Munki


For those of you not familiar with Munki, let me introduce her.

She is our nine year old granddaughter, she lives here, along with her mother, Lashes at Booful’s Lodging Emporium.

Always a feisty child, she always has an opinion. Whoever gets this girl in later life will need to keep on their toes. She’s sharp. You never really know what she’s going to come out with next. I have a suspicion, for various reasons, that she may she may be on the ‘spectrum’. This girl just tells it like it is and there are zero filters between her mouth and her brain. As often as we talk about manners and not being rude, she still hasn’t managed to get a filter in place.

I once took her to an exhibition of local artists’ work. She stood in the middle of the hushed gallery and announced in strident tones, “Well, I don’t know why we are wasting our time here, Nanny. It’s all rubbish.” As much as I wished for the ground to swallow me whole it stayed steadfastly solid under my feet as everyone in the room (mostly the artists) glared at us. To be fair, it wasn’t the best exhibition I’ve ever seen but I’d rather she’d whispered it to me rather than bellowing it for all to hear. I really must locate her volume control.

Having said all that, she is loving, quirky, incredibly funny and quick witted as well as being a very talented artist. I love being in her company as she always has me in stitches of laughter.

Last night it was Lashes on the receiving end. Having had a busy day and not feeling great she decided to take the easy route for dinner. “What’s for dinner, mum?”, Munki enquired.

“You’re having soup today.”

“Soup? What flavour?”

“Tomato.”

“Tomato soup? Out of a tin? It’s like being in a war. Except we aren’t in a war, are we, mum? It’s just you too lazy to make a meal.”

Wow! Just wow! I think it might be time to have another chat about manners and respect. *stifles gales of laughter at her perceptive comment*

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Sausage Roulette


I love a good game of sausage roulette in the morning. I mean. Who doesn’t love a game of sausage roulette?

Right.

Wash your mind out right now!

Sausage roulette involving actual sausages from the butcher. Honestly, what are you? Twelve?

Never heard of it? It’s a game we hoteliers love to play on a daily basis. How many guests have we got in? How many are going to want sausages? How many shall I actually cook?

It can be a risky game. I’ve held my nerve on many occasions and won, doing a little victory lap around the kitchen with a roasting tin devoid of sausages held aloft. I’ve lost my nerve on many occasions and wished I’d held tight. I’ve never outright lost and needed a sausage and not had one but I’ve had sausages leftover on many occasions. Douggie the doggie never complains and neither do the staff.

This weekend I was going to win. No doubt about it. Three vegetarians, one vegan, four meat eaters. Strangely, I have discovered that the fewer guests we have the more likely they are to want a full English breakfast so I put in four sausages.

The vegetarian/vegan group came down to breakfast first. I stood in the kitchen awaiting their order, hand on the freezer door ready to pull out a pack of Linda McCartney’s.

“One scrambled egg on toast. One hash browns, tomato and beans. One hash browns mushrooms and beans and one full English.”

“Veggie full English?”
“No. Full English, bacon, sausage, the works.”

“What? No. They can’t. They’re vegetarian.”
“Not today they’re not.”

Bugger. I set to making their breakfasts and then contemplated my hand in the game of sausage roulette. Four people due for breakfast. Only three sausages. Hold my nerve or cave?

I held my nerve. The next couple came down for breakfast. “Two full English, Please.”

I was starting to panic. Two guests, one sausage.

Then I remembered that I’d caught sight of the remaining couple when they checked in. Fair to say they enjoyed their food. I caved. In went another sausage.

The last couple came down. The washer upper, Lashes and I stood and waited with bated breath for the order to come in.

Boofuls came in with the order.

“You lose.”

Paint, frogs and flowers – it’s all in a days work.


I was having a browse through and this came up. The little green frog!!

I tried to find the post with the video and it’s disappeared. It must have hopped off! Shame, that was a super cute memory but never mind, we still have these photos as a memento of the day.

Tripping Over Pebbles No More

Every now and then it’s nice to have a little bit of family fun. I came up with an idea to keep the grandchildren amused for half a day at the studio. The idea was for them to build and paint themselves a set and then do a little performance in it which we could film. The day started easily enough, a quick rummage round the shed for paints and brushes followed by a trip to Matalan to buy frog green tights, a couple of lei’s, party blowers and some flowers. I have all manner of other props and fabrics at the studio so there was plenty of stuff for inspiration.


