Just Daydreaming…

Do you daydream? Are you conscious of drifting away during a particularly boring task and imagining something completely different; or are you a very ‘present’ person?

I thought I was a complete daydreamer, with a great imagination, able to whisk myself into any number of scenarios where I was the heroine of various situations…of course, I was always tall, slim, fascinating, in total control…yep, completely daydreaming! As a young girl at boarding school, not very popular or cleaver, I was adept at slipping home in my mind, winning loads of prizes, being discovered as the new acting talent and winning Oscars etc…I can still feel that joy of imagining Derek Jacobi ( who gave us a talk at our drama club, and patted me on the head, *sigh*) introducing me as the greatest leading lady of the future…if only Mummy had let me go to drama school, damn her eyes! Hand on forehead at this point please.

The recent photography assignment of film stills has challenged me somewhat, and I have realised that I have stopped daydreaming – that my imagination has somewhat closed down! Disaster!! Why has this occurred to The Greatest Creative Mind The World Has Known….Ahem, sorry. Back to reality. I have been pondering this and have come to several conclusions ( depending on which persona is doing the pondering, Darlink! See Zsa Zsa Gabor).

The nicest reason is that I have such a lovely, comfortable life I no longer need to daydream. Sounds pompous and self-satisfied, but I don’t mean it to. We have both worked hard in our own way to get here, and it fulfils several of my childhood daydreams.

The not-so-nice reason is that if I dared to dream about life with two living children I may just tumble back into the dark. So we are not going THERE! Manga ( my maternal grandmother) always banged on about counting your blessings, and she was so right!

What has taken the place of my wonderful inner cinema? You are on it! I disappear into the internet, FaceBook, Pinterest, other peoples’ blogs…I am actively blocking my daydreams by looking at others’ lives, zoning out of mine without giving myself my lovely alternatives. That has to change!!

According to The Daily Mail ( ok, ok, I know!) there is a group of scientists who have discovered daydreaming stimulates the frontal lobes and brain activity http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2967732/Daydreaming-GOOD-boost-brainpower.html

In this study Prof Moshe Bar concludes that daydreaming frees up the brain to conclude the task in hand to a better standard. If a prof says its good then I’m all for it! I used to be able to control the topic of a daydream…wonder if I still can…last time I really went “off line” was some time ago, when I was weeding ( I can hear my gardener laughing) and then it was an argument! Lots of arguments with Hubby in my head which, of course, I won brilliantly, getting my own way on whatever the topic was…wonder if I can still do it? Only this time it will be an argument with the Project Manager regarding the new dormer roof – I better win that one!!!

What will you daydream about?

 

 

 

Murder Most Fun

 

Have you every wanted to murder someone? or at least plan it?

Yesterday I got to not only plan and execute it, but to photograph it too….

No, not a real one, Silly! Otherwise I wouldn’t be here, or at least not putting this blog up! It is all part of my latest photography course assignment, to put together a story board in pictures of a FICTIONAL story.

Above is my lovely friend, Lindsey, who volunteered to be murdered by…well, there was a choice of 2…Caroline or me. Hopefully no-one can tell from my story board, until the last picture that is! ( in my head there is an unearthly “Mwahahaha” at this point).

Caroline had practiced smirking for me, and we did a few versions of this picture below, but this one gives me the shivers!!! Never cross this woman! However, the catch in the story is that someone had sent me an anonymous letter, and hopefully the viewer can’t tell who did this either.

The brief said if we were cleaver enough we could add sounds to the photos, but I suspect I need a whole lesson on that alone, so I am leaving the viewer to add their own soundtrack.

It was such a fun afternoon! It certainly made my job easier that these two ladies were very happy to be directed, to do the shot several times, to give their advice when asked, and to be placed on the damp, cold, leaf-covered ground with ghastly fake blood ( which stains) on her temple and hair. How directors do this sort of job with unwilling actors I don’t know!

