Thursday, July 26

parcel, parcel, wherefore art thou parcel?

I bought a new part for the horse trailer (well new-to-me anyway)
and yes, of COURSE I bought it on eBay

The seller emailed to say twould be delivered by City Link
the next day
so I waited
and waited
and. . .
well you get the picture, I waited a bit more
and then I phoned
and waited
and waited
and. . .
well you get the picture, I waited a bit more

 Hayley, who had the voice of an angel
(I'd been waiting on the line so long she could've BEEN an angel)
 agreed with me that it was overdue
in fact she told me that it was undeliverable
the driver had been unable to find our address
the local A-Z map book

As you know we live in a rural area
commonly known as "the countryside"
in a rural county commonly known as Dorset.
And City Link send their drivers to this area
armed with an A-Z MAP BOOK???

Errrr excuse me,
but although I don't have one
aren't sat nav systems quite commonplace now
or have City Link embraced the Luddite system instead?

So this morning, armed with passport ID and 2 utility bills
I made the 90 minute round-trip to the depot
to collect said parcel

With great relish the gentleman behind the counter
warmly dressed in flouro overalls and a knitted beanie
(it was in the 20s by 10 a.m)
showed me that we weren't in the A-Z map book

No, I said, indeed we're not

Where do you live then?

In the middle of a field I said

A field?
A field?
A field. . .like with grass 'n' stuff?

Yes, that type of field

With animals? Sheep? Cows?

No, no animals at the moment

An empty field then?
Yes, an empty field
Apart from the grass 'n' stuff?
Yes, an empty field apart from the grass and stuff- and some trees
Oh grass' n'stuff and TREES!!

D'you know he said, shaking his head in disbelief,
I've never met anyone before who lives in a field
I'd find it very strange

Well, I said
I'd find it very strange having neighbours either side
and opposite and behind

How do people get to you?

Well, I said
normally they open the gate and drive up the drive
or if they're feeling energetic
they've been known to park by the gate
and walk up the drive!

And why are you actually IN this field?  he said

Well, I said
I guess when they built the house that was where they wanted to put it

When was that? He said
1879 I said

After all this time I'm surprised you're not in the A-Z he said
but no wonder you didn't get your parcel
we don't usually deliver to fields. . .

Do you think maybe its because we're unused to the hot weather??

Wednesday, July 25

just what was needed. . .

I had an 8.30 doctor's appointment this morning to discuss a recent bone-density scan (don't ask; not the result I'd wanted)
and on a whim I phoned a friend
 to see if she was free and fancied meeting-up for breakfast.

Now, how totally completely and utterly butterly naughty is that!!

We sat under parasols in the little courtyard garden alongside
Number 9 just up from Wimborne Minster's main square,
Stacey had smoked salmon and scrambled eggs on a toasted muffin
and I had a large bowl of muesli and yoghurt topped with fresh fruit salad
(alas Bucks Fizz was a temptation too far. . .)

We put the world, our husbands and horses to rights
(not necessarily in that order) and soaked-up the peaceful
ambience of England on a summer's morning
when the weather has finally managed to get it oh so perfectly right.

Sometimes when life seems a tad weightier than you want,
a dear friend and a far-from-routine treat is the best medicine in the world!

Wednesday, July 18

5 shades would probably be enough for me. . .

I've got a stinking cold and a hacking cough which is most unlike me. I decided to spend my confinement seeing what all the hype was about and borrowed Julie's copy of FSoG.       Errr. . .good publicity but awful writing and the most believable character so far seems to be the grey silk tie. Maybe I'm just old and boring but as yet it doesn't really do anything for me (except bring on a coughing fit) and I feel sad for better writers of Adult Fiction who quite simply weren't in the right-place-at-the-right-time when the publicity machine started to roll.                           I've never read Barbara Cartland or Mills & Boon so I don't have many comparisons with modern literary Adonises but Jilly Cooper does a good line in macho hunks with more than a hint of whips and spurs who don't take themselves quite so blimmin' seriously. I'll endeavour to finish the book (purely in the interests of research of course) while I have the time, so may be tied up for a little while longer. . .

Monday, July 16

unashamedly touched by the torch

The Olympic torch was carried through nearby Blandford Forum
and with a completely open mind as to whether we should/shouldn't
be hosting The Games or spending the overspent budget
I went to watch, deliberately not taking my camera because so often I record stuff
rather than actually seeing it and this time,
I didn't want to live the moment vicariously through post-event pictures.

Blandford is a genteel and slightly down-at-heel Georgian market town
with a wealth of exquisite architecture if you look up
and an ecclectic community mix of young mums with pushchairs,
retired hippies and elderly Ladies in de rigeur hats and gloves.
The charity shops are always well stocked, there's some fabulous
craft shops, boutiques and coffee houses and
oddly enough for a small town, Boots the Chemist have
three separate shops. . .but I digress.

