Saturday, 22 October 2011

Falling Down 1.

Funny old thing Falling down, if you do it often enough, which I do you don't seem to hurt yourself. I watched Miranda Hart on the Jonathan Ross show tonight demonstrating her skill at the comedy fall and was reminded of the many laughs I have had while falling A**e over t*t.
Award winner: Miranda Hart swept the board at the British Comedy Awards for her partly self-deprecating show, Miranda, about a single woman who runs a gift shop
Over the years I seem to have made a habit of falling over. One minute I am walking along chatting ( sober I might add) and the next I am on the floor. Where it not for the fact that my falling is accompanied by sound affects I am sure my companions would just carry on walking leaving me un-noticed lying on the floor.
I have to date fallen over a crack in the pavement, My own feet and a small pebble. I have while on a weekend break to Bath with friends skated down a field loosing all the loose change in my pocket and landed in a cow pat, Hubby and friends, Jenny and Eddy, could hardly stop laughing long enough to help me up.
Whilst walking home from Our Local Indian Take away I Managed to trip over a puddle, practically somersaulted before hitting the deck, accompanied by my traditional ooooooooo! and ended up seated on the pavement while hubby picked up both myself and our Curry supper, both remarkably in one piece.
While walking home from work with my friend I have fallen so many times that tonight when I stopped to rearrange my bag with a small ooh Sarah automatically whipped round expecting to find me on the floor.
I am not sure how I end up on the floor, funny knees, weak ankles, problems with my ears or just plain top heavy but I just cant stay on my feet. I think that maybe I too have turned falling down into an art form.
Luckily, thanks to my teenage judo classes I am sure, I have learnt to roll.

Friday, 21 October 2011

New Dog in da House.

I can see right up your nose from here.
How can she resist me.

We have a new Lodger, we were asked by an old friend to home Jade, a one year old Stafford Girl. After some deliberation we decided to bring her home on a weeks trial to see how she got on with Monty. A big mistake, she is adorable. She was at first very nervy, growling at poor Monty every time he moved, but he calmly rerouted where possible and continued to be his usual good-natured self. Now one week on she has helped herself to his bed, his toys, his food bowl and anything else he once considered his own and they now seem to be joined at the hip. I think they will be good house mates.
Looking Guilty? Just demolished the rug.
Jade must now be Spayed as soon as possible as the last thing we need is puppy's, which has set me thinking maybe the way forward in dog protection is a fund to neuter  bitches or possibly pay people to have their Bitches  spayed? This would reduce considerably the number of unwanted pups looking for homes and increase the chance of finding loving homes for older Dogs. To have Jade spayed is a huge expense and I am sure an unaffordable one for many people it will be a stretch for us. I am sure many people who take on a cute little girl puppy even think ahead to the day when she will be mature and have no idea how determined to be mated they can be. Each day I receive a list of homeless, desperate  dogs from  I am sure that Doggy  Birth control is the answer. I have searched the Internet and can find many charity's that help with vet costs but all stop at neutering, why?

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Huston, I think We have a Problem.