Of course, now this photograph won’t stay put and have the words wrapped around it…another lesson required. Life is full of lessons waiting to be learned, isn’t it!

Lx

The Builders are here, put the kettle on.

Have you, now or in the past, ever had The Builders in? Those of you who have will know how I am feeling. For those of you who have never had this phenomenon, here are a few tips for survival…

  1. Tea/Coffee. Always have a huge supply of these in your store cupboards. They may or may not be needed, but you can guarantee if you haven’t got either of these The Builders will ask for that one!
  2. Biscuits. Now you may have one of those rare Builders who doesn’t eat custard creams or ddigestive biscuits, but I haven’t come across them yet. Certainly British Builders love to munch.
  3. Earplugs. Unless you are lucky enough to live in a mansion where you can’t hear what goes on down the other end, buy some of these. Alternatively, plug yourself into your favourite music…no, don’t try an audio book, you will miss something vital. Ah, you think your noise cancelling headphones can block out the sound of a jackhammer? FORGET IT.
  4. Loo paper….enough said!
  5. Draft Excluders. Dust can move through walls and doors through the smallest of cracks. Be prepared to hoover every night, every day.
  6. Go Out! If you don’t feel you can leave Them alone with your precious house, invite friends over for a Watch The Workers party. The Builders might even join in!
  7. Pets. If you have any Precious Pooches then it might be an idea to board them with a trusted friend; I don’t think they make ear defenders for animals, but I could be wrong… Don’t worry about your cats, they will get their own back in their own way!
  8. Have a PLAN. Know what your are expecting the builders to do and when. Go through it with The Builders when they first arrive, watch as they collapse in laughter at your time frame, and rate of work per day chart.
  9. Cash. Now some Builders respond to the old paper stuff and will do just what you want for the thought of extra dosh. But be careful!
  10. Pills. If all of the above fail, ask your doctor for something soothing, just for a few weeks (months?) until the project is finished…well, add a few weeks onto that please Doc, the final bill isn’t in yet…
  11. Budget. I would have put this as number one but lets face it, the final figure will bear no resemblance to your budget, and The Builder will have given you lots to think about along the journey.

These little tips have been given in jest, as I have a great bunch of lads working on my property now. However, for those of you who are planning some work in the future, here’s the number of my psychiatrist…;-) On the whole our “project” has gone swimmingly, from The Builders point of view. They know what they are doing and when, how long concrete takes to go off, how thick the base needs to be, and how many sugars in tea they all like (2…they all like 2! Makes it much easier for me). The unknown factor in this project is….ME! every time I am told something that makes sense at the time, I am in a blind panic when I try to describe it on FaceTime to Hubby on the other side of the World…well, He shouldn’t have asked how it was all going as He is about to go to sleep, now should He???? Why should I be the only one awake at 4am, worrying that they might not have put membrane down where they should have whilst I was away playing golf. I should NEVER have listened to Hubby who said to just get on with my life!!!!

I Love September!

 

 

Weird? I don’t think so. To me this month means new beginnings. As a child it meant getting back amongst people of my own age, new exercise books, learning new stuff ( not sure I can remember any of it now tho!). As a teenager it meant going back to boarding school (that bit wasn’t so great…I still feel sick in Headington, Oxford), seeing friends again and putting up with those who weren’t.

 

For me this month has never been “the end of summer, sob”. As I have got bigger and bigger it has also given me respite from being too hot. A chance to move more without looking like I have just run the London Marathon, to put on big baggy jumpers that I love, and in the past BONFIRES! I love bonfires!!! Although I  have had to let the gardener do the last ones as they had just got too big, and I got scared of burning down our shed!!

 

 

Now it means the start of another photography course, another drawing course, golf gets easier (when its not raining), another chance to try and lose weight by exercising more… yes, September for me means New Beginnings.

What does it mean to you?

Lx

I’m In?

I am so excited!! I have put in a photograph from our Italian holiday to a competition and it seems it has been accepted!!!! WOOHOO!

