Photo of the Day – Hands

Dear sweet Mr P. was cleaning out his work bag.  I took a picture of all the work gloves that came out and were laid on the floor for matching and  inspection.  Mr. P’s hands were added to the picture.

I have been very hand orientated recently as I am practicing the guitar everyday until they ache, which does not see to be long. I had a strange moment when Mr P. told me how good it was that I was learning a new skill at my age and I suddenly had one of those moments when I thought that I was maybe too old to learn something new. The thing is I am enjoying it so much. Also when I went to the hospital last week the consultant put the comma in the wrong place and called me a 52 year….old woman. Not yet I shouted not yet! In Greece I am still considered young see link!  I am still trying to put that one away, as, like I harp on, it is never too late. Must remember my own advise. Ah the sound of early morning  drilling! The man on the TV who is having his house excavated, is not making any friends, as both houses on either side  of his are cracking and moving, as are his neighbours (not moving, as in moving house, but definitely cracking up) as his builders wake us all up every day since July. Deep Joy.

SONG OF THE DAY Bill Withers – Grandma’s Hands/Use Me

Tom Waits Will be In My Oven for the Rest of the Afternoon

It is the season of mellow fruitfulness and the  local farmer’s market is full of organic pumpkins and squash. After yesterday morning’s  rant, I seemed to spend the rest of the day eating and preparing food. I am not a big fan of gluten free bread, as I think it is like vegetarian meat substitute, the work of the devil! This is about the third time this year that I have indulged in a gluten free bacon sandwich! It was heavenly – that will do for another 4 months though…a bit too many ingredients in gluten free bread for me to trust it as a reliable food source. Then soon after the sandwich it was red cabbage, carrot and orange coleslaw with creme fraiche and mayonnaise and smoked mackerel, eaten in the garden, accompanied by some neighbour’s heavy drilling – way over the allotted construction hour around these parts. …Completely stuffed by 2 pm, what with the porridge, banana and maple syrup  in the morning  there would be no feeding necessary for the rest of the day, apart from a couple of carrot sticks and some hummous.

Back to Tom Waits. Mr P. is putting together his Christmas Cake today, second year in a row. He buys the Delia Christmas cake ingredients from Waitrose supermarket for a tenner. You get all the ingredients in little bags all measured out, and you then add citrus zest, eggs and butter to the packets from the fancy box. Mr P. has swapped the flour for gluten free, so I might have a piece this year. Outside of  the cake tin was wrapped some newspaper and there I spied in the oven Tom Waits hanging  – held there only by a piece of green string…. and there you were thinking if you were in the newspaper,

you were only tomorrow’s chip wrapper. Mr P. is in competition with his landscape gardener partner who makes an obscenely wicked piece of Christmas cake. A small  piece of  PK’s annual Christmas cake ( and that is all you get!) will have any upstanding teetotal tottering in the aisles for the rest of the  afternoon. He feeds his cake everyday with fine brandy for about 6 weeks. Mr P. is now in direct competition to try and make a fruit cake that is even moister and more alcoholic. Watch this space.

SONG OF THE DAY – Tom Waits -Waltzing Matilda

It seems bad form to not post Tom Waits today, especially as he has kept our Christmas Cake in one piece,  and got really hot and dry in our oven. I wonder if this is what happened to him to get such  a  gritty gravelly voice in one so young. You will either love  or hate his voice. Lovely song.

on the day I was born, I was the 2,972,944,971st person alive on this planet

It has been in the news quite a lot lately that we are about to hit the 7 billion mark on the planet. This piece of data has been on my mind a lot. Read Dark Vador’s blog here’s the link!  DV has a link on her posting today, to the BBC website which can calculate how many people were on the planet on the day you were born. I am completely staggered to find that since I was born, the population of the world has more than doubled.

It has doubled and added an extra billion on top! I still find it amazing that so many  people do not seem to be as  bothered about adding to that figure with having extra kids, or for that matter, kids at all. Many people think the problem  of overpopulation exists only in  places like Africa. In my humble opinion there is an underlying ‘us and them thing’, ‘Western world vs. Third world’ thing going on here, that I am really not comfortable with. Do  people in the West seem to think that their consumation of the planet which includes the bearing of children  is less of an issue? Why?