Does my bum look big in This
Poor Doris had a prolapse, in layman's terms her bum fell out!
I let the hens out of the coop for a run and her bits had fallen out of her vent. My first reaction was oh my god, what on earth is that because she had  a swelling the size of a Golf ball hanging out of her. Ahhhhh the internet must have the answer? After much surfing I came across and this seemed to have all the instructions I needed.
Admittedly I was a bit short on some of the Materials
*Flexiguard bandage (equestrian product), or any bandage that sticks to itself and has elastic material? Nope but I do have a crepe Bandage and a safety pin
*Haemorrhoid cream, thats ok big tube of Preperation H upstairs
*Surgical pad? Oh dear, Sadly I seem to have a rather inadequate first aid kit. But… i do have a panty Liner.
*Surgical gloves? luckily I am good at improvising so one of the dogs poo bags worn over my hand will have to do.   Poor Doris, Her bum Fell out!Right equipment gathered, what next. It seems I must stick my finger in Poor Doris and poke her prolapse in. OOOOOH I am not sure I can do this,but what are the alternatives? Another hefty Vet bill or Wring her neck? Not sure I can do this either, so back to the internet. After some lengthy research and having read many smallholders forums it would seem that this is not an  uncommon event in the chicken world and  many have home helped their hens.
Don't worry Doris I will be very gentle.
So there  I was, Knelt on the lawn on an unseasonably Warm October day.Hen between my Knees with its head up my skirt so she doesn't struggle, Poo bag, generously lubricated with the preparation H on Hand with Nurse Monty happily leaping around eager to assist.                                                                         Monty thought he might like to helpRight, Gently push the prolapse back in inserting your finger a few centimetres. I took a deep breath and went for it,. Doris wriggled a bit but actually it wasn't too bad, nowhere near as gruesome as i had expected. Doris did her damdest to push both the lump and my finger back out which was a bit weird, but I began to feel quite confident that I could do this, but every time I took my finger out the prolapse came back out.
Back to the little Hen instructions, if only I had fully read these in the first place. Push it in then hold the vent closed for five minutes.
OK back in the kneel, Chicken, Skirt formation, I poke Poor Doris's  bits back inside her and hold closed the vent, Which from this position I can only describe as looking like A female Chicken Foreskin, if you get the picture? Stage two requires that I put more Ointment on the pad hold it in place over the vent while securely bandaging it in place so that the prolapse is unable to escape. This, the web site suggests is a four handed procedure, I unfortunately only have Two and a very unhelpful Canine Nurse. Now as anyone who has tried it will tell you, Bandaging a chicken is not easy. The Bandage unravelled all over the place, Doris was doing her Squawking best to escape my clutches and me two hands short when Nurse Monty decides to chase an imaginary cat out of the Garden, pulls a muscle in his leg and Joins the cacophony, Yelping and squealing in pain. Summoning as calm a voice as I could manage I persuaded him to lay down until I could get to him. Having secured Doris’s  truss with a big safety pin I stood back and couldn't help but giggle as she staggered about in her new Pants! It Would seem that without Her wings for balance she cant stand properly and every few steps resulted in her laying on her side unable to get back up. For her own Protection I put her in a Big Cardboard box and the next Morning took off her bandages in case she needed to lay an egg. Not quite healed but improved we kept her on her own for the day in case the other, somewhat brutal hens, decided to peck at her. Any wound or scratch seems to be fare game to them.
I am now pleased to report that after a repeat procedure the next night Doris is now Fixed! Monty is still Nursing a sprained leg as he will Not stop charging about, but now is on a course of very expensive anti-inflammatory  stuff from the Vet.
Today I am a Chicken Fixer!

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Seagulls Show (January, 2011) « photographyofnia

Seagulls Show (January, 2011) « photographyofnia. Once again I am reminded of an everyday thing that I take for granted. Why have I not seen the Charm of these birds before? Pay a visit to this site to see stunning views of a beautiful city.

Monday, 12 September 2011

I have a new Guitar and I will play it if it kills me.

Well I finally have a guitar, it has been on my Christmas list for about three years and clearly nobody was going to buy it for me so I bought it for myself.
Now those of you that don't know me may be thinking go for it Answer-seeker, but this purchase was met by my friends and family with much eye rolling. Even my eldest son who is normally very  encouraging expressed doubts about my staying power.                                                            
Now I admit I do have a bit of a reputation for starting new projects and once I have set my mind on having a go at something I can't rest untill my curiosity is satisfied.I have grown veggies, spent hours watercolour painting, knitted , sewed clothes toys and soft furnishings, sketched, embroidered, and kept Chickens, Baked Pizza  but stopped short of building a pizza oven in the back garden. I have tried my hand at writing, poetry, photography, icing craft, yoga and aerobics, I also joined the gym briefly. I have tried catching crayfish, I actually temporarily gave up on that one, too much red tape! I have combed the beach for Razor clams, scoured the woods for Fungi and have filled the house with home-made chutney and am currently planning cheese making with my brother.  I was explaining my new hobby to a friend the other day, she said she was the same but wasnt very successful at many of them assuming that I was the same, she seemed quite taken aback when I said that I hadn't yet found anything I couldn't do as in my mind I haven't yet given up on the crayfish and the elusive Razor clams.I did go to the Gym several times a week busting a lung on the cross trainer and Rowed from Egypt to Saudi Arabia on the rowing Machine as well as many other very successful projects. My problem is that once I have succeeded in my challenge, it is no longer as attractive. There is always some new experience on the horizon. I keep searching for that one thing that is so fulfilling that I don't want to stop, something I can excel at. I don't want to leave it too late, to suddenly look back and wish that I had tried new things, I don't want to waste a single opportunity to find the one thing that makes me feel complete.
But I am determined to prove them all wrong, so have enlisted the help of a very nice young man at . I have had my Guitar a week now, having "won" it on , in itself a very exciting experience. Driving toFolkestone in a terrible storm and fighting  my way through Operation Stack to collect it, I did begin to wonder if even the gods and police where trying to prevent me learning Guitar. Well I finally got my prize home and waited for a solitary moment to have my first try. Having already hunted him out I loaded Justin on my PC and found that I could actually tune my new best friend (sorry Monty, second best friend).

