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Wednesday, 27 June 2012


today was humid. and. the sun shone. i'm still waiting for the rain. but. for now i will take the warmth. i commented this morning that i am sick of wearing black. it's summer and we are all still wrapping up against the elements. by this afternoon it was obvious i was wearing the wrong outfit. driving home from work, windows down hoping for a breath of air to waft through and cool the dark interior, i was stuck in traffic. the car behind was doing the same. only his car had a stereo that worked. this song wafted through the traffic jam.

the stones roses. i was immediately transported back to my youth. i frequented the hacienda as a student. this song was a regular on temperance nights. this was a song that made you feel like you belonged. in the middle it breaks down. if you were on the dance floor when this was playing and you knew the track, you knew how to dance to it. if you didn't. you didn't. it separated the men from the boys. the cool kids from the wannabes. the roses are everywhere at the minute. they play heaton park in manchester this weekend. a reunion tour. obviously some guy was getting himself in the mood early. it made me think about this track too.

this is my favourite new order track. temperance nights always played this 12" version. i still remember the image of a lad who every week without fail would be on the stage dancing to this. fringe covering his face, arms alternating up and down in time with the music, silhouetted against the coloured strobing lights. that was the thing about going regularly to the same club night; there were some tracks that were played every week. not just that. there were some tracks that were played at the same time every week. when the beatles ticket to ride and the mamas and the papas california dreamin' came on you knew it was midnight. stuck in traffic today i remembered that growing up in manchester gave me access to the first "super club". to me it was my back yard. i thought every teenager had a hacienda in their town. as you gain life experience and knowledge you realise that not everyone did. my formative musical taste was formed by this kind of experience. this kind of music. as a teenager i didn't go to local pubs, i would catch the 157 bus, change at parrswood and get the number 50 to the international. a £2.50 ticket would buy you access to a support act, a headliner and a disco afterwards all washed down with a vodka and lime. again i took this for granted. funny how a few bars of a song can bring all this flooding back.  music. the world would be poorer without it.


Sunday, 24 June 2012

elbow live from jodrell bank

so far this has been the summer of rain. yesterday i went to see elbow play at our local observatory, jodrell bank. this is the second year they have held music events within their grounds. yesterday the evening forecast was for rain. we all went prepared and thankfully the rain held off until half way through the elbow set. it could have been much worse. but. it was pretty wet and windy. we made the most of it. in true british style. 


Saturday, 23 June 2012

Afternoon Tea

Saturday afternoon.
Still gloomy, but a much needed trip out. Tea,cake and beautiful gardens.

The mind lifts from the frustration of the week, inspired by the simplicity and beauty.


This is what days are for.


Friday, 22 June 2012

This Week....

This week

The hamster shredded the curtains in the spare room
Work has been really tough
It's rained, and then rained some more
The washing basket has continually overflowed
We ran out of Nutella on Wednesday
Jam on Thursday and
Butter on Friday, which took the toast options down to zero for breakfast....
Then it rained some more.....

But reflecting back on Friday night

The house is now tidy
Butter is back in the fridge (and wine too)
The rabbit escaped on Tuesday but found her way home on Wednesday
Olympic tickets arrived to-day
We made it to piano lessons early (that never happens)
I managed to cook tea before swimming lessons
We laughed and giggled on Thursday night whilst sorting spare socks
Friends have sent lovely texts which have got me through work and the week

Tomorrow maybe the sun will shine.



this week i hooked up with a friend. it was long overdue. dinner was arranged. another friend joined. it was one of those nights when you haven't seen each other for a while and you just chat. and chat. and chat. it was good to catch up. of course you leave saying you must do this again soon. sooner than the last time. i don't want to count how long. it certainly isn't days. or weeks.


Sunday, 17 June 2012

carry on regardless

for my birthday i was given a voucher to spend at a well known clothes shop. two months later i have still yet to spend it. i am someone who has to fall in love with what i buy, even if just a little bit. i keep an eye on fashion. but. i try to resist the the urge to purchase whatever the latest item is that is having it's five minute fashion window, preferring to buy what suits me. it also has to go with what i already own. i expect my clothes to work hard. 

a couple of weeks ago i went to try and spend my voucher. i ended up in the changing rooms trying on amongst other things a pair of shorts. those who know me know i am not really a shorts girl. i'm more a skirt or dresses girl. but shorts are everywhere so i thought i'd try. in fact i found a black pair that fit perfectly. not only that but they were a very flattering fifties style. i stood looking in the mirror for quite a while trying to figure out what was stopping me from walking out of the changing rooms and buying them. ultimately it was the memory of this video that stopped me.

i am the same age as kylie. that is where the similarity ends. and i must say i tried on shorts not hot pants. i don't think that kylie walks around everyday in gold hot pants, pop star or not. this track was released twelve years ago.  i bet even kylie would think twice about wearing these hot pants now. fashion or demand for stage clothes not withstanding.

yesterday i sat down to read this months vogue. as i have posted before i have been a vogue subscriber for many years now. each year they do an age issue. they highlight women at different ages and stages in their lives. this years cover star is rachel weisz. a woman who in her forties has conquered hollywood and married james bond under the radar. my kind of woman at my stage of life. turning the pages after that interview i was confronted with this image.

yoko ono. a woman who has had more bad press than you can shake a stick at but still she believes in herself and goes on. shorts. she is wearing shorts. at seventy nine. seventy nine. proof if ever it were needed that age really is nothing but a number and confidence at any age will always shine through. i love her attitude. i don't imagine i will be wearing shorts in my seventies if i'm not wearing them in my forties. but. i have no doubt that the confidence i have now will only be heightened by the time i reach my seventies. shorts or no shorts. walking tall is a way of life. i intend to continue doing it. regardless of age.