The pavements were awash with hordes of flag waving fanfare blowing
generally jovial crowds, shopkeepers stood in their doorways
keeping half an eye on the procession/half an eye on customers inside,
the flouro-clad Torch Bearer Officials were laughing and joking and the
generous battalion of police riding motorbikes decked with
Union flags, waved and played to the crowd- baiting the
whistle blowers with siren replies until the cacophony reached fever pitch.

Office windows above shops were crammed with sightseers,
wide-eyed schoolchildren waved touchingly handmade flags
nobody attempted to push in front of the disabled and elderly seated by the kerb
and Special Constables said "please" when they asked pedestrians not to stand
in the middle of a road unaccountably still open to through traffic.

Then, timed to perfection as the cavalcade began,
the rain fell and in a stoic show of Britishness,
no-one dared to hoist an umbrella. . .
motorbikes, police cars, baton twirlers, Tour Cars and Busses,
huge motorised Coca-Cola bottles carrying bands and dancers
and Help-for-Heroes runners almost hiding a slim girl carrying the torch aloft-
waving, running, laughing, the flame almost diminished by the brightness
of her proud smile, capable in that moment of lighting up the whole world!

The cheers were deafening.
In a time of such economic gloom, of hardship and lost hope
and the wettest summer ever,
people stood shoulder-to-shoulder hurrah-ing their hearts out,
 and children would always remember the day they saw the Olympic Torch
carried through Blandford Forum.

It sounds corny even for a slushy sentimentalist such as me
but I'm not ashamed to say my face felt damp as I walked away. . .
and it wasn't just the  rain

ps thanks to my very organised friend Colleen I'm going to see
the Olympic dressage at Greenwich Park.
Please please PLEASE don't let it rain that day!!!

Thursday, July 12

does anyone else lurve their teatowels?

Why, you might ask, was there such cause for celebration yesterday?
Such joy, such whooping of whoops and clapping of hands?
A bottle of the sparkly stuff brought forth from the fridge
glasses clinked, bunting flown, smug satisfaction at a job WELL DONE

a new family member. . .noooooooooo
a winning ticket from Mr Lottery. . .NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
moving house/changing car/Nobel prize. . .even louder NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!
an exam passed with flying colours...not a hope in hell

The reason my dear friends,
the twinkle of glee to brighten the grey
is that I braved the monsoon
ignored the thunderstorm
waded through pavements awash with summer rain
until I reached the chosen location
and with much brolly-shaking I gingerly stepped through the door
found the right department

Now, you probably all have girly-gorgeous kitchens
in which to flaunt your colour co-ordinated Cath Kidston linens
with unfettered abandon, but my teatowels have been with me
longer than most of my friends
and over the years (and years and years and years) of use and abuse
they've gone from thick to thin, then to thinner
and then. . .dare I say. . .to threadbare.

They have no fabric left in them worth boiling
they have no pattern
no colour
no wipeability
and dare I say it. . .no use
I have dusters (ah dusters- but that's another story!) that look better.

So three of the oldest and longest-wiping are
due for eviction from the dresser drawer.
No glittering ceremony or long service medals,
just an honourable retirement tied to the end of  Mark's ladder
where it rests on the back of the truck en route to decorating jobs.

Flying the flag for old teatowels everywhere!

p.s does anyone else have a thing about teatowls, or is it just me?
p.p.s I do know a certain someone who names their clothes pegs. . .


Friday, July 6

I don't mind spiders & snakes. . .

I was working in the kitchen when I heard what I thought was
a motorbike revving-up in the utility room.

On closer investigation the reverberating drone turned out to be
a huge hornet caught in a cobweb
(I would say it was the only cobweb, missed on dusting day,
but we all know that she who protesteth most loudly. . .)

Breaking herself free she landed on the carpet with a thud
so I covered her with the colander til Ted got home.

I have no fear of spiders, snakes, slugs, mice and all the usual squirmies
but these giant hornets which nest in the trees above our house
frighten the living daylights out of me!

Ted came home and gently lifted her onto a piece of card,
unpicked the web from her legs with the tip of a penknife
and held her aloft until she flew free.

She measured just under 2 inches long
 and I took the pics on the highest zoom setting, standing VERY well back!
(and the photo doesn't lie- it had STOPPED RAINING!!)

Wednesday, July 4

summer slumber. . .

so what else IS there to do on yet another wet July day??

Monday, July 2

Rags to Riches!

The Vintage Bazaar Rag Market on Saturday was. . .

Buyers flocked through the door in a steady stream throughout the day;
lots of lovely people really interested in re-working old textiles
and breathing new life into all things vintage-
many in ways I'd never before considered.

For me it was a bonus to clear out cupboards and stockpiles
 and have others share the joy of my hoarded treasures.

Such a stunning display of wares on sale and true to form
I never took a single picture- not even of my own stall. Doh!

Lizzie and Clare (and of COURSE Jack) work so hard on all our behalfs,
A simple thankyou never seems sufficient for all the effort they spend
 ensuring stallholders have the best day possible. . .
needless to say I can't wait for the next fair to come around

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