Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Mail me pink.

The bane of my life.
And this week has brought it all.

Addresses which don't match postcodes, addresses with no postcode at all...incomplete addresses, customers who change their addresses after payment...

And then there's the rural post office, with the antiquated scales that never match my own, consistently adding extra grams which cost extra pounds to post.

The grey fox currently AWOL in Seattle, and my apparent inability to match up the right parcels with the right labels after midnight, resulting in BluePeter-esq deconstructions with the packaging.

BUT -on the plus side - the ironing board has never been so useful, and I'm completely in love with the pink mailing bags!

Sunday, 14 December 2014

The big wheel and eternal lure of the fairground.

There's something about the fairground.
Daytime, dusk or night, scratch below the grime and tackiness and there's a magical quality.


As a child it was special.
The smell of the candyfloss we were never allowed, the rationed rides... the imagery.

As a teenager it acquired a dangerous edge, with a magic all of its own.
The first time I went on the big wheel my bag was open, spraying change like confetti onto the people below.

On SdotYam it symbolised 50 years of independence.
I still remember the sheer terror of being unceremoniously shoved off the laundry roof on a zipline.
And this time there was unlimited candyfloss. 
Alongside unlimited jugs of wine.

SdotYam, 1990.
Willie and Victor.

With a small child it was always the ghost train and carousel, and as the mother of a grown up son I  find myself drawn back to the strong imagery of the big wheel.



Now, I like the fairground as it's just waking up, and prefer my photos devoid of people cluttering up the foreground!


Wednesday, 10 December 2014

A tornado of fluff in the run up to Christmas.

The floor.  Oh my goodness - the floor!
It's as if a tornado has whipped up all the cotton and fabric and paper scraps and displaced them at random.
So many foxes, so little space!

In three years I have never been this busy; sleep has taken a back seat, the sewing machine has acquired a solid coating of fluff around the bobbin and the overused printer has been sworn at and loved in equal measure. 
I have learned that working after midnight is decidedly dodgy.
Labels on wrong parcels, heads sewn on upside down, over indulgence of chocolate...

Thank goodness for a fantastic courier and a post office at the top of the road.
Alongside marmite and Vintage TV.

Christmas can wait.
It will be a last minute panic which I'm refusing to think about until a week before.
Plenty of time...

I seem to be developing a bah humbug attitude towards Christmas.
I love the smell of the Christmas tree, mince pies, fairy lights and The Pogues Fairytale in New York.
I have an aversion to the abundance of Christmas tat in the shops.

Gone are the days of large family get togethers; Christmas day has become more fragmented.
It is also the first year that my son will be working.
He officially graduated last week and I'm very proud.
Although he has yet to master the washing up bowl.


Monday, 10 November 2014

Does wacky equal batty??? Surely not!

According to Google, that font of all knowledge, the dictionary definition of wacky is odd or irrational; crazy.
I prefer eccentric.
Certainly my dress sense has been described as veering on wacky on various occasions, but Friday evening, it seemingly rendered me batty.

Standing at the bus station waiting for a worryingly late night bus, I appeared to be labelled as batty and hard of hearing.
Amazing how a few drinks make everyone an expert.
And Swansea bus station by night appears to be batty central.

I voiced my worry about making a connection from the still to arrive night bus.
Big mistake.
The conversation went like this:

Expert:  No connection at Gowerton, dear, you can't get to Gower on this bus.

Me:       Oh yes I can, there's a connection at Gowerton.

Expert:  You're on the wrong bus love, you want the 116.

Me:        In daylight yes - at night, it's this bus.

Expert in loud voice to wife: See that girl, she's waiting for the wrong bus, she thinks this one goes to Gower.

Expert to me:  And where does the connection start from then, you want the NAT bus, the 116,  it starts here.               

Wife of expert:  Are you sure you want Gower?

By now I was losing the will to live.
Thankfully the bus did turn up.
As did the connection- all the way to Gower.

Fancy that...

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Rural hibernation, an aversion to Christmas and the luminousity of pea and ham soup.

If I could sum up this week in three words they would be hibernation, bah-humbug and flight.
Hibernation as I have an aversion to winter.
Bah-humbug as Christmas just winds me up.
And flight as I've got definite itchy feet.
So, with radiators on full and the television switched firmly off I am blocking out the Christmas adverts and immersing myself in Liberty Lawn.

