Thursday, 25 March 2010

Alphabe_Thursday J is for Jacques Brel

I don't speak French very well. I can just about make myself understood I think. I can read it a little better and am quite surprised how things come back to me when I try. I did do "A" level at School.
My parents were quite "bohemian" in a way and it was through one of their friends that I first discovered Jacques Brel . I don't remember much about that, it seems that I have loved his voice and music all my life. Those of you who know me will be shocked to discover that he features in my subconscious even before Bryan Ferry hit the scene!
His voice is just so.....The words of his songs, well, it sort of doesn't matter if you don't understand them, although over the years I have gradually understood more and a few years ago got hold of a copy of his complete works in book form so now when I feel I want to I can follow a song and get out my great big French - English Dictionary and try to sort them out.
He died relatively young at 49, which is the same age my dad died, in 1978 And he wasn't French - he was Belgian
The link at the end of this post is to what is probably my favourite. Basically it says that although there are so many things in the world that cause us pain, the worst is to see a friend cry. There a few pics there too.
Scott Walker made a bit of a name for himself singing translations but his interpretation was very different, far more angry, than the originals. If you are interested then have a hunt round YouTube for some more. Some are slow and sad, some are angry and some are very funny. Try Madeleine and then Mathilde. And there is at least one song that many of you will know "Ne me quitte pas" which really means "don't leave me" but which in the translation became "If you go away" The original is better I think. Some of the translations really miss the mark
He also wrote "The Impossible Dream" which doesn't really sound much like anything else he wrote

LINK to Voir Un Ami Pleurer

Read more "js" HERE

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Wednesday Waffle #004

Inside this right handed person there may be a left handed person trying to make herself heard!
Due to some medical issues which I won't bore you with, the hospital consultant suggested that I buy a Wii. So I did. In fact, I had been tempted for some time but this gave me the clincher when it came to persuading Hubby that I wouldn't be wasting my money.
If you don't know, then I need to explain that one of the things you can do with it is a set of tests that give you your so-called "Wii-Fit Age"
Now I don't want to get all lopsided so I decided, as I am a bit ambidextrous anyway, to do the tests both right handed and left handed.. On the first try my Wii-Fit Age right handed was 74 and left handed was 62. I have now got the right hand down to 53 but the left hand is 39. At least, those are my best scores so far, it does go up and down.
My dad was left handed and the things he taught me to do I do more naturally with my left hand. I can write with both, use a screwdriver with both (very useful when you are putting flat pack furniture together) and do tend to get them mixed up, as in "turn right here dear", while pointing left.
So am I messing with my brain or was I just right handed generally because that's the way you are taught to be unless you have a really strong tendency the other way?

On the bathroom front, things are going well except that I had a really bad allergic reaction to the fumes coming off the stuff they put down on the floor before the waterproof flooring is laid. The builder is a happy chap and startles us regularly by suddenly singing one line from a song, quite randomly and then going quiet again. Then when you have got half way through that song in your head he has another go with a totally different song. Very strange! It should be finished by the weekend - here's hoping

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Alphabe-Thursday I is for India

If I was fit enough and money and time was no object then the one place I would visit before all others is India (and Pakistan too) My maternal grandfather was in India in the British Army during the First World War. I have his photo albums of his time there but the pictures are so tiny and frankly most of them are quite boring because they are sepia and faded. I like this one though, of him writing at his desk.

We had, I should now be ashamed to admit, a tiger skin rug, which I remember being in Granny and Granddad's bedroom when I was little. There were quite a lot of bits of brass, some of which I still have and an embroidered shawl, which I have used as a backdrop for this next picture.

I am fascinated by the music and culture of the area, I love qawwali and I love bhangra and if you know about these things you will know that is going from the sublime to the ridiculous, to coin a phrase. I also love all that Indian cotton stuff that I used to wear when I was a hippy and which I now feel old enough to get away with again

The place I would go first is Jodhpur. This is in Rajasthan and is where my puppets came from. A lot of the buildings are painted a particular blue and it must be a wonderful thing to see. The picture here is a photo of a poster that I have on a wall

I have found a couple of good blogs about India so for the moment I have to be content with being an armchair traveller. See what other people have for I HERE