Also someone sent me a poster today about a non-consumer day in November…’don’t buy anything for a day’, perhaps people should try not making babies for a day instead – no sex for a day, it might at the rate the planet is filling up, do more good than me not going down the local shops and buying a pound of carrots. Then people gasp and get on their moral high horses, being all pro-lifey and sentimental. My shout to them is “get a life…your own!”

Once again, someone had a go at me for the amount of coats/jackets I own. Once again, let me put this into perspective for a minute.  I do not own a car, so I am outside in all weathers.  I do not have any children, so I do not have to buy anyone else coats apart from myself. I am older, so have had longer to keep my coats…some of my coats are very old. I have probably bought a coat /jacket every 2 years of my life. I send my coats to the charity shop when they are not being used, so someone else get to use them when I am finished with them. Some people have a child every two years of their adult life and then they have to buy the child a coat every 2 years and then all their children, and their children……..shut up about my coats and shoes and look at your own stuff…….

Blimey did I get out of bed on the wrong side this morning? Actually I feel very strongly about people’s lack of thought and responsibility about just ‘having another baby’ when the world is on the brink of a population explosion, especially people who are supposed to be intelligent and responsible. There are unwanted babies and orphans a plenty for everyone to have someone to care for, without having to have another opportunity to see one’s own gene pool multiply. This is a political as well as moral debate.

I am sort of jesting here, but also am not. I have many friends who have children and I love them and their children..I am in no way bitter (really!) but I am sure DV and many of my child free friends would agree that we are  often looked at as  being selfish or freaks. A quote from a blog! I read somes it up “The poor childless couple are so wrapped up in themselves, you have to feel sorry for them. They don’t fight over the child’s discipline, don’t blame each other for the child’s most obnoxious characteristics, and they miss all the fun of doing without for the child’s sake. They just go along, doing whatever they want, buying what they want and liking each other. It’s a pretty pathetic picture.”  It is not so easy not having kids with opinions like this around. The pressure in this world to have kids is immense. You really have to break the mould in some ways, to walk this planet without a child from your gene pool hanging off your arm. There are many places where being childfree is still difficult. You have to work hard on your sense of self, and know that parenting is not  just about giving birth or sowing the seeds. I  joyfully parent many children, and many children are joyfully parented by me, would do it more if people were not so attached to “owning their kids”. Also much of the way you have friends in a community is through having kids, so it can be very lonely not being part of the school run, the kids parties, etc etc….you can end up feeling like a bit of a mis-fit. I have often been in social situations with all women and I am the only child free woman in the room. I made a conscious choice not to add to the exploding population, and am often treated as some sort of wierdo. ha ha!

Robert Smith from the Cure, when interviewed by The Guardian  “So he’s never wanted to pass on his own genes? “I’ve never regretted not having children. My mindset in that regard has been constant. I objected to being born, and I refuse to impose life on someone else. Living, it’s awful for me. I can’t on one hand argue the futility of life and the pointlessness of existence and have a family. It doesn’t sit comfortably. I really understand that too. Enough ranting for one day, I is going down the amusement arcade.

SONG OF THE DAY – The Cure – Close to Me

The most amazing video directed by Tim Pope. Robert Smith is nearly my twin. Our astrological charts both look like hamster wheels as everything aspects everything and there is a planet in almost every sign in the first few degrees.  I would like to meet him one day and swap life stories.

Photo of the Day -The Graham Children

 I had to share this version of the Graham Children by my ( just) 5 year old niece, drawn in the National Gallery. I helped. She drew the heads and faces in the right places, their hair and hands, I did a bit of the dresses and she did all the colouring in. She was a complete delight in the Gallery,  shouting at the top of her voice, wanting to know if the man in the big picture was Shrek. He was in fact a Dr Ralph Schomberg, painted by Gainsborough, who allegedly painted the portrait  to pay for  the doctor who was attending Gainsborough’s sick daughter.  My niece demanded to know the names of every artist who had painted every picture we passed. She wanted to stay  in the gallery and draw all her favourite pictures… sadly we only had time to do this one.

