Wednesday 30 June 2010

You can take a horse to water...........

I spent nearly all day gardening on Sunday, and left Mason trying to sort out various problems with his project. I managed to catch up with a few emails which were overdue.
On Monday I went off to Pinner for a change, it is a beautiful bus ride and made a change. The weather is still terribly hot. When I got home I tidied up a bit.

On Tuesday Margaret called round, and we sat outside in the shade and had icy lemonade. Poor John was at home recovering from having a tooth taken out by the dentist. It was nice to chat to Margaret as we had not seen each other for a while. As Mas had spent all day on the computer or phone, we decided to go out for dinner at the Man in the Moon to break the monotony.
It was steak night, so we both had one. Ken came in, and said his TV had just gone wrong, and he had come to watch the football match so he sat where he could watch it, and we went off home once we had finished our meal.

On Wednesday we went swimming in the afternoon. As usual we separated to go to the changing rooms, Mas saying he would see me in the pool in a minute. I swam alone for 50 minutes, knowing he must have got talking to the guys in the changing room.
Another lady was swimming too, the pool was fairly empty, and I got talking to her. She was from Croatia, and had lived here for 15 years, she was wondering where her partner had got to, and I suggested that he and Mas were talking together; before long they both appeared.

After swimming for an hour I got cold, and with lots of protests from Mas, left the pool, showered and dressed, and walked around several football pitches looking at the variety of bushes and plants. After two hours of this, Mas came out, and we left! He had not done any exercise, just talked in the pool!

Saturday 26 June 2010

More dancing than you could shake a stick at!

On Saturday we went to St. Albans to get shopping and have lunch. Tania and Robert had gone away for the weekend so we thought we would have lunch in the White Swan which is a pub that many years ago used to have wonderful home cooked lunches, but sadly the cook left some time ago.

The weather was very hot so we decided to have a long cool drink. We got talking to a group of people sitting near to us who were Morris Dancers and had been invited to St. Albans to dance to raise money for charity; they were from Lewisham, and were a very friendly group.

The Dacre Morris dancers

We left the White Swan and looked in the shops, especially Past Times where I accidentally bought an Art Nuveau butterfly ring.

Everyone seemed to be out enjoying themselves.

There was another Morris dancing group by the clock tower.
The sound of the drum made our chest cavities reverberate!

After watching them for a while we succumbed to hunger, and went down to Sazio's where it was cool and quiet, and we had a nice meal.

Friday 25 June 2010

Anniversary and Sports Day

Yesterday was our wedding anniversary, the 24th! I spent most of the day gardening and doing a belated spring clean, and Mas went out to see a friend. Pete called and chatted which was nice.

Today Mas was busy, so when Oktay called round I left Mas for the day and went off to Cheshunt with Oktay. Monika had prepared an excellent lunch, and one of her friends had come round with her two little children too.
Afterwards we sped off to see Milan's school sports day; the weather was very hot.

I think we saw everyone in the school race, including a brave boy who seemed to be wearing leg irons, but all the parents gave him applause and lots of clapping, so he looked quite pleased with himself.

When we got home again Milan was still full of energy and springing about in the garden; Monika showed me her white currant bush and gooseberry bush too, and a beautiful peony, and we had the chance to chat for a while.

Oktay cooked a really nice BBQ, using his new garden barbecue, which we enjoyed. Later Monika and I took the boys off to the local park, to the playground, and at one point Milan and I were climbing a tree together, and Monika remarked that it was a good thing Mason could not see what I was doing.

Milan asked if I could sleep over and read him some stories, but I told him that Mas would be lonely on his own. Eventually it was time to go home, Talu was tired so Monkia was going to put him to bed. Milan came for the ride too, but before long he was fast asleep in the car. It had been a really nice memorable day, but very tiring too!

Wednesday 23 June 2010

Busy doing not very much.

On Sunday morning I walked off to the car boot sale, and John and Margaret passed in their car, but stopped to chat for a moment. There was nothing very interesting at the sale so I came home again to find Mas had been working non stop at his desk, so I suggested we go swimming in the afternoon.

When we arrived at the leisure centre we were told that as there was a swimming gala we could not swim today, so we walked in the woods for a little while instead, where we could hear children cheering in the distance, probably doing sports of some kind.