After one week I can almost play D, A and E chords by feel, although not completely tuneful and today I have managed a chord change! I have fingers so sore that they are almost numb,I have kept my back straight and my shoulder relaxed, I have taken the ridicule in good spirit and have practiced daily following Justin's instructions. But you know what? I think I might be able to do this. Watch this space doubters!

Tuesday, 26 July 2011


Margaret thought she was a mermaid,
A Siren of the Ocean.
Her womanly curves and flashing smile,
Many a heart had broken.

A mermaids charm lies in her laugh,
A flirting girlish Giggle.
In Margaret's  case this was replaced 
By a deep and salty chuckle.

Margaret Thought she was a Mermaid,
As she strolled along the beach.
The sultry sounds of a mermaids song,
Did not compare to her piercing screech.

Her piercing voice so highly tuned,            
That only dogs could hear it.
Rang long and strong in a tuneless song,
As along the sand she tripped.

Margaret thought she was a mermaid,
A woman of the sea.
Her eyes where bright, her hair was long,
but alas had feet where her tail should be.

She wanted pearly glittering scales,
And a bra made of crustaceans.
And Glistening, sparkly, shiny gems,
That had been polished by the jetsam.

Margaret had no tail to flap about,
It really was a sin.
But what a waste one would have been,
she'd never learnt to swim.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Today I am Going to be an Artist?

Well staycation over now, back to work. Just in case anyone is interested Beach Art, My final holiday project went well. I will need time to write it up but here is a little Taster.

Scrapbook - Tide, Time and living in the now. 

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Chicken Pie.

