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Thursday, 19 July 2012


ThursDAY, July 19, 2012

Simple Woman's Daybook: 19th July 2012

Outside My Window ... Cloudy sky, bit windy but at least the rain has stopped.
I am thinking ... about my little sister, it is her birthday today, I hope it has been a good one and that the year ahead goes well.
From the learning rooms ... Ian is listening to a lecture about maths. of course. Working late as usual! He has just come in and said the OU has sent him an email about improving his CV. What a hoot! Of course there are all his domestic and catering skills to be added too. No wonder he still is head hunted.
I am thankful for ... a letter from the Royal Brompton hospital, a copy of that sent to my GP for it reminds me of what I was told during my review, mentions my new medication and reminds me about various actions I must take. Perhaps next time I will ask Ian to take notes, there is so much to comprehend whilst trying to remember when I felt well, when I didn't, and how the unwellness varies. However, nothing but praise for the hospital.
From the kitchen ... two bags of morello cherries picked from a friend's garden as friend is moving soon and will not be able to use them. 
I am wearing ... Jeans size 12, so pleased I can fit into them again, blue top and navy blue cardigan.

I am creating ... sports car coat for Treasure's grandson, just have to pick up and knit collar and sew seams; a pink cushion cover for Martha and am making 124th hexipuff.

I am going ...  to try to see the Olympic Torch next week and then the road races which pass fairly near here. 
I am reading ... have yet to pick up book from last Monday's reading group meeting. We read One Day by David Nicholls. I enjoyed it, could see how it relates to the lives of a generation below mine, life was so different for us.
I am hoping ... the Olympics are a success, London is buzzing, busy and I think the clear direction signs stay put on the Underground after the games are over.
I am hearing ... very little, just a few planes, not sure whether they are arriving or departing.
Around the house ... beautifully clean and tidy thanks to our Treasure who came today.
One of my favourite things ... going into London. Last Tuesday went to the Summer exhibition at the Royal Academy with some of the artists from Ian's U3A group. We copied an idea, instead of slowly perusing each painting, look at an area from a distance and just study a work that appeals rather than viewing everything. Really worked, we saw far more than a couple of years ago. Still spent a goodly time looking at the architectural models and associated art in those rooms.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week ... well maybe cooking with the cherries; completing the jacket and starting a beanie hat; volunteer work at Local Studies; planting a geranium cutting that has rooted...

Check out The Simple Woman for links to other Daybooks and instructions if you want to do one of your own.

Friday, 6 July 2012

Thoughts on a Gala Evening.

Yesterday evening Ian and I went to a Gala Evening view the artwork from his U3A group. The event was called  "Artists of a certain age", but age was no barrier for this talented group. Apart from admiring the work it was an opportunity for "other halves" to be paraded.

Apparently the painters talk about their families and so when introductions were made it was fascinating to hear how the painter had been looking forward to meeting the other halves. I assume I wasn't found wanting for I have been invited, with others,  to join the group in their visit to The Royal Academy and for a barbeque lunch later in the Summer.

 It struck me that the group, like so many others, serves a far wider purpose than learning how to use acrylics, water colours etc. It is the camaraderie, the mutual support, the friendship that develops that make these classes so important, they give the opportunity to ask advice from perhaps another who has been widowed, to discuss the balance in a relationship that develop where perhaps one party is a lot older or younger than the other or in poorer health. Ian remarked that for some of those attending it has been a lifeline.

It is only recently that I have realised how an activities like this have a two fold, or indeed manifold purpose. Sometimes I go along to a knitting group, this started in a local yarn shop, presumably to boost trade. Knitters would browse the patterns, purchases would be made, discussions fostered a competitiveness with skills so encouraging the purchase of different needles or wool. Alongside this, help was given with difficult stitches, confidences and advice were exchanged and the experience of a wide age range of women was shared. Cake and recipes were included in this so we outgrew the space available and moved to the pub where I think the intimacy of the group was lost but there is still more than knitting.

 It is like the arguments about the Freedom Pass. It is much more than free travel, it is a facility for us to go forth and help the economy, shopping, perhaps meeting friends for lunch or even travelling to where we work as a  volunteer. Another benefit is no hassle for queuing up for tickets,or trying to find the right change on the bus. All this can deter, especially if the train is coming, there's a long queue at the ticket office or machine.

Another benefit is widening one's circle of acquaintances, Ian doesn't belong to our local U3A so it's another group of suburbanites, yet even then there are links. One painter's wife told me about her offspring's teaching post, I know the Head of that particular school, we once lived in the same road.

Just a couple of views from the gallery.

Another benefit was we went to an area of suburban London that was new to us. I like seeing different districts of my city.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Flower show

Haven't really had much about which to post here, life goes on in its usual chaotic fashion at Pixie Towers.

However, yesterday we went out to play at the Hampton Court Flower Show, attendance at which was suggested by my cousin M. (well our Mums were cousins but you get the relationship). The four of us, yes husbands came too, met up after a little local difficulty. Neither parties, who were arriving from different directions realised there was more than one entrance to the show, so we arrived at 10 at the Palace gate and the other couple were at the River entrance. Eventually we were together, thanks to mobile phones.

Started off by taking photos of the gardens, but then once we went off for lunch, forgot about the camera but here are a couple:-

Yes, not what we expected, it was to show what could be done with derelict land in an urban environment.
Another prettier garden, with lots of traditional cottage type plants is shown below. There were quite a few of these sorts of gardens, much greener, informal and natural. I like these.

this was lovely too.

Very crowded at times, we had lunch in the Alium Restaurant and Bistro, where we were able to sit, eat, chat indoors at a proper table and chairs.

More sitting down as we watched a demonstration of bread making, different methods from how we do it. Some very useful hints from the School of Artisan Food, little things like keep your yeast in the fridge, but put the bag (however well sealed) in a plastic container; don't use the sachets of yeast, lots of additives.
Reader, we bought the book, more practical than going on a course in Nottinghamshire.

Almost at the exit bought another book called Pretty Nostalgic Home; happy days from vintage ways by Nicole Burnett & Sarah Legg. Along with it were the first two issues of  a new magazine Pretty Nostalgic. 
It is self publishing, so hard in today's world that I would like to give you their website for you to see for yourself. . Just talking to the authors I felt they needed some encouragement, we did discuss indexes, ISBNs and the publishing world too. Hard work at the fringes of the show, but they were so cheerful and pleased to be staying in a B & B in Kingston rather than camping in the rain.

Looking at the catalogue now I realise that we missed so much, it would have been better to have had it before we went rather than buying it as we went in. Will look up stuff on t'internet instead, but now am off to watch programme about London streets. I know it will be recorded, but we never get round to watching recordings.