There is something very soothing about Liberty Lawn.
The timeless quality; chintz versus bold prints interspersed with  paisley riots.
My own personal favourites are the Susanna range of modern florals and the delicate paisley print below.
It's going to be a fox.
With textured wool accents.

No fabric in Cardiff yesterday.
Oh no.
Having fled the grey drizzle of Gower for the retail therapy of Cardiff it was on the agenda, but I was seduced by furry boots and Hotel Chocolat.
Can you ever have too many furry boots, particularly when they are furry sheepskin?
And as for Hotel Chocolat - well, it saved on postage.

This has been a week when I've rediscovered pea and ham soup but am still in search of my baking mojo.
It's all in the colour.
That luminous green, the radiant purple of the onion and the smokiness of the gammon.
The fact that it tastes amazing is an added bonus!

It has also been a week when I've found myself pondering on the dismissiveness that comes so effortlessly to my 22 year old son.
I happened to pick up the phone to his boss while he was out.
The text I later received read: 
Yes I can see no problems.
 Please don't answer/speak in future.
Hope you've had a nice day!

The word git sprung to mind...



Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Dear Diary...Tuesday 17th December 1991. Numb.

7.30pm, nursing a large coffee and the after effects of cheap plonk at The Israel Museum.
And numb.

Thankyou, Bo, for lifting my mood this afternoon over red wine and crisps.
And for overseeing the babyfeet card, which probably shouldn't have been written with a wine fuzzled head.
The waffling expanded away from the straight lines...
As did Bo's walking when I waved her off at the hitching post.

Today is my last full day in Israel, fitting really that it should be Jerusalem.
But I'm numb to the core.
Each and every time I've come to Israel I've known I'd be back, but this time is different.
It feels so final.
And it wasn't meant to be like this.

Yesterday I left SdotYam.
My safety net.
Willie organised a brilliant farewell party the night before, where I broke my no drinking rule in truly shocking style, getting really drunk, and had a great time.
So many people were there, and then there were the ones who weren't, who we visited anyway!

A last walk on the beach, with Bo, Michael, four legged Jessica and I have no idea who the other two were, and a farewell coffee with the wonderful Yosi Seri. 
Max was passed out in my room - I had to prod her awake to say goodbye, then Bo, before waiting for my lift, and it was there, all alone with Jessica at my feet and the sun rising, that I broke down and cried.
It was tough.

Back in Jerusalem, after lugging an overflowing rucksack through the soggy back streets, The Jasmine was eerily silent.
Letting myself in, I was suddenly ankle deep in water, and it was deserted.
Best laid plans...
Luckily, the King George didn't require flippers, so I dumped my stuff, pocketed the card and, after wandering round aimlessly to put off the inevitable, I found myself at the door of the one place I knew I had to go.
Full of nerves, apprehension and the urge to run I eventually managed to knock the door.

And no-one answered.

Monday, 27 October 2014

Not just a cat.

I have two cats.
Tomorrow, the eldest will be 12.
Having adopted her from a cat charity eleven years ago, no-one knew her exact age but this was the birthday we gave her.

Semi feral, nervous and skittish, she has never forgotten her alley roots.
A three kilo diva - to me and Josh loving and faithful, to anyone else a hissing cobra.
And tomorrow she will be going under anaesthetic to remove numerous blunt yellow teeth.
I feel guilty and apprehensive.
Very apprehensive.
Her name is Suki.

I've never left her at the vets before.
Despite her petite stature, nervous disposition and blunt teeth she appears to have been labelled as vicious, with vets requiring rottweiler gloves.
She won't be cooperative tomorrow.
And I won't be able to concentrate on anything until she is safely through the operation.

Josh is 22.
They chose each other.
At the cat homing fair, they bonded in the pen.
While I looked around, Josh refused to budge from Suki's pen, with Suki at his side, hissing at any cat daring to unsurp her.

Suki has seen him through school, sixth form and university.
She's been here through the arguments, laughter, and traumas.
Through Gibraltar and empty nest syndrome.
Through battles at work, Australia and readjusting.
She's empathetic, intelligent and very special.

Although maybe with less teeth she won't be rehoming as many baby rats.
I won't miss the rats.