On Thursday, as part of my staycation experience week I decided to be a Baker. Nothing very unusual there, this is something I do regularly and although I enjoyed the experience I didn't think there was very much to share with you all, so decided not to write about it.
The next day I went out with Doug and Monty for a walk and got to discussing my earlier post from The Turner Gallery. We talked about how you can look at something and not really see what is in front of you unless you look more deeply and take moment to think.
Oak Leaf
A leaf on the pavement is just another leaf until you really look, See the veins that run through it and as you look closer more tinier veins that carry nutrients to its tip. What wondrous symmetry natures programming has put in place to repeat this form over and over again and the texture and colour as you gently rub your thumb over its surface is not fully acknowledged untill you make a conscious effort to see it. We talked of how the simplest of things give you pleasure but often experiences and opportunity are taken for granted. So I am going to share my baking with you.
10 oz of self-raising flour,I sieve this vigorously into a bowl, gentle clouds billowing above and covering the kitchen worktop, hands, in fact anything within its range with a fine dusting, getting finer towards the edges like a soft powdery illustration of a nuclear fallout pattern. Quite appropriate really as hubby always says the kitchen looks like a bomb has hit it after I have been there.
5 oz of margarine straight from the fridge cold and tacky in my hand. I cut it into pieces which create little craters as they plop into the flour, forming their own little cloudburst of wheaten smoke.Girl sieving flour
The salt hard and crystalline, sparkling in the sun that shines through the kitchen window  goes in next, 1 tsp. Then in with the hands, the flour cold and soft at the same time on the backs of my finger as they plunge into and under, reminding me of  the soft down on my Mothers cheek as I gently stroked it to say my last goodbyes. Cold and Hard usually go together like Ice, cold and soft i find unusual.  I select the first pieces of fat to be gently squeezed and rubbed between my fingers and thumbs, Like Fagin testing the quality of a silk Handkerchief newly picked from a rich mans pocket. The flakes that flutter gently down from between my fingers getting smaller and smaller as I plunge my hands again and again into the now warming flour, repeating this motion until only small fine crumbs are present in my shiny metal bowl. I am unable to complete this task without making a chewing motion with my jaw, like a cow chewing the cud. Why I do this is a complete mystery but I always have, a reflex, like opening you mouth as you try to spoon feed a child, irresistible. Luckily baking is usually a solo pastime so there are not to many witnesses to my Kitchen Gurning.
Water is then trickled in like little rivers in a barren white sanded desert. I do not know how much, just how much is enough. My favorite tool for this next bit is my grey handled knife which I swizzle around the bowl, enjoying its scraping metallic tune, until no water can be seen and the crumbs are all clumped together in moist little boulders in the bowl, a cratered, free form lunar landscape. Back in with the hand, only one this time. my Fingers swizzle the same way my knife did I hate the way that the dough attaches itself to my fingers. I use only one hand for this as I need to have one clean hand to turn on the tap to wash it off. Gently I gather the clumps into one soft but not wet ball and use it to mop up any stray bits of dough that are left in the bow,l slightly turning the forming pastry until the bowl is clean and the dough is smooth. As I pick up the bowl to make way for the rolling I notice an un-floured void where my bowl had stood. perfectly round and unnoticed until this moment, it cries out for a smiley face to be drawn inside but i resist the urge. Were I to walk away with my bowl and desert the kitchen like the Mary Celeste it would be clear what homely task had been taking place here.
The first 2/3 of the dough I roll out to line the pie plate, my favourite Pie plate, a tin plate, Black enamel speckled with white the kind you might find on a camping expedition. Mine is quite deep with a small rim so as not to make to bigger crust, the same Tin Plate i have used for twenty years or more to bake pies for my Family. it is like an old friend its familiarity cheers me as I hang the rolled pastry over the rolling-pin and place it gently over the plate allowing it to settle into the dish and over hang the edges. I  flour the worktop again flinging the flour around with free abandon, there's nobody here to witness the disaster zone that my kitchen has become, before rolling the pie lid. Succulent chunks of chicken and white sauce are placed in the pie the light catching it like a sunlit milky pool. Two rashers of Bacon snipped into pieces are added like little pink fishes to the pool while lily pad slices of Mushroom float upon the top. Right, ready for the lid now, softened in the warmth of my Kitchen, it resists being placed and crimped atop my sumptuous filling.
Fresh from the Coop a big Brown egg. I crack it sharply on the side of the cup before prising the now broken shell apart and emptying it in. it sits there in the bottom of the cup, golden-yellow yolk plump and proud floating in its thick viscous snotty egg white. This I beat with a fork ,watch the sunny yolk leak out into the albumen before combining into a honey coloured liquid which will turn my paisty looking pastry into a Bronzed sun-kissed creation that will tease the senses before being gobbled up with pleasure.
Baked to perfection My Chicken Pie emerges from my decrepid old cooker as proud and hansom as its pre baked aroma has promised. wrapped in a familiar red and white tea towel I carry it down the street before presenting  it to my son and his family for Dinner.
A dinner we sit and share together, this is a special time as they have just brought home their new baby, our grandson. My old Pie plate, beautiful Baby Max and Chicken Pie. Simple pleasures not taken for granted by this Nanny.
(isn't he adorable? I can't take my eyes off him)


