Tile We Meet Again

Off on the bike today to Vauxhall. It’s only a couple of miles away, maybe less, but it represented the longest ride I have taken on my bike since smashing my wrist. I still have an exaggerated aversion to cars being anywhere near me, but slowly slowly, I hope my hours in the saddle will increase.

My mission was to return some of the tile samples I bought last week and to look at further possibilities. Nothing yells out to me, and to complicate things, I have three rather lovely hand made tiles by Sue Hoar I should like to include, but they are a dfferent size to any I have seen for sale.

Hand Made Tiles by Sue Hoar

Hand-made tiles by Sue Hoar

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In Praise of Literacy

Jeanette Winterson. Amazing. Have you read her memoir, Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? If not, I am almost jealous of you, because you still have it to savour for the first time. An extraordinary book about an extraordinary life.


I’m glad she chose happy.

She certainly looked happy on Thursday night.

Celia and I trekked from the wilds of Se17 where we have only recently stopped painting ourselves blue, to the self-consciously sophisticated quarter of Notting Hill to hear JW talk about her new book, The Gap of Time, a reimagined version of Shakespeare’s A Winter’s Tale.

It was more than a talk, more than a reading, it was a performance. At first the sound system was overwhelmingly loud, but fortunately they got it sorted.

Naturally I want to read the book now, having passed up the possibility to buy it along with my ticket. The trouble is, my bookshelves are groaning. It doesn’t seem to matter how much I cull them, how much I try to restrict my book habit to library copies, there are always disorderly piles of them on every surface. Continue reading

If You Can’t Stand the Heat

We make plans, but things have a way, as Robbie Burns put it so well, to gang aft agly. Knowing that work was likely to tail off in November, I booked myself onto a walking holiday in Crete, a part of Greece I have never visited. This was back in the spring.


A call from the company organising the trip to tell me it was cancelled, left me wondering what I might do. Various ideas came to mind, but somehow, my holiday has turned into having a new kitchen installed, and paying a very nice man called Brian to do some much needed work on das Boot. I may still nip over to NI, and I have a hankering to visit Marseille where I lived for a year a very long time ago, but Knossos has given way to Wickes.


Some people, tell you their kitchen is falling apart when it isn't. Mine is. Twenty something years of hard graft have taken their toll.


The first step was a visit from The Planner, a man as lovely as Brian but a great deal younger called Ronnie. He measured, we chatted, he went away. Next I was summoned to a meeting with him. I thought it might last an hour. By the time I left, my head was feeling with measurements, prices, possibilities and I needed a lie down.


It seems I have cheap tastes, at Keats in kitchen doors, as having looked at kitchens with no prices on them, the one I like is at the lowest end of the price range. Still more expensive than a week in Crete though. Continue reading

Bench Series: September

The challenge this month is to post a photograph of a metal bench. Actually the benches I’d like to photograph are in Westminster, and sit outside a house where Lord Reith, first DG of the BBC, used to live. But September is racing to a close, and the chances of me being in that part pf London, with a camera, in daylight, are slim.

So these are from the neighbouring London Borough of Camden, famous for its music venues and its market. These are from the market.
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Shiraz or No Shiraz?

Bake Off over, Go Nadiya! My she’s doing well. If I knew how to place bets, I might put a tenner on her each way. I think that’s a betting term.

Soup that I didn’t get ready in time cooking on the hob, glass of extremely nice South Australian Shiraz on the book table just out of reach. Angove Heavyweight for those of you who know about these things. Which would not include me.

Fitting it’s Australian, because that, as far as I can make out, is where Ocsober began. In fact, there seem an extraordinary number of months in Australia where my Antipodean cousins are encouraged to forswear the demon alcohol. I can’t imagine why.
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Death is Overrated

I’ve not seen A for a while. I’m trying to remember the last time, and if the conversation I recall having some time ago was face to face or over the ‘phone.

But late last night I got a text from Nicola telling me A is in hospital and giving me the directions should I wish to see her. Nic said A had been very unwell, so I sent off another text saying I’d like to come and visit and when would suit.

Further texts from Nic made me realise the extent of very unwell. Dying. Cancer, though what type I do not know. Maybe that does not matter.

No reply from A to my text, but today a flurry of exchanged messages with Nic who had been to see her and found it hard. Near the end was a phrase she used in one of these messages. I brought forward my plans from Wednesday to tomorrow. Continue reading

The 2016 Calendar Long Long List, Your Chance to Choose!

I am not happy with Apple. Before it messed around with iPhotos and made it Photos, there was a mechanism where you could put a calendar together, one photo per month as is my preference, or a group several photos as you desired. This could then be exported as a PDF and sent to the printing firm of your choice. In my case Pinnacle Images. Of course, what Apple really wanted, was for you to order the calendar through them, but we’re not all millionaires, so the export option, though hidden, was welcome.
There is still that option, but someone who is lucky to be nameless because otherwise I might well be making a wax effigy, decided that simple flexible calendar tool was not enough. No. There is a new tool that seems to be inspired by geometrical progression, or possibly Fibonacci Sequence, that dictates that you can only have one month with one photograph, then you must have three months with two photographs, four with three photographs, and four with six photographs.

I have spent more hours than I care to admit trying to make the calendar I want to make. I think this evening that I have (almost) cracked it, so now to put the long long list of possible photos for inclusion in the 2016 Ginger Ninja Calendar before you and invite your comments.







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