edge and Tonja Drecker @ Kidbits Blog

Monday, 22 June 2015

How to lose readers

I know, I know. If you're going to host a blog it's very important to keep posting regularly or your followers will lose interest and wander off to read the offerings of someone more consistent. Epic fail, then, on my part: nothing posted since 12 June and I missed last week's Celebrate the Small Things. Sorry. May I offer the following in mitigation?

I've done a lot of work, including covering some yoga classes at a local gym. More pleasing, on the entertainment front, I've been to see Ivory Yardsale in a Northampton pub; Jez Hellard and Scott Cook, Fabian Holland and Chris Wood (yes, the Chris Wood, folk legend) in the homes of friends; my friend Will in The Hook, the Arthur Miller play that has lain dormant for decades and has been revived for a world premiere run in Northampton; Robin Ince supported by Grace Petrie at the Kettering Arts Centre; and taken part in International Yoga Day celebrations.
Girl power
I went into town on Friday to watch the Women's Tour arrive at the end of stage 3, the longest and hilliest of the event. I know nothing about cycling, but thought I should go and see what it was all about, since it's quite a Big Thing for it to have come to Kettering. As usual, I was torn between taking decent photos and looking at the event IRL: I chose the latter, as a result of which I have lots of pics of half-wheels and blurry heads.

The other thing that has been taking up my time is helping my friend Rachel. She is opening a shop called 'Not Just Words', which will be a bookshop - but so much more. This is worth a whole blog post in its own right, and one will surely follow in due course. Suffice to say for now that a bunch of us have been running up and down stairs with boxes of glorious second books and, would you believe, shifting a piano on to the first floor of her building. There has been a great sense of community and we have enjoyed getting tired and dusty together. Watch this space.

There has, however, been some sadness, since local musician Stevie Poole has died. I didn't know him very well, but I'd seen him perform many times. He will be much missed in our circle.

Friday, 12 June 2015

Celebration time

Here is this week's contribution to the Celebrate the Small Things bloghop.

There has been a gang in our road all week 'surface dressing', courtesy of the delightfully named Manly Company - I kid you not - so we have been playing musical parking spaces with our neighbours. It looks as though they have finished for the week, although they will have to return in due course to repaint all the white lines. This has proved a welcome distraction in an otherwise mundane week, and I have been spending far longer than is probably good for me gazing out of the bedroom window watching as one chunky machine after another has stripped and then replaced the Tarmac.
Much pondering.

To my untrained eye, it looked as though they had filled in all the drains (which have themselves only just been replaced), but no! Once the new surface was in place, the men lifted what seemed to be (again, to my untrained eye) carpet tiles, so all was well beneath.
Best not overdo it.
My husband's cold has gone and although he hasn't passed it to me in the same form, there has been something odd going on with my ears for the last few days that left me with what I can only describe as a feeling of 'looking on'. (Mum, if you're reading this, you'll know what I mean!) Anyway, I'm feeling much better today. I might even venture out this evening for a swift half.

Have a great weekend, folks.

Join in the bloghop every Friday and celebrate something large or small. See Lexa's blog for details  or check out co-hosts L.G. Keltner at Writing Off The Edge
Katie at TheCyborgMom

Monday, 8 June 2015

'Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls'

The weekend had a splendid finale. Husband, son Sam and I went to spend 'An Evening with David Sedaris' at the Derngate in Northampton and it was everything I hoped it would be. I'm a huge admirer of his writing and always tune in when he's on the radio (there's a new Radio 4 series on its way, apparently), but this was the first time I'd seen/heard him in real life.

He read several of his essays and I noted with ridiculous pleasure that he read from paper - I know! - and held a pencil throughout, occasionally making quick notes as he went. He told us that whenever he's performed  and no matter how often he's read a piece, afterwards he always tweaks the text and makes improvements where necessary. It's reassuring that someone as brilliant as him is never satisfied with what he's done, though how he could improve on what he gave us last night I don't know. He also  had time for a brief Q&A session, during which he fielded some very bizarre questions.

Then it was out into the foyer for the book-signing. He had mentioned that he takes his time over these because people are just so darned interesting. He wasn't lying. He was very generous with his time. We were about twentieth in line, but we queued for an hour! It was worth it, though. He was so charming and asked us lots of questions about where we were from, what Kettering is like and so on. He was also very interested in Sam's fledgling beard and drew a sketch of a handgun in his book, for no apparent reason. Nice touch, though.

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Festival time!

Here in Kettering we are in the middle of KettFest, four days of celebration of the arts, music and community. To the surprise of quite a few of us, the unfortunate name did not attract hordes of drug-users looking for something special to see them through the weekend. It did, however, bring out the natives to see what was going on and can, I think, be called a success.

On the question of curious names, incidentally, my friend is opening a bookshop in town in a new development that is being let in small units to all sorts of interesting enterprises. Below her will be Blow House.* One can only imagine.

The picture shows a snippet of the yarn-bombing that took place on Friday night. The bust is Sir Alfred East RA, in whose honour our art gallery is named. I think he would have approved.

What has been an otherwise splendid weekend has, however, be marred by the discovery that someone has taken a swipe at my wing mirror overnight. Curses!

*Blow House will, apparently, be a hairdressing salon where one arrives with wet hair to have it dried and styled. People tell me it's all the rage in that there London. Good grief.  

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Where does Robert sit in your house?

Photo: Morguefile
If you were to come to dine at our house and took a seat at the end of the table towards the centre of the room, you would be in Bob's seat. This is because you would be the one called upon to bob up and down to fetch, say, more bread or to refill the water jug. I suspect we may be the only family to designate a chair thus - unless, of course, you know different, as they used to say on That's Life!.

We have other sayings, too, such as 'I'm saving that for Ron', meaning late(r on). And what do you call that timer thing on the cooker to tell you when your dinner's done? Are we the only people who call it a pinger? Surely not.

One thing we do say that I'm positive no one else will is 'Goldfish!' if someone drops something. Gold star to anyone who can work out why.

Sunday, 31 May 2015

A nice surprise

I was delighted when the postman delivered an unexpected package yesterday from those lovely people at grow2eat.com, 'the ultimate horticultural discount directory'. Despite the fact that this sounds like yet another organisation just trying to make you buy something, I'd recommend its newsletters to my fellow allotmenteers. Anyway, in return for a little something I did for them, they have sent me a bundle of goodies (pictured), amongst which was a packet of cabbage seeds. I shall sow them, against my better judgement: I'm not a huge fan of cabbage and I'm definitely not a fan of debugging cabbage before cooking. However, in the spirit of adventure I'm going to give it a go.

Meanwhile, my stock of tomato plants is diminishing, but there are still some going begging. My friends have been pestered to take the surplus off my hands and I've delivered some this morning to a lovely lady who swapped some of my plants for a jar of her home-dried chillies. Husband will be delighted.

Come the revolution, when, if my son's predictions prove correct, Scotland, Wales and Cornwall have abandoned England to its own devices, when London has rebuilt its wall and the rest of the country has reverted to a feudal way of life, I reckon bartering will be the only way to go. Who knows: even cabbage might turn out to be useful.