Back at the studio I resurrected the remains of an old paper roll backdrop for them to paint just in time for DIL arriving with the kids. All the ideas on how they wanted the set to look flowed…

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Cornwall Adventure


Boofuls and I decided that we wouldn’t buy each other Christmas presents. There is nothing either of us wanted or needed so we decided to spend the money on something we did want. A few days away together.

After a lot of diary jiggling we managed to find three days. We rented a log cabin in the middle of nowhere, well not quite nowhere. Perranporth, which is nearly the same thing.

The next couple of days we discovered Cornwall. Although we have lived in Devon for four years now and I used to live in Devon as a kid I have never made it to Cornwall even though I’ve always wanted to. It did not disappoint. Well, except for Newquay, that disappointed. What a dump!

The Minack Theatre, that most definitely exceeded all my already high expectations. It’s an almost magical place. We loved it and Douggie the doggie especially loved the beach next to it. Here are a few pictures from our trip.

Reset Password?


What? No! No I don’t want to reset the bloody password! I HAVEN’T FORGOTTEN MY PASSWORD, YOU HAVE!!!

Use my current password you nobjockey!!GAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!!!

Locked in a series of circular resets. All I want is to get my own bloody pictures off my own bloody phone!

Why, oh, why did I upload my photos to the cloud to free up storage on my phone. Ok, There’s the answer right there in the question.
But WHY DID I DO IT?

I can’t get my photos to download. Lightroom, my preferred photo editing and storage suite, seems to think I have only seven photos on my phone, and they are not even in sequence. What the hell is going on?’

I’ve spent the last hour trying to log in to the cloud and ended up getting logged out of my Apple account and I still haven’t got my photos.

Flitting between my phone and my computer trying to make it all work. Apparently I am allowed back into my account tomorrow.

GAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH!!!!!!!!!Deep sodding joy.
I bloody love technology.

Christmas in pictures


It’s twelth night. Time for all the Christmas deccies to come down. Actually, we took them down on the 2nd. It always seems daft to me to keep them up once Christmas and New Year are finished. It seems like so long ago! Not only that, the living room seem huuuuuuge and so bare but anyway, moving on.

In honour of twelfth night and to nod in the direction of the ghost of Christmas recently passed. Here are a few photos from our Christmas. The eagle eyed among you may notice a few new faces in the family. That’s a whole different story.

Here we go then. Christmas at Booful’s lodging emporium. It’s a little peek into our very private world. The world in which I am the most happy. The world that is a constant round of cleaning, cooking, washing up, cuddles, laughter and joy.

I’d been looking forward to and dreading Christmas in equal measure. Trying not to build up the perfect family Christmas in my mind as that always led to disappointment when I was a kid. So many high expectations that end in a brawl or row. Or like an Alan Bennet play, all going swimmingly on the surface but with all these tensions, fuelled by too much alcohol, too much food and close proximity to family members you haven’t seen from one year end to the next bubbling over.

This Christmas didn’t have any of that. This was like the best bit of Dicken’s Christmas Carol and I felt like Bob Cratchit beaming at the head of the table.


Shaky Jake


Shaky Jake sneaked in for a surprise visit this morning.  He’s not a welcome figure in our house.  It’s never pleasant when he visits. To be fair, we were expecting him about two weeks ago so we’ve gone a good six weeks without him popping round,  so we really can’t complain.

Shaky Jake is normally known by his other name: canine epilepsy

Without any shadow of a doubt  I can tell you that it’s no way to wake up, to the bed shaking like it’s in an earthquake as the dog is having a seizure at 04.30 on Christmas Eve. Poor chap looked like he was going to shake himself apart. Hence, Shaky Jake.

I shot out of bed and tried to keep Douggie  from bashing his legs on the dressing table while shouting to a totally bewildered Boofuls to put the light on. He had no idea what was going on. He woke up from a lovely dream to pandemonium. He soon cottoned on though and helped me to keep Douggie safe until he came out of his seizure.

