Saturday, 27 March 2010

Abigail's visit to Leeds

Abigail came to stay for 3 short days - all I will have before she is married.

She arrived on Monday, and we went to Harrogate where we had coffee and cake in a most excellent shop. Then we went to Knaresborough and finally drove back to the flat. On Monday afternoon we walked up to Moortown, went into the charity shops where Abigail bought a coat and in the evening I treated her, Orysia and Ron and Sue along with Joseph and me to a meal at the Flying Pizza. It was a good evening and I enjoyed the company and occassion.
On Tuesday we went shopping for a wedding outfit. I wish I had had my camera - Abigail bought a truly 50s outfit, a deep pink dress (pleated) with a black shrug, fascinator and gorgeous high heels and bag plus necklace all from Monsoon. She also bought another outfit in green which was also beautiful. We bought beads at Yum Yum beads and then fabric and patterns from Samuel Taylor so that Abigail can start learning to use her sewing machine. I gave her a charm bracelet that I had made and I am really pleased that she loved it and that I could make it. In the evening, after we had eaten, we went to Orysia to get Cris' ipod back from Izzy's handbag - he would leave his head behind ....
On Wednesday we went to visit Jackie and her two boys in Otley before dropping Abigail off at Leeds Bradford Airport so that she could go back to Amsterdam. We cleared up the flat and came back across to Wallasey.

I could have gone to a crop to go scrapbooking this morning, but I didn't want the company. I need some time to myself at the moment. Time to think, to read, to just be and rest.

I think that there is still so much going on. Cris is coming back in April, we are going to Shropshire for the period of Abigail's wedding, and then we are going to hear her play in the UK - another few days away. Then there is a lot going on in May - Joseph is away a couple of times, it is our wedding anniversary and I might be seeing cousins, and in July we have the trip to France.

The year is clogged up with commitments and I hate being committed to things these days, even pleasurable things. I like clear space on the calendar. Clear space on the calendar means clear space in my head. I know people must think I am antisocial but I am not. I just need time to myself after a lifetime of teaching and being at other people's beck and call, always on the end of the phone at all hours of the day and night.

Joseph has hurt HIS back. He was doing some gardening in Leeds and over-reached and has hurt himself. I hope he heals quickly. We don;t have a good back between us at the moment!!

"Howards End is on the Landing"

I love the title of this book - although the actual book, by Susan Hill, is a bit of a let down. The idea behind the book was that the author, looking for a particular book, went searching through her bookshelves for it and discovered multitudes of books that she had not read, and decided not to go and buy a book for a year, but rather, read what she already had in her possession. A noble notion! The book is a memoir built around Hill's reading and writing life, and peppered with names casually dropped into the text - she met E M Forster in a library, TS Elliot on a doorstep and so on and so forth. She lives in a farmhouse in Gloucester. I don;t know whether the writing irritates me - or whether I am just plain old jealous of her literary life!!

I wish I could write as easily and fluently as Hill. She has given back as well, and publishes books as well. I have just been listening to a book of hers on the radio called Beacon Farm which was well nigh perfectly adapted. So why don;t I write? I am held in the grip of a huge procastrination, making me depressed, or is it the other way round? That I am depressed and therefore am procrastinating. I do not know. I can't always understand myself.

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Wed 17th March 2004

Six years since Glyn died of a heart attack so suddenly. The memories of that raw time, that almost unbearable grief, when to remember to breathe for another minute, was almost impossible.

We spent the day in Llandudno - a favourite place for both Joseph and me, and Glyn as well, which makes it appropriate to visit on this day. We walked Martha on the Great Orme and from the top could see the remains of the last of the snow (I hope!) on the top of Snowdonia. Joseph and Martha went to investigate some sheep....I had to remind Joseph that sheep don;t have curly horns and beards. They were scaring the herd of goats that live on the Orme, which is a magical place to me, a place of mystery and magic, and where the light is incredible every time we go. As happened last year - almost to the moment of Glyn's death, the sun suddenly came out and bathed the coutryside in light. I hope it IS his way of saying that everything is ok.

I have had a strong feeling of his presence since Mum passed away. After Jonathon had created the unpleasant scene just after the funeral, I went to bed very upset. I suddenly saw him in the corner of the bedroom - I might of course just have been falling asleep. He was wearing a suit and looked very tall all of a sudden and much slimmer and younger. He said, and this was the first time I can remember recalling his voice - "Don;t bother with them - tell them to F*** off!!" - which is just what he would have said, and then - he disappeared.  I have had the strongest sense of him that I have had for a long time, have actually called Cris and Joseph by his name on occassion, and maybe he is here, also affronted at the insult of being shouted at by my brother in law just after Mum died.

Later in the evening we went to Chester and to a talk given by Matthew Hyde, an architectural history lecturer about the new edition of Pevsner that he is involved in working on. I didn;t expect to enjoy the evening as much as I did - but I do love old buildings, and even the new ones that he showed us were interesting in that he explained something of their construction and how planning permission could sometimes be obtained. I love brick buildings - yes, timber frame are lovely and I love to see black and white houses in this country, but I love brick as a material - it is honest and can be used so creatively. It also makes a change from the stone of Yorkshire as we drive through Cheshire.

I haven;t done anything creative this week. But - I have bought some picture frames for some little pictures for the flat in Leeds, and I have found a stash of beads to play with - including lots of findings - so I am going to have fun.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

WIP - love doing this piece...

I have been playing with some fabrics and pieces of doily and a few old beads to make a little hanging. I have an idea all of a sudden for a series of little hangings - with a theme. Inspiration - at last..........!!Posted by Picasa

In Leeds with Cris

Here is Cris wearing a poncho he bought in Mexico. Looks ok.....

And here is this evening's sunset - beautiful.

