Tag Archives: summer

That’s a bit ironic


Driving through Paignton today it was stuck by the irony of them having a great big ugly, box like building that is the Vue cinema situated in such a place as to completely block the view of the beautiful shoreline. It should be called ‘Not such a great view’.

So, the summer season is gently slowing down. The leaves are turning all sorts of gorgeous colours, most of the tourists have gone home and it all feels very different. More relaxed. It’s as if the town has taken a deep breath and has finally got time to enjoy what is left of the summer.

Hundreds of people have passed through the doors of our lodging emporium, some have been lovely, some not too lovely but after a week or two their names and faces all seem to blur into one anyway and all we are left with is a fuzzy memory of a busy season.

We even had a day off last week. That’s almost like normal people. Boofuls worked out that the last time we had a full day off was way back in March. Time off is over rated anyway.

Lashes and I have decided to join a choir so we can warble our way through the winter. Funny thing, that. Never in the pats have we been tempted to join choir but suddenly everyone seems to be joining choirs.

I tried one out in Newton Abbot which was a bit gospelesque. It was ok but it’s fair to say it didn’t make my soul soar. Then a friend invited me to go to the Gilbert and Sullivan Society. That was a challenge. So many words, so much music and so fast! I loved that one. The only thing that put me off was they way all their faces lit up when I was introduced, they kept referring to me as a youngster and saying things like, “We need young people like you to join.” Ummmmm……I’m pushing 60, youngster I am not.

The following week Lashes and I went along to other choir and at the risk of sounding like Goldilocks, we found it to be just right. Not too highbrow nor too simple. It suits us perfectly. Membership forms have been completed and we are off to our second rehearsal any day now. Exciting!

Now that the summer season is over I might even have a few moments to write down some of our stories from the summer.

Wow!

All this free time is looming over me – I’m not sure what to do with it all. Watch this space and I’ll tell you as events unfold.

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What’s your favourite time of year and why?


You know how people sometimes ask you a question just so they can get your answer out of the way and talk about themselves?

Well, I’ve just done it to you. Sooooo, let’s talk about me.

What’s my favourite time of year?

Hhhhhmmmmmm, let’s have a think.

I love summer for the light nights. Going to bed at 11.30 and there still being some light in the sky just makes me happy. I don’t know why, silly, isn’t it?

I love summer for the sunshine and the warmth.  Going out without a fleece or a coat, even into the evening? Wow! That makes me feel like I’m on a foreign holiday and I like that feeling.

I love the combination of bright colours and the high contrast when the sun is shining. Ok, that’s the photographer in me,  but have you ever marvelled at the sheer blueness of the sky when it’s really blue? It’s amazing. Just me then? Dang.

I love the smell of the woods when the weather is hot. No, not the dog poo, tune that bit out. I’m talking about the scent of the pine and that dry tree smell. It transports me to Greece in my mind and I like that.

Pimms, white zinfandel, gin and tonic and other summer drinks that it just seems wrong to drink at other times of year. Some drinks just have summer written on every ice cube.  I love the summer fetes, the barbecues, the bunting.

I hate the flies, particularly the horse flies who seem to head straight for me to take a chunk out of me and to add insult to injury I get an allergic reaction which is very painful. While we’re on the subject of insects. I hate flies in my kitchen *shudders* midges who won’t et us sit out at night and general creepy crawlies.

I hate being hot. I am a plant of the tender varietal and can’t tolerate being in the sun or getting overheated.  as much as I love the hot weather I can’t actually be in it.  Anything over about sixteen degrees makes me wilt and get headachy and tetchy.  At the moment in this glorious weather I’m sidling along  in a decidedly shifty fashion trying to keep in the shade. I don’t keep these youthful good looks by allowing the sun on my face. Oh dear me, no.

I hate the pond life that seeps out of Jeremy Kyle’s studio and onto the streets, walking round with cans of beer in their hands and shouting.   I also hate the assault to my eyeballs when stout, portly or  downright fat men decide to walk round topless. Bleurgh. Similarly for  the ladies who walk round in outfits so small and tight that they look like an overstuffed sausage.

MY EYES!!! MY EYES!!!!!

Ok, just  take a deep breath, avert your eyes and look at the sky. Oooh, pretty. That’s better.

Blimey. I didn’t realise I had so much to say about summer. I  might have to call this ‘part one’ and do it in instalments. I’m guessing four should cover it.  What do you think?

 


The weather has been more than a bit marvelous round here lately.  As I’ve been taking Douggie for his early morning walk even the pigeons have been showing their approval of the hot weather by shouting out WOHOO-HOO!