Ah well, I wanted an early start today and I bloody well got it.

Douggie the doggie has never had a seizure from sleeping before. He usually spends an hour pacing, whining, jumping on and off the furniture, barking and generally getting himself and us more and more distressed until it’s actually a relief when he finally does have his grand mal.

Then we spend another hour while he paces, whines…you get the idea.

Today has been a little Christmas miracle for which I am very grateful. Seizure from a deep sleep. Incredibly fast post ictal recovery and now half an hour later he’s fast asleep again as if nothing happened. No pacing. No nothing.

Seizures like this I can relate to.

So. Why did I want an early start today?

I’ll give you a clue * sings* Coming home for Christmas

The family are on their way to Devon, probably setting off about now, and I want everything to be ready for when they arrive so I’m not trying to entertain, cook, clean and get everything under control at the same time. I’d rather like to enjoy my time with them as they are only here for a couple of days. Ok. I might be a bit tired but at least I won’t be stressed. I love a head start! I think I’ll make the jelly for the trifle and then get on with prepping the veg for tomorrow.

Or..or…maybe I might just go back to bed for an hour.

Merry Christmas everyone. I hope it’s all you want it to be.

and in other news…


So, it’s been a busy week in politics.

Yesterday I was trying to explain to our granddaughter, Munki that we are living in extraordinary times, the history lessons of the future.

If you are looking for a good old political debate, you’ve found the wrong blog. I’m just a disillusioned, skint and worried about the future of our country voter, watching with concerned eyes as our country tears itself apart. I’m not clever enough to fully understand it all but here’s my two penn’orth as I see it.

While I was watching the news about the vote of no confidence in Theresa May, it struck me how much like a pack of howling, baying wolves her opponents are. My God, these are the people we trust to run our country.

You know, whether you love or hate Theresa May, you have to admire her fortitude in continuing to do the job of getting us out of Europe after the constant attacks on her from all sides.

I’m bloody certain she’d be able to do a much better job if she was able to concentrate on the task she’s been given, nay, not given, I should have said the job she had foisted on her,  instead of constantly having to ward off attacks from those who should be putting our country, rather than their own careers,  at the forefront of events.

Like it or not, the country, albeit halfheartedly, voted to leave Europe. I’ll say that again. The country voted to leave.  Yes,  it was a close vote. If everyone who’s now shouting their mouth off had got off their arses and voted we might have had a clearer picture of what the nation wanted to happen but the result still came out as ‘leave’ and so that is what must happen.  Theresa May is carrying out the wishes of the electorate. Whether you, I or she agrees with the result of the vote is irrelevant. The country voted. Last time I looked we still lived in a democracy, although I am beginning to wonder about that.

Poor woman is having to make it up as she goes along. Everything happening now is unprecedented. It’s not like there’s a bloody training manual telling her how to do it, is there? Every single step of the way she is feeling her way through and trying to get the best deal for her country. That, in the face of   immense opposition from the EU and while simultaneously keeping a watchful eye over her shoulder for the knives of her own colleagues about to stab her in the back.

I might be wrong but I’m pretty sure no one works at their best under that kind of pressure.

If I had a complaint it would be that we wouldn’t be in this position now if the people of this country had bothered to get off their arses and vote in the last referendum.

Mind you, we were, and still are, being fed so much hyperbole it’s impossible to know the truth from the lies. Does anyone really have the full picture?

I shall keep watching, worrying and getting poorer until it all sorts itself out.

And in other news…A Devonshire woman bludgeoned her husband to death for his refusal to get a bloody hearing test when he so obviously needs one.

A police spokesperson said that no court in the land would convict her as  having every single thing she said met with,  EH? WOSS ‘E SAY? and “turn it up, love”, amounts to abuse and could be a cause of temporary insanity.

My own personal favourite, is his endearing habit of whipping his head round, jumping like he’s been stung and then declaring, “Wot you shouting ’bout? I never heard a bloody thing.” Precisely, my love. Precisely. GET A BLOODY HEARING TEST!!!!!

Eric Whitacre Virtual Choir


Some months ago my friend told me about Eric Whitacre’s virtual choir. I remembered seeing it a couple of years earlier and being fascinated by the concept of totally unconnected people all over the world joining together to sing.