Martha with a duck I "won" as a raffle prize in a charity shop on Saturday.....its as big as she is, and she love it!!

And here are Cris and Martha together as we go out for a walk. Happy picture....
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Monday, 8 March 2010

Looking at myself....

I decided to take a leaf out of Nina Bagley's excellent blog Ornamental which has had such an influence on the way I think about things lately. She suggested that we look at ourselves and she published photos of herself and I have never considered doing that.

I look - well -unkempt for one. My hair is a mess and needs cutting.

I think I look tired.
But I still don;t think I look as though I will be 60 at the end of next year. So thats one good thing. And I don;t think I look as though I often feel defeated by life either, so that shows that either I am not, or that appearances can be deceptive!!

How does it feel to look at myself? Strange. Sad. But not as bad as I thought it might be. And - I look as though I haven;t quite forgotten how to laugh at myself yet either. Which aint no bad thing.
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Sunday, 7 March 2010

Creative days at last

Well, here are my pliers and a cutter and the little chacha bracelet I am making. I think I have wasted more headpins trying to make tidy loops than I dare admit to..but, its coming, slowly but surely, and next time the process will be easier, and my hands are getting used to useing the pliers. I have read in a book that it is better to take the springs out, but I am not sure about doing that. I have a spare pair of pliers and will take the spring out of that pair, and will try it. This little set is a new-buy from Hobbicraft and I am really pleased with them - they are comfortable in the hand and I just need to stop being so clumsy.

This is the little piece of embroidery I am working on - it hasn;t photographed too well against the lacy tablecloth but I like the feel of it, and have found some nice handdyed thread (handdyed by ME! - one of my dyeing days with procion a few years ago) and gold beads etc. Then I will have to make some sort of background - matting and layering to use card making language.

I would like to have it ready to hang on the wall in our stairway to prove I am still capable of making pretty things even if they have no message as yet.

Very quiet evening. Cris slept most of the evening, woke to eat, watch football, and has gone back to bed. I can;t say I am surprised. He had been travelling for over 24 hours and the cruise he was on finished with late night parties as well. Coming back to Europe from the Carribean must be such a culture shock! Well, I assume it is, as we haven;t really spoken about it yet.

I haven;t heard from my daughter this week at all. Maybe that is because I dared to say I was not happy about the wedding. But I'm not and I don;t see why I should tell lies about it. Come April 23rd, she will be on a beach somewhere and I will be trying to forget and in trying will remember even more clearly just why it is that I can be treated this way - that is - that her dad has died and I am remarried and she would never have treated her dad like this but I can be.

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Cris arrived today......

Cris got back today - it was nice to see him for all of about twenty minutes before he crashed out with jet lag and fatigue - he had been travelling for over 24 hours. And I bet there will have been some partying before he came ashore!!

I decided late last night that I had to do some stitching. I have been looking at a lot of work online with a vintage feel so I gathered together some materials...

Then some threads and a few more bits.

And a few more bits and pieces....

So I hope that by the end of the next few days there will be a piece that I am ok with - not satisfied, because I have so much to learn about design and stitching but maybe it will be alright for here and now.

And here is MarthaDog - taken last week when we were out walking near Harewood, on a bright clear day but very very cold.....!!This is the view - there was sun, but snow on the top of the hill!!

Here is hoping that winter is over and that the warmer days are coming. Long overdue for me!!

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

3rd March.........

Where did the last month disappear? One minute it was New Year and now it is the beginning of March. I am waiting to hear from Cris as to when he is getting back to the UK but as yet have heard nothing. I assume he will be here this weekend, but have no clue as to when or really how long. I hope he has organised somewhere in Amsterdam for a few weeks, but I would like to see him before he goes off again.

Abigail is coming to Leeds March 22-24th.

I am seeing my cousin Annie on March 13th or thereabouts.

I heard from my friend from the Royal Academy of Music, Neville Baird via facebook. What an amazing device for keeping in touch with people, but also - what an intrusive device if misused. But - never mind.

I don't know why I feel so depressed at the moment. The sun is shining - even though there is still snow around. There are signs of spring everywhere - lambs, bulbs pushing flowers up, longer days at last and so on and so forth. But still, I feel an overwhelming sadness that is to do with a feeling of wasted opportunities.
I am trying to evaluate them.
Parents - wasted years and especially the past 5 years which have been truly wasted because my sister Hannah didn;t put us in touch. I should have tried harder. I wish I had seen Mum before she became so ill. I wish I had had time to talk to her, ask her questions. And I wonder if I will get the chance to get to know my dad or whether that will be yet another waste.
Kids. Wasted opportunities here as well. Abs  - its her wedding on April 23rd and I don't know how to even start thinking about it. About the waste of love and care. And my son. And their unkindness to Joseph who has only ever been kindness to me and love. Unkind is the correct word to use. They have been singularly unkind and ungracious. I know it is a difficult relationship to get used to, when mum remarries in mid life, but surely, after 5 years, they might have started to learn to live in this new world?
Wasted time with music. My hands are so bad now, and I can't play anymore.
Wasted time teaching as there is nothing left of a big teaching practice.
Wasting time now as I can't settle to do anything at the moment.
Waste of time hoping for a relationship with my sister.

It just seems that I am in a depression - again - and am going to have to fight my way out of it - again. It was started because of Miller and his nastiness on my father's doorstep, and I will not forget or forgive him.

I was once asked what depression did for me. I thought it was a strange question but then I realised that, in blanketing everything out, it gave me a chance to be emotionally safe and acted as a buttress against the unkindess in the world. Maybe I should just allow the depression its reign, and then come out of it when the sun warms the earth up a little more.

Thank heavens for Joseph. At least he understands and he is there for me. I couldn;t ask for more at this time.