We wait all winter for the hot weather to arrive and when it finally does we all celebrate and make the most of it. After all, we all know that an English summer consists of two nice days and a thunderstorm, as it is we’re on extra time now, it’s been glorious for well over a week and set to continue well into next week.

Did I say glorious?

It’s glorious  if you’re a sun worshipper.

For me, with my with pale skin, blue eyes  and blonde hair it’s purgatory. I can’t stand this heat! There. I’ve said it. I’m sure I was an Eskimo in a previous life.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the sunshine, I love summer, but anything over about 18 degrees and I can’t cope. As I write this it’s hovering around the 26 degree mark and I’m hiding in a shady room.

I have tried to be a sun worshipper, and coerce my pale blue skin into changing colour but the most I can manage is a freckly  white. We were once on holiday in Cyprus and after a week one of the waiters pointed at me and laughed, “You been here one week and you still white! Hahahaa!” Thanks for that.

It was at that point I stopped pretending that I liked the heat and would eventually acquire a tan if I persevered. I stopped putting myself through the ordeal of sitting in the sun for hours and gave in to my natural inclination to avoid it,  accepting that I’m just not a sun person. I’m more of your skin cancer person, it’s a good job  I wised up good and early.

When I was a kid and the dangers of sun damage on skin want really understood, my Mum used to let us all get horribly sunburnt and then tell us we were a lovely colour, dabbing calamine lotion onto our boiled lobster coloured backs and shoulders as we stood and cried.  I’m so glad times have changed.

These days I put on my sun cream and then decide to stay inside anyway. Well. I wouldn’t want any stray rays catching me, would ? I don’t retain these youthful good looks by basking in UV.

Talking of youthful good looks:

As I was putting my slap on last night  getting ready to go to a party, I  moved the mirror to the magnifying side, all the better to see you with, my dear.

Oh! Dear! God!

Magnifying mirrors should be banned!

My poor  eyes were assailed with the sight of pores like craters and  broken veins like rivers of molten lava – and that’s not even the worst of it!  How the hell did all those wrinkles get there?  Calling them wrinkles is putting it mildly. Calling them wrinkles is a bit like calling Mount Everest a hillock. These aren’t wrinkles. These are troughs, furrows and crevices so deep  could store my packed lunch in them!

After I’d got over the shock of seeing the  wreckage of my once not bad looking face, I began to inspect it more closely. I had a dialogue like an Alan Bennet play ( but without the literary genius) going on in my head as I pulled and pushed the wrinkles around.  Along with the deep furrows caused by frowning there is also a fair smattering of laughter lines, I prefer to call, them laugher lines, so much more flattering than crows feet, don’t you think?

After a minute or two of inspection it occurred to me that my life has been etched onto my face for all to see and I attained a certain acceptance of the fact my life has been eventful and that time has taken its inevitable toll on my looks.

Nah! Ignore that last bit. I’m booking in at the botox clinic, pronto!

Every wrinkle tells a story?  My God I’ve had a shit life!

Rainy July


It’s rained this month. A lot. Waking up to yet another miserable day this morning and faced with the prospect of having to do a years worth of accounts all at once, I was less than thrilled at the thought of the day ahead.

After a frustrating morning’s book keeping ( made worse because there’s no one to blame but myself), I took poochie out for a walk and got drenched yet again. Today though I took my headphones with me and mentally practised my dance routines as I listened to wonderful latin rhythms. It’s hard to be pi55ed off when you’re listening to a lovely bouncy, sunny samba. Any other walkers in the vicinity, although I didn’t spot any, might have been amused at the occasional samba walk or lock step that I threw in for good measure.

The afternoon’s work progressed much more smoothly and by evening the sun had decided to put in an appearance!! Yay!!  That was my cue to get in the garden and tidy it up a bit. We were treated to a lovely, golden, turning to red sunset. I ran in to grab my camera, shoot a few  frames and have some contra jour fun before it disappeared.

You know, you don’t mind a bit of rain when the consolation prize is evenings like tonight.

Spider enjoying the evening sun
sunlight through grass
Evening sunlight through leaves
Evening sunlight through grass
Tree

Uuuuuuuuuurrrggghhhhhh


I know you’re all on here looking for the low down on last night’s party.  You’ll have to wait a bit, my brain hurts waaaaaayy too much to be blogging just yet.

Absolutely  top night – ’til three in the morning, if you please!!  Not so sure me and Boofuls will make it out for his romantic birthday meal tonight. All we are up to is recovering quietly curled up on the settee.

