Vanishing May

Where oh where has the last month gone? Days merged into weeks, alternately spent running around like a badly-executed chicken, or spending so long on the sofa with a book that my backside developed a sofa-shaped groove.

Sometimes I’ve done nothing more strenuous than wander around with small hammer and nails in my hand for hours on end, hanging the occasional picture but mostly just reveling in the feel of carpet under bare feet, after so many years of floorboards, and the gradually dawning notion that this place is mine for the time being.

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Sometimes I’ve read for hazy stretches of time, floating off into different worlds on the words: Possession, Offshore, Nothing to be Frightened Of, Cider with Rosie, Under Milk Wood, Miss Pym Disposes, Gossip From The Forest. Right now I’m on Lady Hester Stanhope (the next time someone calls me ‘difficult’, I’ll hand them a copy of her biography. Actually, scratch that, I shall take a copy and throw it at their heads) and an Agatha Christie – some escapism before I start on Country Girl.

I’ve supported, helplessly and pathetically at times, from the sidelines as my daughter fought her way through GCSE’s. She was still fighting on her 16th birthday but managed to be diverted from her goal (don’t anyone dare say GCSE’s have got easier) by the sight of my massive cake decorating fail. Not as epic as the Year of the Doughnut, but nearly. This is the Year of the Zombie Apocalypse Cake. Alternative title: When Dracula Had A Birthday.

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Mourned the passing of Maya Angelou. My first introduction to her work was I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, which so captured me that I read all of her others. My wonderful A-Level Eng. Lit. teacher (thank you, Ms. Hobbs) then used her works as a springboard to launch me off in the direction of Alice Walker, Zora Neale Hurston and Toni Morrison. Invaluable, thought expanding reads that shattered my cosy white English mind. Gove is a dangerous idiot who I wouldn’t let prescribe a book for my dog, let alone a generation of school children. This government really does excel in fuck-wittery.

One area I’ve neglected is my crafting ways. Nary a knitting needle, embroidery thread or shiny silver needle has been held in my hands. This should change at the weekend when I take a Crochet for Beginners course. I am determined that this stupid one-handed knitting technique won’t bloody beat me (as it has in the past) and one day my entire family will be on the receiving end of granny-square blankets – I can hear their grateful cries of joy already. Possibly need to stop referring to it as ‘stupid one-handed knitting’ though.

Spent a gloriously sunny afternoon at Compton Verney, wandering around the Moore/Rodin exhibition. Two seemingly very different artists who were linked by their passion for exploring movement within the human form. Gorgeous, tactile sculptures that, sadly, people can’t touch. I can understand why, but don’t the curves of a Henry Moore demand to be stroked?

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June. Oh flaming June. It’s already 9 hectic days in, and after my week off, I shall be launched straight back into it with a decision from HLF that will dramatically alter my working life for the foreseeable future. I am fighting the temptation to run far far away.

Instead, I shall go and listen to the Ukelele Orchestra of Great Britain: was lucky enough to catch them at a recent performance in our local cinema. Funniest. Performance. Ever. Luckily for our neighbours, I decided that the uke, whilst being an instrument of surprising versatility, is not one I’ll ever learn. Instead, I’m content to listen to them rework Wuthering Heights by Kate Bush into a Yorkshire folk song. You are very welcome.

 

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