I also found this lovely blog today  – lots of really generous creative stuff…took time out to have a read and it was not wasted time Keri Smith.

SONG OF THE DAY – Buzzcocks- Ever Fallen In Love

I particularly the end of this song, ha ha  no really  I just think it is a really fine ending.

Blogging Every Day for 300 Days

Day 300. Yes day 300! That means I have been blogging everyday for 300 days and there are only 65 days left until the end of my challenge. I am not sure if I will be able to stop at the end of the year as this has strangely become a really important part of my life. I am looking forward to turning it into a book. Fellow bloggers have you tried it yet? Feedfabrik is this great site where you can have a look at what your blog would look like as a book, with all the photos, even the photos of your youtube links. tis marvellous. Mine is already over 700 pages long! Eek. I better start saving up as I want full colour and hard back!

Mr P. and His Brother

So yesterday the tour guide duties continued. Buckingham Palace, St James’ Park,  Trafalgar Square and the National Gallery. Had a great time. But just for the record I shall be doing no more tour guiding for the rest of the year. If you are coming to visit me…I will feed you, do colouring in with you,  cook with you, sing songs with you, paint nails with you, paint walls with you, hang out with you, go shopping with you, walk in the park with you…but seeing the sites….. sweet people, you are on your own. I have done 8 days of tour guides this year, and that my loves is that. I loved every minute of it…but tour guiding in this big old city is very tiring, even for people I really love.

SONG OF THE DAY -Teddy Bear’s Picnic -Ann Stephens

KJ reminded me of this one yesterday and I had to have a listen. Magic! The lady on the lift in South London has the same accent as this when she asks you to ‘ mind the doors’. There’s posh innit!

An hour and a half queue for the Natural History Museum

YOU are kidding me? You are having a laugh? I am not kidding you or having a laugh. Weeping children all over South Kensington whose parents were were definitely not going to queue -and a heck of a lot more who were going to queue.

bundle at the science museum

We did not – and I have to say the nephew and niece were more grown up, we had already done all the interactive area of the Science museum, the V& A, I think a visit to Harrods helped ( no queue there). Today it is raining and we are going to see Buckingham Palace, I might have to post my favourite song again..I love  ‘a soldier’s life is terrible hard’

SONG OF THE DAY- They’re Changing Guard at Buckingham Palace

Home-Made Sandwiches and Tea in a Paper Cup by the Thames is De RIGEUR

It’s one of those things about living in one of the most gorgeously wonderful metroplises in the world, that when friends and family  come to visit, it is quite hard to just stay in and watch movies  for four days. Yesterday we went down to the River Thames to see some wonderful London sights, the London Eye, the South Bank, the Tate Modern, the Globe, the Millenium Bridge, the amazing view from the river, and a ride on the top deck of a red London bus.

We made sandwiches, carrot sticks, took cheese and onion crisps and flasks of tea, coffee and tick tock tea. What a great idea! Inspired by family coming to visit us with small children, who take sandwiches with them where ever they go. It was so much better than hanging out with the cafe society and spending vast amounts of money. We all sat on a bench next to the river, out came one  of our paper cups on the ground. We ate sandwiches ( me without the bread)  crisps, drank hot drinks tainted with that funny metal flask flavour and sang badly and laughed a lot ( no…no-one put any money in our cup). Best fun bit of the day. Off to the museums today…not so bright at half-term as they will be mobbed….but will they listen? I am taking a brown paper bag to breathe into and a good book as once kids get into that interactive area of the Science Museum, time stands still. I feel my life slipping away from me….

SONG OF THE DAY– I Will Survive – Cake

I am posting this for VR and musician blogger frizz who is playing a particularly good rendition of this song on banjo here. I have done an arrangement where the men  sing the tune, reclaiming this song for the men!