On Monday morning I went off with Maheena to have another meditation session which was a peaceful break in the day. Later I wrote to my credit card people as we keep having deductions from our account taken by a company in California, these have been refunded once, but they are trying it on again.
Ben called in later bringing back some garden tools, and in the evening we watched an episode of Lewis.

We managed to go swimming on Tuesday which was good, and I spent most of the day gardening. Mas thought he would scoop out the leaves, from the fountain in the garden, with a small fishing net. Salty pushed himself between Mason's arms and was trying to catch them as well, he did pull out two leaves.

We went to Stanmore, and had lunch at the Man in the Moon, then got our shopping. Normally we pay £1.00 to park, and if we get back to the car after shopping within an hour and a half we get our money back. If we take too long we forfeit the money. This time we were late back, and expected to lose the £1.00, but I was warned that if we were late again we would have to pay a £90.00 fine. Sadly we will have to change our routine now.

Joan sent these pictures from Canada, she came across the white roses when walking in the forest, and the turtle shaped rock has been added to their garden.

Saturday 19 June 2010

Toby's birthday and a possible transformation

The rest of the week was spent doing our usual things such as going to the library, shopping, paying bills and so on. It was Toby's birthday on the 17th, so sent him an ecard. I have always thought that the Star Trek idea of beaming people from place to place was a good idea.
In the evening we went to the Curry Club where we met Ken, and we had a nice meal.

I also sent off a Premium Bond tracing letter, as I used to have some Premium Bonds many years ago, and cannot remember cashing them in. There is a distinct possibility that I am really a millionaire, as there are apparently millions of unclaimed winnings.

On Friday I went off again with Maheena to do some meditation, and to listen to some of the teaching, some of which I could not go along with, but the teacher suggested that it was because I had joined towards the end of the course, so we agreed that I should not come on Fridays until a new session begins.

I had a breakthrough on Saturday. I always sleep badly, consequently I am an authority on world news, as I listen to the World Service BBC radio programme during the night, the shipping forecasts, and then when it hands over to radio 4 , the farmer's news and then the Today programme. Now, once I get into bed I fall asleep almost before I am in a comfortable position (which usually takes hours of tossing and turning), and sleep soundly all night. My secret is to dab a couple of drops of essential lavender oil onto my neck, on the pulse point. What knockout drops! I expect that when I catch up with years of missed sleep, my personality will be transformed!

Tuesday 15 June 2010

Storing wills, and print to be sent.

This morning I went off to High Holburn and deposited my will for safe keeping in the records office. If I was still trying to trace my family tree this would probably be a very useful place to find vital clues, but as I have live ones that I do not know, it seems a bit pointless trying to trace dead ones.

While I was out Pete called and chatted to Mas. Dominic phoned later and said he wanted one of my prints, 'Softly as in a Morning Sunrise', which was very cheering.
We watched a Midsomer Murder episode in the evening.

Monday 14 June 2010

Lessons of different kinds

This morning I went off with Maheena to Darshna's house where we had a Raja Yoga Meditation session with about a dozen people. The lady who was taking the meditation had a very calm and peaceful voice, and we meditated for about an hour, and then she handed each person a piece of fruit. After talking and asking questions Darshna gave everyone a bowl of fruit salad, and shortly we went back home as she had to go to give lessons elsewhere.

I have always had difficulty meditating in an accepted way, but if I try to do it on my own I can visualise colours on the inside of my eyelids, moving rather like the shapes in a lava lamp and I watch the colours change; if I do this listening to music it produces unexpected colours.
I think when I was young it was very easy for me to think of nothing at all, in fact it was probably my default mode. This caused me no end of trouble at school and subjected me to public ridicule, and I was always told off for 'day dreaming, and living in a world of my own,' perhaps this is why I find it difficult now.

In the afternoon Mas and I went swimming. Sometimes when we are swimming, part of the pool is sectioned off for children's swimming lessons. The instructor is really good at his job and encourages the children in a very positive way. He says things like 'keep going, excellent, good boy, well done, keep it going.....' and so on for about half an hour without a pause! By the time we go home his messages of encouragement go with me too, except for the 'good boy' bit.

