Wednesday, 22 February 2017

South Paw

My husband has just accused me of having a left handed moment.   It’s true that it’s not just the obvious difficulties like writing cheques, using scissors, putting belts on upside down etc.  Being left handed represents a whole lifetime of awkwardness.   Social kissing - I always go for the wrong side and crash noses.  I have a tendency to drink the wrong glass of wine at the dinner table, or eat the other person’s bread roll.  I always insert bank cards into machines the wrong way round and often have difficulty with locks. 

It wasn’t until I was well into my adult life that I discovered that it wasn’t like this for everyone. I hadn’t realised that everything in the world is designed for right handed people.

Paul has long realised that my mind is wired slightly different to his.  If I’m not having a blonde moment then I must be having a left handed moment. I’m in good company though, kangeroos are left handed.

Monday, 20 February 2017

The Big Painting Challenge

I’ve just got home from Devizes, a nearby market town, with the ingredients for my latest project – some Annie Sloan chalk paint in Emperor’s Silk.  I have an old lacquered pine dresser in France that is just screaming out to be ‘up cycled’.  The paint is very bright (fire engine red?) but the plan is to add some dark wax to give it a deeper, antique finish.  I’ve never done it before so it may or may not work.

Last night I watched BBC’s Big Painting Challenge presented by Mariella Frostbite and some Reverend guy.  I almost wish I hadn’t.  Last week the group of amateur artists had some rather uninspiring still life subjects to tackle – a teddy bear and a clarinet.  They all stood at their easels and dabbed away with their brushes. The finished works were rather dubious but you could see what it was meant to me.  Except for Jennifer.  She knelt on the floor and stared at her canvas for about an hour, then splodged some paint on, dragged some hair extensions through it and completely ignored the brief.  The judges shook their heads and tut-tutted.  Each week one painting is picked by members of the public as their favourite piece and that contestant is then exempt from being sent home. They chose Jennifer’s painting so she didn’t get sent home.

Last night’s episode showed the artists huddled in a bus shelter in the pouring rain trying to produce painted canvasses of Hastings Pier and seafront.  Their attempts were not great but the rain didn’t help.  Again Jennifer got down on the ground, ignored her mentors and used hair extensions to create pattern.  When the wind blew her canvas off the easel she couldn’t decide which way round the painting was supposed to go.  She certainly didn’t seem to be worrying about perspective .  Once again members of the public were asked to vote for their favourite piece.  Guess who?  Jennifer!

I hope she manages to last the course.  Her work adds a little bit of excitement against some of the predictable ‘nice’ paintings.

Sunday, 19 February 2017

I'm Off To Sunny Spain

We don’t actually leave for another three weeks but I found myself singing “Oh, this year I'm off to sunny Spain Y Viva espaƱa...” at the top of my voice in the shower this morning.  My musical ability is atrocious so I only ever sing in the shower or in the car when I’m alone.  The last time I was forced to partake in a karaoke session people covered their ears and looked at their feet in embarrassment. Yes, I’m looking forward to the trip.  I’m hoping it will be more refined than my 1977 trip to Benidorm (that was the year Elvis died).

Next weekend Paul is taking me to Birmingham!  There is a show on at the National Exhibition Centre (something to do with camper vans!) and then we are driving over to the RAF Museum at Cosford.  I have been trying to convince Paul and daughter Kat (unsuccessfully) that I should visit Cadbury World while they check out the airplanes.  

There’s no real chance of me becoming a cultured person is there?

A cultured person can be someone who is an eclectic reader, who watches well-written classic films, and who has a refined appreciation for art. Also, to be cultured is to be educated about the world and its languages, to understand world politics, and to be well-read in world history.

Friday, 17 February 2017

Spring Is In The Air

Spring Tulips - a gift from my friend

I’ve just got home after a trip to the supermarket to stock up on supplies.  Youngest daughter is home from base for the weekend and is due round for Sunday lunch so roast chicken with all the trimmings will be on the menu.

The weather is much milder, the sun is out, and I can definitely smell spring in the air.  February is a fickle month and I know this spring like weather can disappear in an instant.

I was fitted with some new, expensive hearing aids last week.  They are almost invisible so I can tie my hair back now without feeling too self-conscious.  Unfortunately the automatic volume was tuned a little too high and each time Paul spoke to me I asked him to stop shouting.  I jumped out of my skin whenever the ‘phone rang and every clattering noise in the kitchen made me wince.  I could probably have heard a pin drop.  I got them adjusted by my audiologist yesterday and the sound quality is now excellent.  I can even hear the clock ticking.  Technology has improved considerably since I first had to wear hearing aids as a young woman.  I just wish I could get them to translate foreign languages for me.

Thursday, 16 February 2017


My husband is uncouth.  He is wonderful in many ways, hard working, kind, considerate, generous but totally uncouth.

“Why do you persist in leaving your chair out when you leave the table?”
“I don’t.”
“Yes, you do.”
“I don’t, but you often do.”
“Well, you, as a gentleman , should move my chair for me.”
“What you do think this is, Pride and bloody Prejudice?”

(Come to think of it, Darcy would be a good name for a dog.)