Only now they want a biography to put next to the picture…no idea how many words or anything….I will send them an email asking (why didn’t I think of that earlier?) how long. In the meantime I am jotting down a few things, and I have asked various friends what I should include. Have you ever done this, asked friends to describe you? It is quite enlightening; those who include the things you have thought of and those who see you slightly differently, good or bad.

We see ourselves one way, usually emphasising the weaker points (well, if you are British that is!) and almost afraid of pointing out the good things. I am lucky in my friends – they have highlighted some lovely things, and I am grateful to them. I do have to fight the instinct that this is just an ego boost (yes, I heard your comments!) but when I have to provide a bio it is necessary.

So here are my bullet points….

*B.Ed (hons), *Foundation of Art (Distinction), *various certificates of photography from my teacher (Andre Newson) but not sure to include these as not National awards.

Had *2 children whilst working at *The Economist, became an *Amateur Actor, took up *drawing, and then introduced to *photography seriously by a friend.

See my problem there? I start with concise points then the rambling chatty style buts in! I can’t help it!! 😉

Do I say I live in East Sussex and London? Do I bother to include that I run a holiday cottage? That I am lucky enough to travel with Hubby occasionally? Is that boasting?? ARRGH!!! My British Understatement Fairy is ruffling her wings at me!!!

Ok, I will put the kettle on and think about this seriously! I can, if the coffee is good!

What photograph? This one…Now one of my favourites that I have taken. I am thinking of making cards/notelettes of it. She was such a pale girl and her mum was taking the picture. It reminds me of times past, but also of so many windy holidays at beaches.

Ok…kettle going on, thinking cap on, laters reader!

Lx

I’ll Be Good…I Promise!

Calling all mums…have you an only child? Is it a boy? Then you will understand, hopefully, and the rest will just lecture I am sure.

If you have read any of my blogs you will know I have a great Son, aged 27, and I am proud of him for loads of reasons, not just that he has survived the loss of his sister when he was 13 and in the first term of his boarding school without going off any rails.

I love hearing about what he is getting up to in London, at work etc…and he occasionally phones to let me know. As he shares a flat with his father but rarely sees him due to work/social commitments on both sides it’s great to catch up. Nothing wrong with that surely?

(At this moment I have my Hubby’s voice and a few friends’ voices too, yelling “It’s none of your business” . Let me say right off I KNOW!!!!!! but I can’t believe I am the only mum who feels like this ….)

What am I chuntering on about? My son has met a wonderful young lady and they are about to embark on the next phase of their lives. Bless them, they came down to give me a great Mother’s Day after my long drive back from Yorkshire ( another blog in the writing)…great food, lots of drink ( oh my head!), and my son told me of their next move. I am so pleased for them!! I have only me his girlfriend twice now, but she seems kind, loving, and they seem to make eachother happy, which is what its all about, isn’t it.

I think I was good, and didn’t tell them what I thought they should do…I am sure my son would have told me if I’d been a nightmare!! However, I keep thinking “this is what I’d like to say to them from what Hubby and I did”…NO – NOT telling them what to do!!!! It IS their life, not mine, and boy, have times changed!! But not everything has, and I would like to tell them it might be a good idea to rent for a year or two to get used to living together first. After all, my son might have some dreadful habits which might drive her nuts- hIs father did!!

Are you yelling at the screen yet? I asked Hubby how he felt about it, and of course he is happy for them both “but its nothing to do with us”… GRRRRRRR!!!!!!