Back when the Pimms has worn off

Arrested for what?!


Not peeing up the side of the police car wheel? That surely implies that you were supposed to pee up the police car wheel.

Doesn’t it?

Confused, dear reader?  So was I.

This was how the conversation went with  hairdresser this morning.

The story went like this:  Having spent the day in the pub watching that abysmal and embarrassing World Cup game when England was well and truly trounced, my hairdresser, his girlfriend and her brother were just about ready to leave.  On the car park were a crowd of about 30 people, all a bit tanked up but no signs of any trouble. The police arrived,  leapt out of the car and went straight round to the back of the building, no one knew why.

While they were away some wag decided to pee up the wheel of the police car, much cheering and hilarity followed.  My hairdresser,  having seen it happen while he was leaving, walked  past the police car  and thought it would be funny to pretend to do it as well. More cheering. The police, came running back, saw the pee, saw the hairdresser, put 2 and 2 together and made 70.

10 hours in a cell, 2 broken ribs later, the hairdresser was allowed out on bail, till Monday when he’s up in court.  Is this an example of British justice?  Seems a total over reaction to some drunken, if inappropriate, high jinks to me.

**********

Bloody, sodding, fecking, winged creatures. I’ve been bitten in places no self respecting horse fly should even be approaching.  Vast quantities of anti histamine and hydrocortisone are keeping the allergy to said winged critters at bay but only just. What the hell is going on this year, I’ve never known anything like it.

Why not just put on clothes that give more overage? I can hear you asking. I did!  The blighters are biting me through my clothes!!!

Busy weekend this weekend. It’s Boofuls birthday tomorrow  and we have a few family and friends coming round tonight for a bit of a knees up.  The plan was to have a bbq but it’s piddling down at the moment so I might have to resort to that old standby, good old spud pie.

Feeling hot hot hot


IT”S BOILING HOT!!!!!

Definitely Pimms weather.  Or to put it another way – procrastination weather. I keep finding reasons not to get on with any work that involves sitting at my computer.

What do you think of the new blog look?  The other one looked a bit heavy and autumnal for this luverely warm weather so when this one popped up as a new theme I jumped on it because it’s so pretty. I think I may keep it for a while.

So. What’s new since yesterday? Nowt. that’s what.

The baby has been trying out her language skills and it really makes me laugh when she clearly knows exactly what she wants to say but doesn’t know the words to say it.  I classic example was when she was trying to tell me Gem had gone in the kitchen. her way round it was to point at the empty chair, say ‘gone’ and then point at the kitchen. She had to do it 4 or 5 times before I got the message but we got there in the end.

Grandad has become ‘Gangag’ and Liv has become ‘Yiz’   She wont even attempt the cats’ names yet.

England are apparently playing another world cup game this afternoon, schools have been let out early, companies have installed large screen tv’s, flexi time is being flexed to it’s limit.  It better be worth it. I personally won’t be watching the football, I will be watching paint dry. From what I’ve been hearing it’s the more interesting option.

Samlesbury Skirmish


What a beaut of a weekend!! From Friday to Sunday it’s been brilliant.

Nothing special happened Friday night, it was just a really nice evening spent in the company of my beloved. Isn’t it funny how the best times can be the simplest times?

Saturday was barbeque day, P and G weren’t planning to stay long because P needed to do a podcast about the E3 show and still had a ton of research to do. Hhhmm, it sounded like a plan, stay for a couple of hours and then go home and do some work. What actually happened: lots of fun and merriment mixed with various amounts of red wine, beer and vodka then getting home 5 hours later in no state to do any kind of anything never mind research!  What a great night.

Waking up to another glorious day on Sunday, I’m loving this summer, we scooped up a coupe of clingons and went to Samlesbury Hall in Blackburn for their medieval skirmish day.  There was a medieval village, food, crafts, stilt walkers, story tellers a magician and loads of other stuff. The reenactment of the battle of Bannockburn was hysterical, not to mention over in about a minute.  Not the cheapest day out by any any stretch of the imagination but it was a fantastic atmosphere and brilliant fun.

C’s beau took a few photos:

A

chain mail momma

s we were walking through the medieval village a chap collared me and suggested I try on the chain mail.   Bearing in mind the weather was blisteringly hot, he put me into a padded shirt, which I was glad about because I was wearing a halter neck dress and  didn’t fancy cold metal on my bare back, a chain mail vest, a padded hat, a chain mail hat, a metal helmet, a shield and a sword. The whole ensemble looked very fetching, I thought. It also weighted about 40 pounds. How the hell soldiers used to fight in that stuff is beyond me, I could hardly move.

the children got their faces painted

Of course the children got their faces painted, it just has to be done. Actually L, decided not to and got a private performance from the magician!!!!

