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Showing posts from 2016

Rambles around November

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It's been a rum old week... as my mum used to say! Nothing in particular, but since the excitement of my birthday at the beginning of last week it's seemed very quiet,  like the lull before the storm . May be something to do with life after Brexit or realising that President Trump is no longer a bad dream... probably both.
To blow away the cobwebs I've been taking bracing constitutionals most days. Just round and about, but not only does it help to kick my muscles back into gear, it also gives me a huge adrenaline rush to be amongst all the glorious autumn colour. It's just as vivid as it was a month ago. The gardens too are holding onto their leaves as long as possible, making the outdoors seem as if they've been airbrushed with an extra layer of warm hues. Amazing for mid-November!
On one of these walks we came across our friend Mrs Tiggywinkle. P and I saved her once more from being squashed on the road. Since being a tiny baby she's been seen in our neighbo…

Loudon Wainwright 111

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I've been a longtime lover of the work of Loudon Wainwright, ever since I was given a copy of his first album way back when I too was trying to make a name for myself in an acoustic duo on the folk scene with my first husband. But there the parallel ends. For me, life's various twists and turns seemed to get in the way, and once children came along it became impossible to pursue my earliest career choice. Even so, I continued to write songs and play my guitar, always with the intention of resuming, but somehow I never seemed get round to it. 

But Loudon was made of stiffer stuff, always able to turn life events such as marriage break-up and its inevitable family repercussions, into insightful, witty, sometimes poignant, additions to his ever-growing repertoire. With a well-chosen few words, he could paint a powerful picture, with razor-sharp observations of totally ordinary feelings and situations. Everyone could relate to his songs, after all they expressed universal sentimen…

Hygge

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Hygge has become a bit of a buzz word recently. There's no English word for it, but this Danish word is best translated as cosiness or living well, and pronounced hoogah. I was curious to find out more so I bought the Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking. Even this morning's Guardian is sporting an article in G2 that claims the concept of Hygge is being 'sold by the yard' this Christmas. I have to admit I didn't read much of the article as I couldn't stand the smug attitude of Jess Cartner Morley, who seemed to be mainly interested in the commercial  (particularly fashion) opportunities it presents. I was put off by her slightly facetious tone, and also because the piece seemed to say exactly the opposite of what I had understood from the book.
Hygge can't be sold or indeed bought. Apparently you can have all the candles, log fires, fluffy blankets, handknit socks, hot chocolate and marshmallows, mulled wine, home-made bread, and walks in the country that mo…

Yorkshire Sculpture Park

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We had a fun day out with Isabella and Ava at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park last week. It was the final day of the school holidays for them so we decided to go out. The weather wasn't brilliant, in fact it was decidedly grey, but still warm so we packed a picnic lunch and set off. Thankfully it's only about three quarters of an hour in the car, so we arrived just as we were feeling a bit peckish.
I took this photo through a plate glass window in the beautiful new building that now houses the museum shop, restaurant/cafe, a small gallery and loos. The first thing we saw on entering the park was this phallic work which was determined not to be overshadowed by the trees, thrusting itself high amongst them. Luckily we had no problem finding a bench in the lee of a tall red brick wall, which was covered in espaliered pear and apple trees, with a view over the whole park - the perfect place for a picnic! There were interesting sculptures in the landscape everywhere, many more t…