Am I a sad old biddy? I do have a life of my own, but he is our offspring and I am interested in his life….ok,ok, I am a nosy old biddy for sure, but I promise here that I really DON’T want to be one of THOSE mothers of sons who expects to be involved in every aspect of his life. I know they will chose the best thing for them, and all I will offer is my support should it be needed, a bed and a meal whenever they want; I promise not to assume they will spend any public holiday with us ( as my mother did), unless they suggest it ( although some planning of food etc will be needed…no, no I will resist!),

In fact all I can promise is that I will do my best to be interested and not interfere. I will look forward to hearing what they are up to, but unless its been a month since I heard from them I won’t call to see if they are still alive…I am sure Hubby and friends will keep me to this! However I also promise I will never stop caring for them, and I do mean them not just him. I know he has grown up to be a good, kind, thoughtful chap (he had a good model), and I am sure she is wonderful, otherwise they wouldn’t be together.

Right, that’s me done…I am sure you want to yell at me that “it is none of your business!!!”…

L

Work in Progress

I am sitting in a new venue to write this – my husband’s desk in our study….sounds very posh and business-like doesn’t it, but as the desk is covered in my husband’s stuff there isn’t much room. It is all golf related with a no-longer-used cigar humidor in one corner, books, envelopes, golf rules files…It is my husband in a nutshell. I could move it all off so I can work in an uncluttered environment, looking out onto our garden (split lawns, one nick-named the Gin and Tonic lawn!) but I am reluctant to. Hubby is not here, and probably wouldn’t mind, if I put it all back where its supposed to be, but I am reluctant. It is his space.

Why aren’t I using my desk?? Its far too cluttered, is a drop-down desk, and if I open it I will have to acknowledge there is stuff in there decades old that I no longer need or use…that’s after I’ve picked up most of it that has tumbled out all over the place as it is so full. Do you shove things into draws to tidy up? Besides, it faces a dark wall, and there is an armchair in front of it….

So I have the perfect excuse to invade my husband’s space…and he is in London anyway until Friday as per usual.

I am trying to start a new discapline of sitting down to write something at least once a week. Stop groaning, I know I’ve said all this before! I need to change my mindset, get myself going, set new goals…yeah, yeah, heard it all before, I’ve said it all before – etc, etc! but that doesn’t make it any the less valuable for all that. Humans are always Work In Progress, as a species and as individuals. It is when this process stops that civilisations crumble, stagnate, decay. That is what I feel is happening with this individual, and so I look to the outside World for new influences.

At the moment that is scary, with all the tradegy that is out there. However, as always, thankfully, there are positives going on; humanity helps eachother in times of need, stress, horror, as it should. Let us hope that this continues!! For me it means making sure the world around me is a kinder place, showing those I know that I value them as friends, family, neighbours, even strangers. That also includes myself. It is tricky for those in power to know where to start to make things better when there are so many things needing improvement. For me it is much more simple…I need to move more, get out more, stop stagnating; the need to face the world even tho I am larger than I have ever been, to move more (even though on TV over the weekend I saw I am walking like Winnie-Ther-Pooh with stubby legs), and to concentrate on what can go right instead of what might go wrong.

So as our government here in the UK tries to work out how it can improve the lot of its populace, so I am going to work out how to improve my overall health, starting with a game of golf this afternoon…

Now, please don’t think I have been flippant comparing my obesity to the awful things that have happened in the last few weeks. I have typed my thoughts as they have flowed, realising that I have very few readers, but wanting to share what is going on with me. You can unfollow me if you feel strongly enough about it – I will be sorry, but as I don’t know you personally I am not going to have a huge outpouring of grief on social media. Just because someone does not pour their hearts out on Twitter or Facebook does not mean they are not feeling sadness or horror over things occuring in the outside world. I think perhaps common sense and a real perspective are being squeezed out by the desire to look more upset than anyone else. There, probably that is another unpopular view I have revealed.

Before I loose every single  reader I am going to sign off, get off my backside, and go do something else. Have a wonderful day whatever you are doing.

Lx

I’m Back!

Hello!

Did you miss me? No? I have been off-line due to Jetpack update sending the site haywire… I think several folks have had that problem, but were more tech savvy than me and could fix it. It’s taken me all morning, and several goes to fix, and now I will celebrate by having lunch on my terrace! It is thanks in part to a friend on FB and the site hosts that I managed to get through this.

