‘Kitchen Forensics’

My resolve falters as I reach the kitchen door. It will be huge and offensive. It will require a delicate touch. It will be mine to deal with – yuk! As I approach, an advance scouting party of flies lifts off and disperses itself across less appetising surfaces to wait, I imagine, for the all-clear. Well, not for a while and not here I tell them. I peer forensically at the agglutinated mass, put on gloves and aim a squirt of surfactant at the festering heap. Then, dissecting out two small bones and a piece of cartilage, I wonder for … Continue reading ‘Kitchen Forensics’

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‘Micro Management’

‘So they want us to use a particular font of a particular size and a particular colour for our email signatures?’[1] ‘Yep’ ‘And there’s no corporate stationery or template for this?’ ‘Nope, you make your own.’ ‘I see.’ I think it over, devoting a whole nanosecond to the process, which still seems rather too much in view of the subject matter. I deliver my judgment. ‘And when, collectively, we blow it out of our arses, do they want it to be a particular fragrance?’ Ok, not exactly constructive, I’ll give you that, but when the boat’s sinking, you don’t call … Continue reading ‘Micro Management’

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‘The Bridge’

I am moseying along the river bank, heading towards the old wooden bridge. In the far pasture over on the other side, a batch of newly turned-out cattle is cavorting and bucking in celebration of its liberation. Also on the far side, well ahead of and oblivious to the cattle, is a family; a two + two of seemingly stranded townies who are staring with incredulity at the stile over which they must climb in order to cross the bridge. Each of them is carrying rather more bulk than is strictly necessary, and they clearly see the narrow step up … Continue reading ‘The Bridge’

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Photography, art, and copyright

Since re-entering the art world recently (long layoff, politics, diversion, good-career-anyway-so-never-mind!), I’ve discovered something I hadn’t known which is that many people work from photographs, replicating the image with superb (or varying degrees of) accuracy, or placing on it their own interpretation. Many use their own photos for this, after all, it’s got to be more comfortable painting a landscape back indoors than struggling with the elements on a windy hillside, and do cats ever sit still when you need them to? But some don’t, they use images from the internet or cut from magazines and, from what I can tell, many … Continue reading Photography, art, and copyright

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‘I Don’t Like Mondays’

I am travelling to work as usual but I have changed my route slightly with a view to using the outdoor parking area. So, tootling gently along and preparing to turn right at the appointed moment, I am mildly irritated to find that there is an obstruction accompanied by a degree of ill-tempered inter-vehicular communication, blocking my preferred exit so I have to drive on to the next one. It’s 8.15 on a Monday morning, I already don’t need this. Missing that turn means heading for the underground car park, a dismal affair at the best of times, but with … Continue reading ‘I Don’t Like Mondays’

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‘McCartney and Hendrix Should Not Be Held Responsible’

Did we talk about my guitar lessons? No, probably not.  Well, after a zillion years of consuming the product of other people’s efforts, I’ve decided to take a shot at it myself. I did used to play, plucking out a melody on an upside-down old acoustic and receiving the adulation of family members, but that’s where it stopped. When you’re a leftie, anatomically speaking, in the early sixties and have the social constraints both of class and being a GIRL, the idea that account might be taken of your disadvantage never occurs to anyone. Yes, we had Paul McCartney but … Continue reading ‘McCartney and Hendrix Should Not Be Held Responsible’

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‘Dressing Up Boxes, and Dressing Up By Wearing Boxes’

You have to be a certain age to remember dressing up boxes. Today’s tiny tots can put in for a replica of the entire Beckham estate for Xmas & call their lawyers if Santa doesn’t deliver, so the frisson of transforming cast off curtains and abandoned antimacassars into theatrical costumery will be lost to them. Our dressing up box was a battered old suitcase out of which we selected ancient curtains & lace doilies to serve as the trappings of royalty. Net curtains became the wings or the floaty ethereal dresses of fairies; the big velvet ones you had to … Continue reading ‘Dressing Up Boxes, and Dressing Up By Wearing Boxes’

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‘February-ish’

This week has been quite an eventful one in the life of our rather unremarkable little hamlet. Described variously as ‘picturesque’ (Oooh!), ‘quaint’ (Aaah!) and ‘sleepy’ (Oi!), our hitherto undistinguished residential aggregation has attracted the national press. Why, you may ask. Ok so you didn’t but you might as well stick around; you’ve got nothing better to do or you wouldn’t be here, right?  Apparently Dark Forces have infiltrated our local political environment.  Already somewhat right wing, apart from a very few socialists and a larger LibDem enclave whose meetings are apparently attended by one of my cats, the locality … Continue reading ‘February-ish’

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‘Soaked Again’

Ok, you’re getting the hang of it now, Brits really do talk about the weather constantly. This is because it is generally neither insipid nor deeply traumatic but impactful in that must-find-something-that-doesn’t-go-transparent-when-wet sort of way.  British weather is idiosyncratically variable such that prediction is rather more psychic than meteorological and today is no exception. After hurling rain with the consistency of stair rods most of the night and glowering in a hostile manner most of the day, it turns the heat up the moment I hit the fields. Not that this evaporates the moisture (I say moisture – it’s more … Continue reading ‘Soaked Again’

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‘Rain’

It’s a Bank Holiday here in UK land – or the fifty-first state as it’s more commonly known.  Fifty-first? Fifty-second?  How would I know, I don’t even know how many counties we’ve got here and you could fit the whole shebang into Central Park with room round the edges for immigration and a dog track.  Although you’d have to find somewhere else for the Scots as they are currently on an independence high and sawing their way along Hadrian’s Wall with a view to casting themselves off[1]. Anyway, Bank Holidays are the times when us Brits arm ourselves with barbeque … Continue reading ‘Rain’

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