Calendars for Sale

I have a few calendars still for sale. Three have crossed the pond and been received safely, a fourth is on its way. Two are in Belfast; one in Suffolk; ten have been reserved and will be handed over soon; six will have homes  locally. Not sure that makes MasterB a global superstar just yet, but he’s working on it.

The feedback so far has been great. Here’s what Pix had to say:

CH just walked in with Master B’s calendar! Love it! Thank you Isobel!!!

So to remind you, in case you are hesitating, this is what the cover looks like:

Cover Continue reading

Of Autumn, Boot Cleaning, Strawberry Tree Fruit and Filing

I didn’t get as far as St James’ Park today, but I was in the garden. It’s autumn there too.

I went out to scrape the mud from my boots. Mud from the moat at the Tower of London. They are not my best boots, and I was planning to get rid of them, but after being at the Tower, I thought I might use them for wet and cold days in town. So I was a bit put out to find the sole was coming away on one of them.

I took my camera out too. I was hoping MasterB would come with me, and I might get a picture of him on the same lines as the one I included in the calendar when I was cleaning  another pair of boots; my second best ones. I have three pairs of boots of varying vintage, comfort and waterproofness. My best ones are brown leather, currently cleaned and polished so they look like shiny conkers. Cleaning walking boots is somehow very satisfying. Meditative too. I find myself reliving  the walk where they got dirty; wondering if a future archaeologist will come across some mud that does not fit with this part of the UK, and come up with a theory as to why it is here; thinking about other walks I should like to do.

But I digress.

MasterB had gone back to bed. We had played extensively indoors, he had been out and about after breakfast, and we had played again when he came in. He lost his favourite mouse, a gift from the Lovely Ex-Neighbours. I thought it was under the fridge, but no amount of swishing about with the fly swat brought it to light.

Unusually, there was no sign of Cookie outside either, though an hour or so ago she followed me round to a neighbour’s house where I had something to deliver. So my pictures are minus felines. And minus sun. Today was damp and dull.

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A Dickens of a Farrago

This morning, as is my habit, I scanned the email I receive daily from the Guardian media group that gives me details of the top stories. One headline caught my eye: a shadow cabinet minister had resigned because of a tweet she had sent during the Rochester by-election. Ed Milliband, her party leader was said to have been furious, or some similar adjective, about the tweet. Rochester is a city of two halves, and one where people will shortly be donning bonnets, shawls and loud waistcoats for the annual Dickensian Christmas festival. I clicked, wondering idly if she had called Nigel Farage a farrago, or some such thing, and saw a picture of a house where someone’s idea of exterior decoration appeared to be flags over the windows. St George’s flags. St George being the patron saint of England. Actually he’s the patron saint of various other places too, including Barcelona, but excluding Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, so a pretty strange flag for a supporter of a party purporting to stand for the whole of the UK to display. She’d tagged it Image from #Rochester. That was it. Yet apparently some people, including members of her own party, thought it “derogatory and dismissive of the people”. Others have accused her of snobbery. It’s the sort of picture I might take myself. Continue reading

Poppy Dismantling

Pix at her Tiny Ten wrote yesterday of snow. In Lndon, I haven’t got the heating on yet, apart from the heated towel rail in the bathroom that is. It has been unseasonably mild. I went to dinner tonight at Octavia’s. Her mother, Rae (query spelling), is with her, a hale nonagenarian. While Octavia made a ‘phone call, Rae and I guzzled the good red wine. On the way home a short time ago, I actually felt very warm. I don’t think that was entirely due to the wine. Although this mildness, and the floods elsewhere in Europe, are worrying indications of climate crisis – and if I lived in one of those parts of Britain where floods have become the norm over the last few years, I imagine I would now be on Prozac – I admit I was grateful for the unseasonal warmth today. I spent the afternoon in the moat at the Tower of London as part of the disassembly team of volunteers taking the poppy display apart. An email yesterday warned us to expect Glastonbury conditions. The shift before us gleefully warned us of a mud bath. I can only think they don’t walk on unpaved paths very often.

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A Candle for a Cat

Out all day working – hurrah, some money! – theatre this evening, then a couple of drinks and some chat with a friend, so this post is a bit late. But hey, NaBloPoMo and not that long to go now to the end of the month and mission completed, etc etc.

I lit a candle today for a cat. He belonged to the neighbour who adopted Cat and his brother from the rescue centre. She is again working abroad, and decided the best thing to do was rehome her cat J.

Unfortunately, he did not settle. Always a cat with issues, he was peeing and pooing all around the house; upset and upsetting, A physical exam showed nothing wrong, and eventually his new owner decided to have him put down.

Today was the day he died. I was in Westminster Abbey so I lit a candle for him. There were prayer cards, and a notice that explained that prayers would be said at the shrine of Edward the Confessor for those named on the prayer cards if the details were given in clear print. Continue reading

Flushed with Pride

We’ve had Harvest Festival, Hallowe’en, Guy Fawkes night, The Lord Mayor’s Show, Remembrance Sunday, so what’s next?

I saw my first outdoor, proper Christmas tree today in Leadenhall Market; Bond Street has decorations up on a White Peacock design; Marks and Spencer is selling ordinary groceries in Christmas themed packaging, so it seems like the Festive Season is upon us.

But hold on a moment. According to my diary, it’s World Toilet Day on Wednesday, not to be confused with National Toilet Paper Day which is a US celebration that occurs on 26th August.

Strangely, I could find no cards to mark World Toilet Day; there were precious few birthday cards for sale either. God help you if you are born in November or December, it’s glitter and Nativity scenes, perky robins and Ho Ho Hoing all round.

Nor am I quite clear what the etiquette is around gifts for World Toilet Day. Some eco-friendly cleaner perhaps, or maybe a snazzy brush like the one I have on das Boot. I’d actually like a new loo seat (white plastic would be fine), if anyone is offering. Continue reading

Ghost Leaves

At this time of year, I love the way the leaves leave impressions on the pavements; their ghostly images  stencilled on concrete.

Today I took some pictures of them.

Let’s just say the results were rather dull.

Now if you follow this blog, you’ll know I am not a great fan of editing photos, adjusting the temperature, saturation etc. I think it’s probably a hang up from my SLR photography days, and a misguided desire for photographic truth. A truth I don’t hesitate to suppress when I delete out of focus pictures. So I thought I’d have a bit of a play. Continue reading