It is scary to go in and “fiddle” with computer stuff when you are not used to it, even with YouTube videos etc, as they show pages that look nothing like mine, or the addresses aren’t the same…you know what I mean, right? I’m wondering if I should go on a computer  course for ‘almost oldies’…because, of course, I am not old yet!

Anyway, once I have sorted a particularly nasty looking bramble that is in my line of site, I will get back to entertaining you all.

Lx

Oh no…my fault!

Photo on 09-03-2017 at 14.16 #2 OMG!!!!! 

Have you ever had a day of panic when you find something isn’t working, you can’t remember passowrds ( or how to even spell the word itself!), and you can’t get to speak to a human being to talk you through what you think you need to do???

That was me yesterday when I logged onto this site and found it disabled! Arrrgh! Just as The Meuse, who rarely comes these days, had decided to pop in for coffee. I tried going in in different ways, then once I had got to a certain point I would be told of an error in large red and white banners. I stomped around the kitchen trying to wrack my menopause-addled brain for any passwords I had forgotten.

Late in the afternoon I realised I needed to contact my “server”…who??? Isn’t that WordPress?? Hold on, I’m sure I pay an annual sum to some company or other…begins with…A? Frantic calls late in the afternoon to a friend gave me a company…I emailed them, and then realised they are just my anti-spam guys; oh bugger! More help from Jo led me to discover a company under whose umbrella other companies get to host our sites. I had a lovely digital chat with Craig who said it wasn’t them, but try this company; discovery by Jo of yet another company, cries for a large gin to no-one ( Hubby in London during the week ), and then a rummage in the draws of the computer table (ok, so I am not organised and yes, I KNOW I should be! Give over!) triggered a memory of someone beginning with S….SI….SIG??? Ah ha! SGIS hosting! Got it…..

I managed to send them a cry for help, and poured myself that longed-for gin, cook supper, and fell asleep watching Sophie Rayworth finding out something about her ancestors (I’ll have to re-watch it later).

SO, here we are , and of course you can see all is resolved. What? You want to know what happened? oh well…confession is good for the soul…it turns out I had forgotten to pay my annual renewal…OK? Satisfied? Feeling smug? Or have you just checked when yours is due??

From today I promise not to procrastinate, and when the reminders pings into my electronic mail box, I will pay immediately! I am even now making a note of all the new passwords, sites, companies I need to know…I just want to check on April the Giraffe…

Lx

Was it a Heart Attack?

The answer before we all panic is no.

For a few weeks I have been having odd pains in my chest, heavy crushing sensations, and odd pains in my back. I have been put on statins ( oh the side effects!), blood pressure pills, and stomach pills to help against the other pills! I hate taking pills and up to now have never managed to remember to take them for very long, so it is quite a feet that I am still taking them.

I have also had a CT scan to check the old ticker is in place…so much nicer than an MRI machine!! They had to put dye and beta blockers into me to get the picture…and all I can say is I am VERY glad the doctor warned me of the very warm sensation that occurs in one’s nether regions (such a lovely way of putting it, don’t you think?) when they hit the heart!! Golly, what a sensation! It was described as thinking I had wet myself, but it wasn’t quite that bad! No, much nicer! I say no more. 😉

Well, today I thought I was having a heart attack, so I called the doctor…eventually, after using my Nitromin spray, and resting for a while. He called me back and I described what I was feeling. Apparently it sounds like Coronary Artery Spasms which made me feel better, especially as I am alone this evening. I am sure if there had been another person here I wold have ignored the pain and just worried. We are still awaiting the results of the scan, but I am assuming it is not bad otherwise they wouldn’t have let me leave the hospital, would they!

So tonight, I shall be kind to myself. I will light the wood burner in the study, make some fab veg soup for supper, and put on the new Jason Bourne film ( which my men have already watched WITHOUT ME!!!) My dog beside me, a warm drink and Mat Damon…what more can a gal want?