Obviously, I had to go and have a look online and I was blown away by what I saw and heard. Of all the various virtual choir performances I watched I enjoyed Lux Aurumque the best. It is hauntingly beautiful and I was totally immersed in the music and by the faces of the singers from all over the world. Treat yourself and go and have a listen.

My friend, I’ll call her Susan because that’s her name, told me that she was going to upload a video of herself singing.  She has an amazing voice and I can well understand how she would want to be part of it.

Then she encouraged me to do the same. “No. I can’t do that. People will hear me screeching. It’ll be awful.”  Then she kindly pointed out that no one would hear my actual voice as it was a blend of all the voices together that created the unique sound.

Imagine. A choir of over 8000 people. Ok, actually I can imagine that as I cast my mind back to the proms in the park and 11,000 choir members from all over the country singing together. But this was different. This wasn’t a crowd belting out a song with gusto,  dancing, laughing and generally partying. This was grown up, serious singing.

Anyway, after much dithering I decided to go and have a look at the website, read the instructions and then *cringe* film myself singing the words…notes. There aren’t any words, it’s  just notes. Anyway, after redoing it many times, until the dog’s ears were bleeding from listening to me, in fact, I uploaded it to the virtual choir website and then forgot about it until this week.

And here it is, the finished product. The images in it are stunning. The music is ethereal and beautiful and if you listen really carefully you can hear me screeching in the background. Enjoy.

https://deepfieldfilm.com

Hearts, flowers and surgical stockings


When couples first get married and have that “no-one has ever been as much in love as we are’ smugness about them, it’s all about hearts and flowers, bedroom gymnastics, and romantic gestures.

God, I used to see it all the time when I was a wedding photographer. “There’ll never be another wedding like ours”, couples would coo as they glanced smugly at each other. It used to take all I had not to say, “Well actually, love, they’re all much of a muchness.” I always thought it would be too cruel to burst their bubble though so I’d just smile sweetly and agree that they were indeed unique. Often at the same time as wondering if they’d still be together when the ink had dried on their marriage certificate. What? Cynical? Me?

I remember it well. Vowing that we’d get old together and taking all that that brings with it but not being able to imagine it. Ah yes. Fast forward thirty three years. When it isn’t so much bedroom gymnastics as a low impact workout while trying to avoid straining the bits that ache, cramp or just don’t move in that direction any more. Flowers are saved for special occasions, a romantic gesture is giving up the tv remote control and love settles into a comfortable companionship.

When I first got married I had no concept of how marriage would change as the years went on. Some days it’s considered a success to have got through the day and not bludgeoned each other to death. Other days we are completely content when we snuggle up on the sofa and watch a bit of telly together, happy just to be.

What am I wittering on about?

Well, dear reader, let me tell you.

Boofuls had his long awaited hip replacement surgery a little over three weeks ago.

His embarrassment at me having to help him to wash. “I’m your wife”, I told him. “This stuff goes with the job description.”  Helping him into and out of the shower while holding a plastic bag over his stitches and using a hand towel like a windscreen wiper to keep any stray drops of water from seeping through. Cutting his toenails, helping him to get dressed and the truest test of love.

Back in the day when I was on my knees in front of him it wasn’t to put his surgical stockings back on.  My God, has there ever been a more difficult task than putting on and taking off surgical stockings? How times have changed.

Aside of the personal hygiene stuff. How did I not know that he has six million cups of tea every day? It wasn’t till I had to make them all that I realised. How is it even possible to imbibe that much liquid?

His frustration at not being able to perform everyday tasks and my poor nursing skills have meant that tempers may have frayed a bit recently. We have both bitten our tongues until they are black and blue but we muddle through.

I suppose what I’m trying to say is that it isn’t the grand gestures that make for a happy marriage.  Anyone who tells me they have never had a cross word in their marriage is either telling lies or one of the partners has been severely compromising to keep the peace. I think what it boils down to is still being able to love each other when the romance is in short supply and the reality of advancing years and ill health become part of your everyday life.

Mind you, the occasional grand gesture never goes amiss.

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