Picnic time for clingons

he knights were a bit scary, clip clopping round the arena on their  pretend horses. I must say the crowd get into the spirit of things and booed like good uns when the ‘Scots’ arrived.  “Boooooooo, yer baddies boooooooooo!”

medieval knights

The chap holding the sword aloft was taking great delight in telling us all that it’s called a ‘bastard sword’ and telling all the kids that becasue it was the name of the sword it wasn’t swearing so they could say it as much as they liked. he certainly repeated it plenty of times. “BAAAAAAAAASTARD SWORD, got it? BAAAAAAAAAAASTARD!!!!  Hehe.

Never work with children or animals


Friday was quite a busy old day one way and another.

It started off with me being just a bit too efficient for my own good and having to hang about on the dooorstep of my favourite budget supermarket waiting for it to open.  That’s not good. Shopping in there when you can run from the car to the shop with a coat over your head so none of your M & S shopping friends will see you is one thing but having to wait on the doorstep to get in just makes you look kind of desperate. They’d have been watching to see if I came out clutching a bottle of cheap hooch ( Oh – I did. Pretend Pimms, very nice).

Shopping all done and out of the way I decide to take poochie for a walk. Not so much a walk as a plod. It was hotter than hell here on Friday and we all know that I don’t retain these youthful good looks by sitting in the sun soaking up rays and accelerating the prune-ification process, that’ll happen quite quickly enough on it’s own, thank you.  The words ‘sun’ and ‘worshipper’ can’t really be attributed to me. Shade worshipper is more like it.

As much as I love the warmth and the sunshine I really am much more comfortable with a slight dusting of cloud cover and moderate temperatures. That’s why I keep dragging poor old B back to Scandinavian countries, I feel right at home there. I think I must have been  a Viking in a previous life. My latest scheme er ..*cough* plan for a wonderful holiday for the pair of us is to go to Finland in winter when the sea has frozen. It’d be ACE!!!  Brilliant photography.

Anyway, back to the plot: On went the factor 50, the log sleeved top, trousers and hat and we trudged over the moors at the back of the house for an hour. It would have been much more sensible head for the the woods and therefore a bit of shade  but time scales didn’t allow it. There wasn’t a trace of shade anywhere, even the sheep were looking at us as if to say, ‘look at those two, they must be barking.’ Well, one us us was.

back to the studio for a baby shoot. I really must find a new way to describe a baby portrait session, ‘baby shoot’ sounds like a type of country pursuit involving men in plus fours carrying shotguns.  The baby was the same on who came last week, you know, the one who’s mother insisted on bringing him even though he was ill. Tsk. The poor kid really wasn’t up to it so I put a stop to it after a few minutes and told her to come back when he was better.  He was loads better this week and we got some great shots – obviously I can’t show you on here, you’ll just ahve to take my word for it.

Since poochie was still with me I thought it might be nice to get some studio portraits of her.  Roping son P in to help we had a hysterical 15 minutes, it did reslt in me getting bitten but hey ho. It wasn’t the dog’s fault, she just got over excited.  She is a ridiculously nervous dog so I was a bit worried about how she’d react to the flash but after a minute or two she was fine. Son P, who has been learning how to use a dslr looked as though he fancied a go at taking the photos so I did the dog handling while he took the pics. I think he did really well, what do you think?

And if you’re wondering how you get a dog to dance well, here’s how:

Scooby snacks.

A handful of dog treats in my hand, she’d jump through hoops of fire for a scooby snack!  Actually, she probably will be jumping through hoops of fire in a few months- we are starting agility classes next week.   At the country show last week they had dogs jumping through hoops of fire. I personally probably wouldn’t have sent a very hairy dog through the hoops, that just seemed like an accident waiting to happen. had to admire the dogs for their bravery  though- or their stupidity depending on how you look at it.  I’m bloody greedy but I’m not so greedy that I’d jump through fire to get to a scooby snack…….maybe.

Did I mention that I don’t actually like dogs?  Nasty, smelly, time consuming, demanding, begging  brutes. I’ve held on to that line for donkey’s years. My sister always maintained that I’d be really good with dogs and I’d always refer her back to the ; nasty, smelly  etc, etc……..line.   What the hell happened to me then?

Poochie did.

What a brilliant dog – I love her to bits and she’s not even mine.