Well this is turning into a very interesting week. Unfortunately I am finding that typing on the computer blocks my creativity! Pen in hand my thoughts can freely transfer them selves to paper while the act of typing, requiring so much concentration, interrupts my thoughts but here we go.IMG_2676|Ian Bottle|62366252@N08
This week I am having a staycation, Hubby is working so I am indulging my fantasy life and am embracing a new mission each day, things that interest me but I seldom do.
Yesterday was an Art day. When I was a child I always enjoyed painting and drawing, I still do to some extent although bound by time I indulge more in sticking and Gluing. At 11 years old My Dad wanted me to go to art college when I finished school, this was not to be, I lack staying power and am far to easily distracted by anything that happens to stray into my peripheral vision. In this case the distraction was my parents divorce and a new, very jealous Stepmother, but that is a tale of cruelty, manipulation and betrayal to be told another day.
To indulge my creative side,which I still have, I cook. The process of starting with some very plain-looking ingredients and creating Yummy meals and cakes gives me great satisfaction.I plan how they will look, carefully placed and displayed on a particular plate and view the food from many angles to ensure that every aspect feeds the eye before presenting the goody's to friends and family to eat. I always hope that before they tuck in they will appreciate the creativity and heart that has gone into what they are about to devour and that the taste lives up to the promise of the eye.
I deeply regret not pursuing an artistic/creative life with more determination but we all play the hand we are dealt don't we? So yesterday I played "Art Critic"
I visited the Turner contemporary Gallery Margate  on an extremely blustery Tuesday,The Sun creating Shafts of piercingly bright light as is fought its way between the deep heavy rain clouds that plagued the morning. These must be the kind of sky's that inspired Turner in his day with their contrasting moods and depth. As we drove into Margate one of these shafts of light broke through and captured the new gallery that stood proud and tall on the seafront, as the light played on its sharp smooth surface it was reminiscent of the white cliffs of Dover as seen on many occasions by cross-channel booze cruisers. Not sure whether this is deliberate but highly appropriate for the Kent coast, enter Dame Vera Lynn!
I am sure there was a guide available but I have decided to share my own views and interpretations of the exhibits. Not knowing a thing about art this is perhaps foolish but more honest?
First, Turners painting of a volcano. The Eruption of the Souffrier Mountains. This is not a particularly staggering painting untill you realise that Turner did not actually witness this eruption. His depiction has been created from his personal knowledge of landscapes and geography, coupled with a description of the eruption given by another. The darkness created by volcanic plumes of ash and smoke, the red yellow heat created by the spewing Lava and the searing red globules of exploding rock that sizzle as they plummet to the sea are a glowing, menacing backdrop to the terrified boat people fleeing in the gloomy foreground of this painting.
Conrad Shawcross's installation surrounded by a subtle constant humming note was at first puzzling, I could make no connection to it but found it soothing and strangely hypnotic. As the jointed arms on his windmill like light machine turned their synchronous fingers eventually met and created a burst of light that in my mind's eye represented the birth of the universe and the moving light creating multiple ever-changing shadows of the physical representation of his sound. Was this the sound of creation? I think a second viewing of this may be needed now I have had time to think on it.
Russle Crottys Globes where tantalizingly attractive. His soft but vibrant natural colours where haunting, showing landscapes as if seen through a fish eyed lens.It was a little frustrating as an art novice that the curator in this room was able to explain little about the artists choice of materials for these, which would have increased my appreciation of the skill involved. Upon closer examination the texture on these large suspended pieces was provided by script detailing the artists thoughts and views of the places depicted on the Spheres. Tantalizing? well I had an overwhelming desire to stroke these almost sexual  pieces as they floated in the room, resembling giant fish eggs gently floating in a pale clear ocean of light, an urge I obviously resisted but none the less made it an uncomfortable experience. Three words, quiet, desirable, ethereal.
Ellen Harveys Arcadia was a delight. Her use of the dark and Mirrors in this exibit where exciting to the senses and created a stillness that is often found by the sea, The backlighting strongly reminiscent of the sunlight glinting on breaking waves. Upon closer examination, the clean linework mimicking the strokes from the older illustrations subtly posted around the shed, transferred happily from the old to the new. The Mirrors placed around the room when viewed from certain angled provided an illuminated vista of sea and coast reflecting images from the aposing walls giving a continuous surrounding experience.I do not know whether this was the artists intention but you became completely absorbed into the experience. Dazzling.
On Monday I visited Folkestone's triennial and some of its many Artworks, These I found imaginative and thought-provoking, during my visit I stumbled into a small exhibition which was a delight and on a "take home with you" scale, well worth a visit Adored the Doggy pieces by Clive Soord  definitely captured essence of dog. A very accessible collection of sculptures and a very knowledgeable currator who animatedly talked us through the exhibition.
Today I think I may be a Baker.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011


Today I took a walk where my Father walked,
Shared the moments as we talked and talked.
I Felt the Sun warm sweet memories
 as the smells and sounds of a long spent day roused inside my head.

