Friday, 24 June 2016

Freeing the genie from the bottle in a rural bubble.

Self employment.
Something I fell into four years ago out of neccessity.
A neccessity born from having the rug well and truly pulled from under my feet.
And now to be raked over again as it's the right thing to do, but it's reopened a lot of buried issues.

Four years ago I was bullied out of a job I loved by a new boss.
For the first 18 months I didn't see it for the bullying it was.
 It took someone else to point it out.
Afterall, who expects to be bullied at 40?
The succeeding two years, it escalated.
Eventually I resigned as it was never going to be resolved.

It tore away my confidence, self esteem and belief in my own abilities.
It affected my health, my life.
And it took away my income.

Gradually, I put it behind me and moved on, difficult in the micro bubble of a rural community, where the workplace was the heart of the village.

And now,  four years later, I have been asked to write a statement to back up what is happening to someone else.
Same boss, same scenario

The right thing to do, but raking up a lot of buried issues.

Monday, 20 June 2016

Bye bye, neighbourly solitude.

Well, the lid is now firmly closed on seven months of neighbourly solitude.
 It's time to grudgingly share the outdoor space I've got so used to having to myself and grit my teeth at feet stomping over bare floorboards above.
I'm hoping the new neighbours will develop a liking for thick carpets and underlay, but probably not.

Having initially mistaken the partner to be the lady's 10 year old son, I'm now doubting my eyesight.
In my defence it was raining and I only saw him from the back, but yesterday, with rain abated and seen slouched over in a hoodie, he still looks around 14!
With a toddler.
Which makes me feel very old.

Friday, 17 June 2016

Nineteen. Home to battered and bruised suitcases from the mid 20th century. Reloved and upcycled.

I'm in vintage heaven, and fast becoming a home for battered and bruised suitcases.
There's something magical about these old cases, with each scratch and dent telling a story.

I particularly love the 1940s ones.
Battered leather and seventy years of grime on the hinges, they ooze character.
And are the perfect size for upcycling as pet beds.

The third suitcase is a vibrant tomato red case from the 1960s.
Lightweight and with an aluminium shell, it shouts Pop Art/Mod hybrid to me, so I'm thinking black and white with zingy pinks and orange.
Possibly without the lid.

Friday, 27 May 2016

That neighbourly feeling...

New neighbours.
After 15 years of an eccentricly lovely, but largely invisible upstairs neighbour, followed by a month of pic n mix, swiftly curtailed by an eviction notice and five months of emptyness, it appears I am about to get new neighbours.

New neighbours.
Now that's going to take some getting used to, and I'm rather dreading it.
Mabe we get less tolerant as we get older, or more protective over personal space, but I've got used to being selfishly terretorial over two gardens, two washing lines and an ever encroaching vegetable patch.
Oh my!

Home at Sdot Yam.

Beverley Hills, Sdot Yam.
24 years ago I arrived in Llanrhidian direct from an Israeli kibbutz, via a two month stopover at my parents and a dubious hostel.
I'd never lived in a village before.
To say it was a culture shock is putting it mildly, but I grew to appreciate it.

Kibbutz life meant a constant turnaround of neighbours from every corner of the world.

For a while we eagerly anticipated every new arrival, relishing the parties, new faces and scandal, before becoming jaded with the constant turnover and settling into a core group.
A core group that was particularly territorial about sharing rooms.

Which is how I now feel about sharing gardens!


Friday, 20 May 2016

For the love of vintage.

In a world of Ikea flat packs and chipboard my love of vintage is growing.
Unlike my home, which could do with a larger workspace.
Or my will power, which could do with brakes.
But I really did need that statuesque 1970s cabinet to store my vintage fabric.
And I couldn't possibly leave the beautiful 1930s side unit, with the handle carved in the shape of a rose, to languish under a box of vinyl in a charity shop...
The British Red Cross, Oxford Street, Swansea.
Fast becoming my favourite shop.
And responsible for my shopping list looking something like this...bread, milk, table, chocolate, chair, wardrobe.
And a delivery service better than any other shop or department store.
There's something rather wonderful about old furniture.
The real wood, the history...the remnants of decades old lining paper.
And as for glass jelly moulds - my impulse buy of choice, and great for storage in the bathroom.
It's probably a good thing they don't stock vintage haberdashery or I'd be there every day!
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But for vintage fabric, there's always Ebay, with its array of wonderful, tactile vintage wools.
I love vintage wool.
My most recent purchase was a 1980s suiting wool, which was perfect for a long cat draught excluder.
He's called Jasper.

And now I'm off to Swansea to fill my fridge via the inevitable pull of the British Red Cross.
Because I could really do with another wardrobe...

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

The Blame Game.

14th February.

The traditional day of hearts and flowers, romance and gestures.
This year, it also marked the end of a year which has opened my eyes to the self absorbed world of addiction and denial, depression fallout and frustration at being unable to help.
Yes, I fell for someone with enough baggage and issues to floor an elephant.

I learned that addiction and denial go hand in hand.
That addiction, denial and depression feed off each other.

I learned that you cannot help someone who doesn't want to be helped.
That a large part of denial is The Blame Game.

And I realised I had to let this person go.

Friday, 12 February 2016

Suki. 12 years of furry bonding, seeing me through muddy knees to Canary Wharf and everything in between.

Ex feral from the lean mean streets of Neath, and adopted many years ago in September 2003.
Now age 13, a diva in retirement, with forgetful episodes.
Still sassy, but taking life at a slower pace.
And not loving wet feet, which will please the local birds and mice, but for me it's tinged with sadness, as it comes with the realisation that she is aging.

Suki came into my life when my son was 11, and in his first year at Secondary school.
They bonded in the pen, with Josh refusing to leave unless we adopted Suki, and Suki hissing at any other cat that dared to approach.
Now, Josh is 23 and swapping rural Wales for Canary Wharf at the end of the month.

Suki has seen me through many changes, from muddy knees and trailing leads to Australia and disturbed nights, through uni and empty nest syndrome, traumatic and difficult times at work, Gibraltar and now the lure of London.
Along the way she has accompanied me to work, escorted me to bus stops, climbed up and down hills to set up Art Clubs and claimed the whole village as her territory.

Still at my side; intuitive, special, and I love her to bits.