Saturday, 16 June 2012


As I mentioned in one of my earlier posts my sister-in law is getting married in September. Ellie is being a bridesmaid.
This is exciting- except for one thing. Ellie does not do girly dresses, and definitely nothing frilly. To-day we went on our first trip to try on dresses. There was laughter, there was comments about feeling stupid, and I had a scary flash into the future moment of my daughter trying on white dresses.

These were the best we found.

Votes please:)


Friday, 15 June 2012

Monday, 11 June 2012

Week Off Part 2

By chance I also had last week off work.  Em's post resonated with me, as like her the rain spoilt my plans, my to-do list.
It was not possible to garden, go for lazy picnics by the river, or go for cycle rides. Instead we were forced to stop. No lists, nothing to do but stop. Not for months have I sat for such long periods, have I taken things so slow.
But the rain made it guilt free, and in the space that came was relaxation. Perfect. At the end of the week there were no big ticks of things that had been done, but it is the most restful time off we have had in nearly a year. It's funny how these things take you by surprise, perfect plans are not always the right ones.


Sunday, 10 June 2012

week off

this week i had time off. my first proper time off this year. i had very few plans. it kind of snuck up on me. i had great ideas of doing jobs on the house. all these jobs were outdoor. it rained. not everyday. but most days. this was the best thing that happened. realising i wouldn't be able to carry out my own agenda i went along with the agenda the week handed me. relaxation. time to read. time to sleep. time to do indoor chores. time to meet friends for dinner. and lunch. time to shop. birthday presents bought for friends and family. cards sent. long overdue phone calls made. it also allowed me to step away from the everyday. unplug from electronic devices. this week off gave me exactly what i needed when i didn't know i needed it. it's true what they say. a change really is as good as a rest. 



Tuesday, 5 June 2012


a couple of months ago i joined a choir. i wasn't looking for one. one just fell into my lap. whilst having lunch. a friend of my friend sat at the next table turned out to be the choirmaster. a few days later and i was sat in a throng of strangers singing my heart out. and loving it. i have been in choirs and small singing groups throughout my life. singing is something i do on a daily basis. mainly alone with the radio for company. in my kitchen. in my car. in my office. it had been years since i had actually sung with a group of people, practiced new songs, learnt harmonies. i listened and learnt. many of the songs being sung were ones i knew or knew of but had never attempted to sing. last week we were given a song that i had never heard before. lyrics were handed out and play was pressed on a cd player. a pop song that built and built, cleverly written, emotive, compelling. we set about singing. it was quick to learn. enjoyable to sing with a group of people. it stuck with me throughout the rest of the week. humming the tune when i couldn't remember the lyric.

this is the song. i knew nothing about it until last wednesday. sunday night i watched a documentary on how it came to be made. last night i watched it performed in front of buckingham palace. and sang along. loudly.


Monday, 4 June 2012

Jubilee -The party

Today, we are tired. The excitement of the last two days catching up on everyone.

But to-day is Jubilee party day with friends. To-day we celebrate with food.


Sunday, 3 June 2012

Jubilee Celebrations- The Pageant

So, this was our moment to be part of history, the first Thames Pageant since Charles 1, only the second monarch to be on the throne for 60 years.

We stood on Westminster bridge, and waited. We stood and waited, it rained, it was cold. In yet, we waited with thousands of others, and in those moments connections occurred. We sang Happy Birthday to a lady standing next to us who had come to wait and watch. She was in her 30's. Next to her was an old lady who had travelled from Northern Ireland, and been standing since 7am. Behind us was a couple from Canada, next to us a family from Kent.
We exchanged stories, we hid under umbrella's, we waited some more.

The big screen showed the Queen getting ready to go on the barge...the sense of expectancy increased.

And then the boats came.... the bells announcing the start, followed by the Royal barge.

The boats coming towards us as we appreciated the scale of the event was spectacular, the noise of the bells and trumpets inspiring.
We had our moment of being part of history. And memories? Well, it was cold, and very, very wet. In the year of drought we stood and got soaked, and afterwards there were thousands of people looking for warmth, shelter and a train home with no space anywhere. But we said goodbye to the people we had stood with, genuine connections between lives exchanged.

It was very British.


Saturday, 2 June 2012

Jubilee Saturday- Expectancy

Well, as you will have gathered from my posts over the last few weeks I have been looking forward to the jubilee celebrations for weeks.
My mother loved the Royal Family, and it has been ingrained in me over many years of the importance of both the royal family, and of celebrating these moments.
This weekend I wanted to pass this sense of significance to my own family, of them experiencing a moment in history.
So, we went to London, to soak in the atmosphere, to be there for part of the weekend. We were fortunate to stay near Westminster bridge, and wandered down to view in preparation for the Pageant on Sunday.

The sky was grey, but people were already there, wanting to be part of what was happening tomorrow, the signs on the lampost flapping in the breeze to announce the bridge would be closed.

We left and went to a festival. Finally the sun broke through.

Red, white and blue was everywhere, we sang, we smiled, we watched.

A meal followed, the bright colours continued.

A journey home, and more sights of London, a feeling of expectancy and waiting for the events ahead.

Even the wheel lit in the night sky was red, white and blue.

We were ready for the Pageant....