‘You’re keeping busy’, someone said to me to me this week, as if I were a retired person going on serial coach trips.
Not that there’s anything wrong with coach trips. Especially if they involve drinking illicit alcohol on the back seat. And singing silly songs like ‘One man went to mow,’ with custom lines:
‘… three men, two men, one man and his dog, a sausage roll and a bottle of pop, went to mow a meadow.’
Yes, it’s been a while since my school trips to the seaside.
It keeps changing, but I will never retire. In fact I’m about to set up a new [groan, why do I do this?] small business. Very small. So small it barely exists.
I can’t imagine a day spent without thinking, planning, plotting, hoping – occasionally despairing, then moving on – and writing.
This year, so far, has been busy, busy, busy. Not always happily so.
Too many thoughts. Too many experiences. Too much to see, to do, to live.
Better that way, I suppose, than feeling empty. Bored. Or depressed. Though the black dog can still sneak through busy-ness, hiding amid the assault on the senses that is the Western world. Well, the assault that is the Western world if you keep your mind and eyes open. AKA engaging with Twitter 😦
I’ve been in limbo, awaiting a response to writing sent out. Writing requested, not foisted on an unwilling agent hemmed in by Alpine-scale slush-piles.
I dread hearing the verdict: ‘Your baby is ugly! Take her away!’
But I carry on as usual. Except for the blogging which is my release. So …
I’m shedding some tangled thoughts. And pictures.
Please, bear with this bitty post. It reflects my state of mind.
Worlds in miniature
One day I noticed rain drops clinging to tiny green fingers, growing up from the wall between us and next door.
If you’ve ever seen the film Men in Black II you may understand where I’m coming from if I say I instantly heard:
‘All hail, Jay!’
If not, do watch this. In fact, just watch it:
I’m fascinated by the tiny.
I’d like to create imaginary worlds where wee creatures mingle with mosses, live in lichen, frolic under ferns, not knowing another gigantic order of life rumbles around above them. But right now, I don’t have time.
In praise of cossetting
‘Wonderful, relaxing break in an old fashioned, comfortable hotel. They’d better not bare-floorboard and boutique the place or I’ll cry.’
Husk, February 2018
William Morris windows, ornate plaster ceilings, a carved stone fireplace with an imp to keep out the devil, what more could you want?
Well, how about a proper four poster bed (not a flimsy modern one) and carpet. Carpet, carpet everywhere.
Stripped floorboards and mismatching old school furniture have their place. But they can’t do what this does. Wrap us around in a hug of comfort.
A dining room. Solid, old furniture, white tablecloths laid for dinner with knives and forks in place settings and plates and glasses and flowers. Real flowers.
Large linen napkins, unfolded on our laps by the waitress.
A fabulous meal. Even though only two other tables were occupied. A proper chef, a proper hotel, a proper restaurant.
We had an ample gables suite in the old wool merchant’s mansion.
In the misty moisty morning, a view over the valley to the last remaining industrial chimneys and the mill owned by famous thermal underwear brand, Damart.
Wide open Brontë-world spaces, hanging onto winter
Walking on the Pennine moors? No. Hasty ventures out to snap wintry panoramas.
Quick stop at the hill’s top for oval-framed views through the Panopticon. Then back to the comfort of heated seats in our pearly white automobile.
After a weekend of free floating thought, a decision
To print up the Little Match Girl story I blogged two years ago.
The People’s History Museum in Manchester said long ago they would stock it, but it’s still an ethereal thing – and they can’t stock ethereal.
Seven months ago I approached an illustrator to help make it real.
She has done nothing.
So, I found a letterpress printer, fairly local – and discovered a wonderful story, a wonderful place, a wonderful … source of more work!
So, as the tangles become further entwined. I take a walk on a sunny day …
… to the kitchen designer who will wreck the old, install the new
It’s a nuisance, an expense we could do without and it’s not done lightly. But the kitchen is close on 30 years old and so much needed replacing it was cheaper to rip it out and start again (I know, Dale, but honestly, it was the most practical option).
The sky was such a dense blue I could hardly believe it. Skeleton trees were clumping with life, waiting to burst into leaf.
Yes, we’ve gone past the point where my heart still pines for midwinter. I’m OK with the end of darkness now.
And so, to spring
When a young man’s fancy, old men’s fancies, many men’s fancies – turn to…
Can we be serious, now?
Actually, no, I don’t think I’ll tackle that stuff, yet.
I’ll leave dogs, cages, women, porn, prostitution, freedom of speech and gender self-identification (Reader: ‘say what?’ Me: ‘Do keep up’) for another time.
Watch this space for the next exciting rant from one whom some might call… never mind what. It may be some time.
Meanwhile, I’ll leave you with yesterday’s view from the back of the house.