Today My Father walked hand in hand with me
 as I spent the day down by the sea.
The sights that tear my aged eyes
 and flood my senses with salty smells that I remember with such clarity.

Today I shared the memory of a childhood spent
 by briny waves and gentle seaside sounds and yet,
These secret offerings of mellow ripened times
 are torn and shared like a freshly baked aromatic Bread.

Today he did not walk with me, I walked,
 but not alone, for by my side a friend walked in his sted.
 simple pleasures of being and breathing by the sea,
 easy company, as the gentle harbour tides sparkled, shadowing that knowing sea bed. 

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

OOOh An Award

Received an award from the talented But it comes at a price, I must tell you seven random facts about myself.

I love Baking.
I have the radio on at night to help me sleep.
I eat far to much.
I love to sing, to myself, to others, any time any place anywhere.
I have small hands and feet.
I hate Marmite and celery.
Would love to be in a band.
Please pass this award on to other bloggers and please take time to visit those that I have chosen.

OOOh An Award

Received an award from the talented But it comes at a price, I must tell you seven random facts about myself.

I love Baking.
I have the radio on at night to help me sleep.
I eat far to much.
I love to sing, to myself, to others, any time any place anywhere.
I have small hands and feet.
I hate Marmite and celery.
Would love to be in a band.
Please pass this award on to other bloggers and please take time to visit those that I have chosen.

An award

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Restless Ramblings of a Menopausal Child.

Aim Higher

Today has been a little how i feel, not quite anything, mild but not warm, bright but not sunny, nice but not great!Today i feel so restless, like  I am on the verge of something that refuses to reveal itself. Like the secret of life is just out of reach, teasing me as it dances around on the edge of my consciousness. If I had any sense I would go and find something to do and stop pushing for the answer because this soul searching makes me miserable, but I can't.
This leads me to ask my self the usual boring question "why can't I feel content"? I wish I knew what it was that I feel is missing. Does anyone else understand this? I have had a really nice weekend, a family meal for my Birthday, it was great to have my husband, sons and brothers around me as well as their family's.Mothers day has been remembered by both of my sons but still I feel unfulfilled. I have some great people and things in my life but I am certain that there is something more for me.I want More! if only i could work out what I want more of.
But part of me does know if I am honest.I shall write a list and hope I don't shame myself.
I am 51 now and I want to be adored, my husband loves me I know, but adore me? He must be driven insane by my neediness and searching for excitement. I want to be adored, I want to feel that sense of desperate wanting, when you cant wait to see someone, that I felt when we first met 34 years ago.
I am 51 now and I want to be needed, I want to be the centre of someones life, my sons still need me a bit but not like when they where children with cuddles and laughter on tap. In those days i felt part of something not like i was circling around the edge of someone Else's life.
I am 51 now and my Mum is ill and probably wont be around for much longer now. My mum always made me feel special. My mum always had the answer to all of life's problems, where will I go for that unconditional comfort when she is gone.
I am 51 now and My Mum is ill. She is scared and unsure of what is ahead of her, she asks me for reassurance that she has not commited a sin that will prevent her going to heaven. I am sure she hasn't, she is a kind loving woman, but I am not sure about the heaven bit. What do I tell her? I try to tell her that she has nothing to fear but even in her muddled state of mind I,m not sure she is convinced and wish I could say more. She needs me to say more, she would know what to do where the roles reversed.
I am 51 now and feel I should do something that matters.Climb a mountain! sail a tall ship! join a silent order! Sing with a band! Write a song! Feed the world! Find God!Care for orphans in a far off land!Get in my car and drive until I run out of road! Scream until I run out of breath!
I am 51 now. Would somebody please tell me what to do? In return I will do my best to map read  when you get lost.
Does any one else feel like this or is it just the Menopause, I do hope it is just the big M because I am driving myself mad with this and am well aware that I am becoming a self pitying bore. Sorry.