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Wednesday Waffle #003

When I went out for my walk this morning I thought that at long last there was a smell of Spring in the air and the wind was actually almost warm.
It's been quite a busy week and blog watching has been rather low on my list of priorities. Those of you who also look at my "arty" blog, as opposed to this one which is my "wordy" blog, will know that I have been joining in a few photographic and illustrative challenges from time to time. I like to get real comments, constructive criticism is always welcome, but I know from looking at the contributions of other people that it can be difficult because there is no universally accepted form of notation for a tone of voice. When my husband started his OU course on computing the thing they called "netiquette" was heavily featured and it is something we can all do with learning about from time to time. The problem for me at the moment is that although I manage to do the challenges I don't always have the time to start trawling through all the other contributions and then I find it difficult sometimes to know what to say so I just slink off again without saying anything. So naturally I don't get a lot of comments either. So what do you think - is it better to stay quiet, say what you really think but being careful how you say it, or just say "how lovely" to everything whatever your real thoughts? It is such a subjective thing anyway.
The bathroom is coming on and the latex went down on the floor this afternoon. Much fun was had at the weekend as we went to the local swimming pool so that I could give OH a hose down in their disabled adapted shower room. Does anyone remember when Public Baths meant something other than a swimming pool? Are there any in big cities still?
I also had to go to the hospital for an appointment with a consultant and he suggested we get a Wii, so we did. Aren't they a lot of money! Anyway, my Wii Fit age right handed is 74 and left handed is 62. That gives me a lot to work for as my real age is only 54 and three quarters!

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

H is for.......

Come in, come in, take off your coat, sit here in this chair, no, not that one, that's MOTHER'S chair. Well now that I have lured you, little innocent that you are, into my strange blog (you really would have thought that you would have known better) and now that the door has closed mysteriously and of its own accord behind you, I will tell you that H is for........

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha, ooops, sorry, forgive the maniacal laughter

H is for Hammer Horror Films

Don't worry, you are quite safe, you are the heroine so you will survive, albeit traumatised for a minute or two. You only have to worry if you are second billing, the friend of the heroine, or the slightly dozy servant girl from the village, then you will be what is known in the trade as an STBT character (soon to be toast)

When I was in my teens I had a little black and white television in my bedroom, on which I would watch late night films. In those days television still went off in the early hours, none of this 24 hour stuff, and on a Friday night there would be a good old fashioned horror film that went on until after midnight. Vincent Price, Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing were the three main protagonists, although you will find it difficult to name a film in which all three appeared. (As far as I am aware there are only two) The formula was pretty straightforward. Innocents abroad have to spend night in creepy location for whatever reason and are either preyed upon by monster/vampire in situ or provide the means for said m/v to travel to a more populated location and cause havoc among the friends and relations of said innocents. Or mad scientist experiments with electricity and soft tissue, or strange virus from space and creates something nasty in the laboratory which then escapes and causes havoc among his friends and relations.

Dracula featured heavily in my favourites but the thing about them was that they were not gory or horrific, they were just a bit spooky or scary and lots of fun. Identifying the STBTs was a good game, continued into my Star Trek days when they became STBTEs (soon to be toast Ensign) They were also great fun for spotting people in their younger days who became famous later on. That game was called "Good heavens it's him/her"

So there I would be in my little bed watching my little B&W tele in the wee small hours in my formative teenage years and you wonder how I grew up to be the well balanced intelligent individual that you see before you now? hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

Other more sane people will have posted their H's for Alphabe-Thursday at Jenny Matlocks Blog, now that the US has caught up with us HERE is the link

Wednesday Waffle #002

I'm sitting here at my computer with a nice cup of Orange Mango and Cinnamon tea and wondering what to waffle about. I could tell you the long tale of the bathroom but there are a lot of negatives in that story. The short tale is much better as we have found a really good builder who is treating us like intelligent human beings and comes highly recommended from people who's judgement I trust. But OH is without a proper bathroom for up to three weeks which is challenging. Thank Tesco for their facilities. It will be lovely when it's done though, a proper wheelchair friendly wetroom.
I must tell you about the tiles. We had decided to go with white and a pretty border. I went to a rather nice shop on the local trading estate which had a huge choice of accent and border tiles and saw some I really REALLY liked and then some others that I thought himself might like and some others that we might just possibly agree on. The next day we went back together and he wandered around and then said "I like these" and with my heart in my mouth and my head saying "it's his bathroom so it's his choice" I went to see what he had picked out. Well, I guess you are ahead of me. Yes, he picked the ones I really REALLY liked. I couldn't believe it. In 18 years of marriage it was a first.. So we will be having pink metallic sheen sort of pearly border tiles, white for the rest and the grey Altro floor and white paintwork. It will look lovely. I'll take a photo when it's done and show you all.
Oh well, that's enough waffle for one day, must go and make the builder some more tea

