Saturday, 21 July 2018

A Weaver of Stories




First shift done and dusted.  I am quite knackered this morning and slept through until 6am, late for me. Now I'm mainlining tea like it's going out of fashion.  Despite only a small sniff of alcohol and copious water intake I'm very dehydrated.  It must be all that arm waving from directing traffic and dancing on a minor road in between times!

 I'll write about my exploits in a hi-vis jacket tomorrow after my second shift as a Chagstock steward is over.  The very delighful Debra and I have been assigned to traffic duty at 'The Junction', the entrance to the site.  Ir should be an interesting one.

But today, I'll make it quick.  As it's a festival weekend I've chosen some music  Two bits actually.  It might be a surprise to my regular readers that I'm a bit of a fan of Billy Joel.  After all in the midst of all that indie folk he's a  rather mainstream.    But actually when I unpicked a bit it's really not surprising.    For he tells a good yarn with incredible emotion.  Anger, defiance and pathos are all there.  It's not too dissimilar to a lot of the other stuff that I like.

Friday, 20 July 2018

In a Field Somewhere in Devon


It dawned on me yesterday evening that this might be the first time that I've slept alone in Klaus the Knaus, my beloved motorhome, since I was living in him.  The three year anniversary of the end of that time is up soon.  Of course I have Felt Yoda to keep me company and impart words of wisdom.

I'm on the north edge of Dartmoor waiting for my chums who'll arrive this morning.  We're going to Chagstock festival but with a twist this year.  To save the pennies and do something different we've decided to volunteer as stewards.  In return we get some meals, a free ticket and the loan of a hi-vis jacket to show my authority.   I think I've been assigned car parking duty so lots of potential for wielding power!


I decided to head down last night just to have some time on my own.  A group of people further up the field invited me to party - hard into the early hours.  I politely declined their offer and parked up a sizeable distance away.    I hit the sack after a couple of beers at about 9:30pm just as the sun was setting.   This girl knows how to live it up.   Here's the view from my bedroom window.


Louis went to Glastonbury with his dad the other day.  He bought me a hanging thing with a crystal and an angel that's fallen apart before it's seen the light of day.  I need to get the pliers on it.  But he also got me some peace flags which I'm partial to.  They add a hippy air to the van.  Steak for tea.  Vegetarians, I am aware of the irony!

Thursday, 19 July 2018

Crap Cake



I normally do my weekly shop on Wednesday, my midweek day off on the way back from Totnes after dropping Louis off at the bus stop for schoool.  Aldi is the place of choice.  It's nice and quiet in there at that time of day.  But the last week of term's special activity schedule has blown our normal routine into the air.  Thank goodness for time off in lieu.    And so it was I ended up heading home  early on Tuesday evening and decided instead to stop and stock up on the way home.  I needed to go to Asda for some specific ingredients.  Aldi does not have all the basics.    Louis came into the store with me.  It was then I remembered why I prefer to shop alone.

 I forgot half of what I was buying and then I was pestered to put this monstrosity in my bag.  I refused on the grounds that didn't look like it was food and therefore didn't represent good value even if it was heavily marked down.  In the end Louis bought it out of his own pocket money.  I wasn't even going to allow him to do this but acquiesced when he said that he'd take it to school and share it with his friends.  Not before he brought the kids in from next door to have a look at his trophy food purchase.  They seemed as in awe as he was.


My objection on the grounds of this not being food as we know it seem quite reasonable.   When I make the fanciest cakes in my repertoire they have no more than ten ingredients.  Look at this lot!

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Growing Into It


My parenting skills were zilch before Louis was born and have been experimental ever since.  It's amazing that he's still alive today.    I'd held precisely one baby,  Josh, who is the son of my friends M and Paul beforehand.  He is a year and a day older than my son.  Thank goodness for his cast off clothes.  I hardly had to buy anything in the first few years of Louis' life.  It saved me an absolute fortune.  Some stuff came via the Second Martha Stewart and was worn first by her son Jack.   We passed it all on again.  I wonder if, fifteen years on, anything is still in circulation now.


I was fascinated by these garments by Petit Pli that I came across the other day that offer a different solution.   Their clever pleated two way construction allows the clothes to grow with the kid from babyhood to their toddler years.  How minimalist is that!   I wonder if they'll shrink back again when they finally reach full stretch ready to be used by another new born.  If this is possible could the range be extended to adult yo-yo dieters?

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Ten Years On




If I were to list the most noteworthy moments in my life, seeing  Leonard Cohen at the O2 in 2008 with his other number one fan Spiky Kay counts as one of them.   Maybe it doesn't rank above the birth of my boy, the death of my sister or the intense wonder of seeing Beehive Geyser erupt in Yellowstone National Park but it's up there.   At the time I didn't know that the whole concert was being filmed and recorded and that my enthusiastic whoops from about the twentieth row back would be recorded for posterity.

Today it's exactly ten years ago since that concert.  Time is a funny old thing; that night can feel like an aeon or just a few months ago.   I'm drawn back to it every time I listen to the album.  A surprisingly intimate evening in such a vast space.  I  was pretty ill at the time, depressed and yet to seek treatment .  Shortly afterwards, maybe a week or so,  I admitted to myself and my GP that a person working in a mental health team was allowed to be overwhelmed with hopelessness themselves.  Antidepressant medication,  now long discontinued, started me on a journey of recovery.  It may well have saved my life.

What I remember is that the evening  brought me a rare spike of happiness in an abyss of despair.  That's not such a bad achievement for a bloke that is so famed for his melancholy.   And maybe that glimpse of joy was the catalyst for the slow change which has culminated in my very different inner world today.   Back then I didn't know such contentment, peace and lack of angst was possible.  Thank you Mr Cohen.

Monday, 16 July 2018

Brownies Through the Ages


I was out with a friend the other day.  At this moment in time I can't recall for the life of me who it was.  Yet more evidence that my fifty something body and brain is collapsing around me.  We saw some brownies in their uniform and commented on how dead funky they look these days.

I went all the way through the Girl Guide Movement in the '70s and early eighties.    My uniform was the one from 1968 complete with beret.  I remember envying those girls who joined after me for their much more natty bobble hat!

PS:   Just remembered it was Salty Dog!

Sunday, 15 July 2018

Kids Meals: Not the McD Version


Photo:  96.7 CHYM

I came across these the other day.  They are beautiful plates  that a mother has created to encourage her daughter to eat healthily.  Now obviously, as  a full-time working parent, I don't do this.  Also there's no pulling the wool over Louis' eyes.  He is sharp.  Even if a hated food was shaped like an adorable animal it wouldn't encourage him to eat.  Now he's fifteen he's getting better but we still have our moments.  I prompted him to try coconut the other day as he hasn't eaten it for years.  He put some in his month and whoomf!  It was straight out again - like a tropical snowstorm.  So he still doesn't care for it them!

Anyway this is still a lovely idea.  If you follow the link below the picture there's a video that I didn't manage to embed.