I am so glad I made that call.

Lx

Leaky Ceiling!

Oh Boy! What a weekend I have had! Yes, this is a very First World problem, and before I go any further I will say how grateful I am for the ability to have this problem, and the ability to solve it – but BLOODY HELL!!!!

This past weekend was one of those Golfing Guests weekends when Hubby has a competition and I play hostess and taxi service to the gentlemen. I love sharing our home with these men, who are generally very grateful, interesting to talk to, and highly intelligent. I have known most of them for about 15 years now and they always make me feel a great hostess.

We had had one Peter for Friday night, supper and Saturday breakfast (cooked). He and Hubby left at 8am and I pottered around until 10am when one of the wives ( and wife of our best man) came to visit for the day – We don’t see each other often but its always lovely to catch up.  We spent the morning at Great Dixter Christmas Fair http://www.greatdixter.co.uk as we sometimes do, and came home for lunch and to continue our chat. As I laid the kitchen table I noticed the runner was damp ( I don’t normally have one on, but I was feeling posh!) I looked up to find drips coming from the light fitting above. Long (very very long) story short, I couldn’t turn off the mains, I couldn’t get a plumber immediately, and after a lunch of watching the drips and feeling it was a little like water torture, my friend left early.

The first emergency plumber who was supposed to come between 1pm-5pm called at 4.45pm and said they would wouldn’t make it but could on monday morning. I booked them in and called another…they said they would be there asap and would text when on their way….nothing. When Hubby and guest no.2 came home they couldn’t turn off the stopcock either! SO I served them tea and toast, drove them to their dinner and collected them later…and still no plumbers.

Even the insurance company could not get an emergency plumber for that day. Sunday morning a lovely chap came from Plumber Emergency Company no2 – turned everything off, did as much as he could to try and work out which pipe was leaking, and left us Sunday afternoon none the wiser but al least the drip had stopped, and we knew it was not from the mains, so we had running water in the kitchen and one loo.

Hubby went to work unshowered ( he used his gym at lunchtime) and I soldiered on until a knight in shinning armour turned up at 4.30, and within discovered the leak – from a loo above the kitchen that is only occasionally used! I felt like hugging him, but left him unmolested, and instead enjoyed a long bath in celebration.

Now begins the chore of getting the ceiling and the lights sorted. We will be extremely lucky if it is done before our next golfing guests arrive in the first week of January, but to be honest I don’t care! The water torture is over and the insurance comapny has said they will pay for repairs. Woohoo!

At least I now where my stopcock is!

Lx

 

 

So, What Now?

What was your reaction to Trump being elected? I’m British, so we have had our “moment” with Brexit…I panicked, I cried, I thought it was the end of our country ( well, I am a dramatic one!), I had an awful moment with my friends who had voted differently from me…one of my very rare bursts of anger…and then the sun rose again, we got over it, we are getting on with sorting out our political situation here, for better or worse. My friendship with those gals has survived.

So, I watched the US Election …well, the end of it – that 4.30am wake-up that quite a few women of my age suffer. I panicked, I thought about the end of the world, I made tea, the World settled down in my house, and I breathed again. I am sorry for Americans, but then I remind myself there must be checks and balances within their system that will mean Trump will not be able to bomb anyone without his team behind him, allowing it.

This is where any American readers, or those better informed than myself will be yelling at their screens and telling me just how wrong I am; but my point is ( yes, there is one!) the world keeps turning, and it is now up to us, whoever we are, wherever we live, to make sure our bit of the world is a good one….

Be kind to each other PLEASE!!!

Do not HATE someone else ( or yourself)

Lets make our bit of the world the best we can…Small steps, small actions can mount up into one big action.

Yes, its one of those posts…you don’t have to like it, but I felt the need to write it! Breathe, and think. Breathe and act.

Go be awesome!

Lx