Tuesday, 31 July 2007

Bats and and the photography blues.

I've been scanning in my collection of old photos this week. Archie took a sudden rush of blood to the head and decided to paint three rooms of our house and my contribution to the cause is to reduce the amount of stuff that gets returned into them. I've been taking photos since I was about eight using everything from my first Poloroid - a Christmas present from the parents who knew I had no patience - to my dad's SLR, and these days the joys of digital. There are literally hundreds of pictures and I decided to sort them out and scan them. It has been great seeing the pile reduce as I chuck out blurry landscapes and pictures of people whose names I can't remember, but it has also been a melancholy task. Lots of thinking to do. Shall I keep pictures of people I once cared about but who hurt me? How do I feel about seeing images of people I loved who have died but are now smiling out at me from my computer screen? One of the most poignant things is to see photos of my younger self, especially in my teens and early twenties, absolutely stuffed with confidence and the knowledge that I was unique and special and bound for greater things. I wish I'd bottled those feelings so that I could have a sniff of them now and then when my grown up confidence deserts me.

On the upside, I met a dead bat! We were hanging out with Sylvia the jeweller and her beasties on Saturday night and had just eaten a glorious meal of lasagne ( with hand made pasta ) and lemon surprise pudding. As we lay about with groaning tummies, a strange noise was heard on the stairs. It was Original Puss and she was carrying a bat. Luckily for us, if not for the bat, it was already dead. So, as you do in the middle of a dinner party, we had a good look at the body.
The bat was a Soprano Pipistrelle and most likely a youngster just learning to fly. His wings were incredibly tough but soft, like suede. Tiny little feet and beautiful ears. Not vampirish at all. Rangercraig who was also at the dinner party took the bat home to be pinned and displayed at the Ranger Centre for other folk to admire. Beats after dinner mints anyday!

Sunday, 22 July 2007

Too much information?

Thank you Gooseflesh for the tag. It's Sunday morning so I have lots of time to think and Archie is here too in case of memory failure. I've also added a photo or two from the family archives. That's me with the rabbit and my father Tom, and brother, Tom in the other shot.

Here goes

INSTRUCTIONS: Remove the blog in the top spot from the following list and bump everyone up one place. Then add your blog to the bottom slot, like so:

1. Harmonia's Cuppa Tea
2. Vaguetarian Tea Room
3. drawing on the walls
4. Gooseflesh
5. Magnusmog

Next, select five people to tag:

Miss Frugality
Tattie Bogle
and a random fifth who can choose themself. ( I've run out of ideas already! )

What were you doing 10 years ago?

I had just qualified as a Social Worker and was working in a Day Centre with people who have chronic and enduring mental health problems. In a lovely piece of serendipity, I had moved back to the area my family came from and my office was right across the road from the building where my grandmother had worked as a District Nurse many years before.

What were you doing 1 year ago?

Quite possibly sitting on the very same sofa as I am now.

Five snacks you enjoy:

Crisps ( chips ), bread, chocolate - either the posh extra dark stuff or just a Mars Bar, proper chips eaten from Marco's chippie in Arbroath, biscuits and cheese.

Five songs that you know all the lyrics to:

The complete works of Billie Holliday - just ask Miss Frugality!

Five things you would do if you were a millionaire:

Buy the house threee doors down which has a huge garden.

Hire an organic gardener

Wait for a summer

Watch things grow

Eat the end result.

Five bad habits:

I hate telephones.

I like to wear pajamas all day - even when gardening.

Leaving teetering piles of books/knitting/jam jars ...... all over the house.

Saying bad words to Magnus on receipt of bites or scratches.

Extreme bad temper when tired.

Five things you like doing:

Kissing Magnus on the nose.

Kissing Archie on the nose.

Talking to my garden.

Being a family.

Using my head.

Five things you would never wear again:

Vintage Victorian French knickers worn over a swimsuit - as daywear.

Red MC Hammer trousers with pictures of fish on them.

Grey super-high heeled vinyl boots.

A mechanics overall as party wear.

Home made puff ball skirts.

Five favorite toys:

Nikon D40 digital camera.

Dell 6400 Laptop

Vintage and current knitting books and magazines

The greenhouse.

The village woods - for finding free berries and mushrooms at this time of year.

Thursday, 19 July 2007

Tags and old photos

I'm just in the door and I've been tagged. I'm already a meme behind but this doesn't involve Wiki-ing things and can be completed sitting on my sofa recovering from a surfeit of cheese, wine, bread. Oh the bread! We had a favourite bakery in the village we stayed in and went there every morning to buy pastries and baguettes. I no longer fit comfortably into any of my clothes. It was a lovely time away and we managed to speak French to everyone - and everyone managed to keep a straight face. There is a cliche about French people, that they are arrogant and don't take kindly to people talking French badly ( and God help those speaking English ). We had the opposite experience, even in Paris. People were super patient, helped us when we didn't know the word for something and were just downright friendly.

The trip started out badly, as well as the extra security at the airport which was really scary - Scottish police don't look right holding guns - we also lost one of our party at the check in desk. Poor old Grahame, he got all the way to the airport, queued for over an hour at the check in only for his passport to be deemed too damaged to be acceptable. The page where his photo is was damaged and although the staff were lovely they weren't allowed to let him on the flight! By then we were way past the time for boarding the plane so the other three of us had to give him swift hugs and run for the departure gate. Luckily Grahame's MIL lives a few miles away from the airport and he stayed with Meg for a wee holiday instead. Kilmarnock is not quite the same as Paris though!

It was a holiday of wandering about, sitting in cafes and eating as much as possible. The attitude to food in France is great - although I'm sure people shop at supermarkets, there are also lots of specialist cheeseshops, bakers, chocolatiers and in St Germain, a beautiful hand made pasta shop and a shop just selling honey and things made from honey. The weather was cool enough to make walking easy until the last few days when it was so hot we could only sit under the parasol in the garden moaning and dipping slices of bread into our Nutella jars. I can't wait to go back.

Bugger - I've run out of space for meme-ing. I'll try again tomorrow when I can find photos of me with big hair. Here is a photo of the Dam in our village instead.

Sunday, 1 July 2007

Bonjour Paris!

Passport - check.
Tickets - check.
Yarn and sock instructions - check.
Needles and emergency crochet hook - check.
Cat wrangler - check.
Attempted suicide bombing of a Scottish Airport yesterday - check.

Worried? You bet I am, I've never knitted socks before!
See you in a fortnight.