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Alphabe-Thursday G is for Greens

It's Thursday again - doesn't it seem to come round quickly, and here were are already up to G, which stands for GREENS

I don't know if "greens" is a universally accepted expression for cabbage, broccoli and other brassicas but most people of my generation at least will recall the horror that the word evoked in us as children when faced with school dinners or a visit to a culinarily challenged relative. I have a feeling that it may mean something slightly different in the US - you will set me straight on that I am sure.

However, the greens I want to talk about are the beautiful shades of that colour in both art and nature. In my box of watercolours (which have been sadly neglected of late) the pan that is almost empty is the sap green. This is the colour of fresh green leaves, a slightly yellow green which looks good with any other colour.

In my wardrobe there are many different greens and I have selected a few for my next picture. When I was at High School our uniform was navy blue but when we got to the sixth form we were allowed to wear anything blue. After a while a chart went up on the art room wall, showing what was and what was not "blue" and woe betide anyone caught wearing something that did not match the chart. So those bluey-greens, or greeney-blues always remind me of Mrs Archer and her chart!

I believe I am right in saying that there are more recorded shades of green than any other colour and that it is considered to be the most restful. As summer comes and the leaves on the trees turn from Sap Green to Hunter Green or Viridian, Serpentine or Celadon, sitting under them is the most wonderful way to experience and rejoice in God's wonderful world.

Click HERE for more "G"s

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Wednesday Waffle #001

Well, I promised you waffle, so here I am wondering whether watching the televison in a mirror is messing with my brain.

Let me explain. My computer is basically in a fixed position, on a desk which faces the wall. The television is on the other side of the room. So I have a mirror on the desk so I can watch the television while I am at the computer, if it is a programme that I don't want to concentrate on. I am aware that a lot of people have these fancy phones that allow them to tweet and blog and facebook wherever they are but I am still confined to my desk most of the time as my laptop is so old that I can no longer get a battery for it to make it portable, so it has to remain attached to the mains. So when you watch The One Show the guest is sitting to the presenter's left, the Prime Minister lives at number 01 and Wales is east of England on the weather map. Should I worry?

Anyways up, today I have been busy and not at the computer at all (much) and this afternoon I have been painting a plate. In Woodbridge there is a shop called Jars of Clay where you can paint a plate or a pot of any number of interesting bits of pottery with the design and colours of your choice while having a cup of tea or coffee and a piece of cake. Then they fire it for you and you go back and collect it the following week so we all have that bit of excitement to look forward to. It took me rather longer than I had anticipated but I think I will be pleased with the result.

We also took the first step towards the new bathroom - the man with the skip arrived. Well, if you have been, thanks for reading. See you for Alphabe-Thursday tomorrow.

Monday, 1 March 2010

New Timetable

I am very aware of the fact that I have hit that point where one becomes a bad blogger! That is to say, I have not been edifying you with the wondrous goings on in my life, lifting your spirits, lowering your blood pressure, or otherwise keeping to my self imposed task of providing that little oasis of calm and happiness as I had intended. Do not fear, gentle reader, I am getting myself organised. I have been somewhat pre-occupied with trying to get my other blog looking pretty and now that I have, at least in part, achieved what I wanted to achieve, I can start waffling on here again. I have a few challenges on my crafty blog which I hope to continue and so I have set myself a challenge here which I shall call Wednesday Waffle. (Yes, I know it is only Monday but this is a pre-waffle) That way you will be hearing from me at least once a week - I know, I know, but do please try to contain your excitement.
I shall need an oasis myself for the next three weeks as the bathroom is being "done" to make it more wheelchair friendly for hubby so that is going to make life interesting in the meantime! But if the sun carries on shining I will be able to get out into the garden and start clearing away some of the debris, and pruning and nurturing. When I was a little girl I had a picture on my bedroom wall of a lady in a crinoline, standing in a garden and the words read
"The kiss of the sun for pardon
The song of the bird for mirth
One is nearer God's heart in a garden
Than any place else on earth"