Sunday 13 June 2010

Lunch with Robert and car boot sale

On Saturday we went to St. Albans and had lunch at Sazio's with Robert; unusually, the waiters recognise us, and when I entered the restaurant they told me that our friend was waiting for us, and told me which table he was sitting at. Tania could not come as she was busy today. We had a really nice lunch and lots of chat over a mellow bottle of red wine (or perhaps we were mellow).

On Sunday I walked over to the car boot sale that they hold in some local fields. It was fun, but I did not buy anything. I did notice that the blackberries were looking healthy, so I will definitely come back to collect lots later in the year. I think later we should also make rose hip syrup as it is very nice poured over yogurt, and full of vitamin C, so I was looking at the wild roses too.

In the afternoon I gardened, cutting back, tidying up and clearing things. The garden has been looking very colourful with clematis, roses and rhododendron flowers, and in the conservatory the Amaryllis is flowering.

Friday 11 June 2010

The man who lost his trousers, and another fine art.

We seemed to have another busy week, Mas was busy on his computer, and I did a lot of gardening and walking. Pete called, saying that his visit to school had gone well, and they liked my pictures of the Skelly characters.

Mas and I went swimming, and when he went off to town on Thursday I went swimming again. This time, talking to another swimmer, he mentioned that he had all his kit stolen yesterday, including his wallet and car keys. When Mas came home he was really tired; he hates travelling on the tube. We decided on the spur of the moment to go off to the curry club, and have a meal there. Luckily our new friend Ken was there, and we had a nice meal, but an even more interesting conversation, and amongst other things he told us about his recent holiday in India, and we talked about meditation and French films.

The next morning I walked down to the station, and on the way saw the two Jims who are neighbours. Irish Jim, talking of Lilu, (Ben and Poppy's small white dog,) said he would not take that dog out. He said he had seen Lilu (who was on a lead) tear the trousers right off a man she did not like the look of. This made the other Jim and me laugh a lot. On a more serious note, Jim's neighbours, on either side of him, were recently burgled. That makes five burglaries on one side of our road.

I met Christiane at Hendon Station, and we travelled off to Olympia as she had free tickets to the International Fine Art Fair that was on today.
We spent a long time looking at
everything, there were beautiful carvings from Japan in ivory, wonderful hand stitched
sculpture over animal skeletons, and lots of jewellery too.
We stopped for a cup of tea, and we had bought some biscuits with us. Eventually tired, but feeling we had seen everything we left and went home again, another nice day!
Once home again I had a quick tidy up, and before long Manu came round, and we sat in the conservatory and had some cool white wine and chatted. Manu wants me to check with the local church hall to see if we could use one of their rooms, one evening a week, so that our art class people can use it. I will check with them. We had a nice evening, but both Mas and I felt really tired and staggered off to bed as soon as we could muster up the energy to climb up the stairs.

Saturday 5 June 2010

Untitled: an excellent art fair.

On Sunday Mas and I went off to Chelsea Town Hall where there was large artists' fair called 'Untitled'. There were over 150 artists selling, direct, and commission free, work. It was a really good exhibition, and the general standard of work seemed very high. It was a very hot day, and we had a glass of white wine in between. I talked to several of the artists, it was interesting as there were lots of original ideas.

One picture I would have liked to have is this one by Kit Boyd.

Mas thought the show was very good as well.

Eventually, when we had seen everything we left the Town Hall, and went to the Chelsea Farmers Market where we thought we would have a meal at the El Gaucho restaurant. Unfortunately it was an execrable meal, and very expensive for what they served up. We definitely will not go there again.

By the time we got home both of us felt really tired, but it had been a good day.

Friday 4 June 2010

Time for friends

On Wednesday Mas and I went off to Stanmore, paid bills, got shopping and had breakfast at the Man in the Moon for a change. Later my consultant from the Royal Free Hospital called to tell me that my recent blood test was fine. Christiane called, and we arranged to meet up to go to the art show at Olympia soon.

On Thursday I went with Mas to the Man in the Moon, where he was meeting his friend David. I had a cup of tea with them and chatted for a few minutes before leaving them and going for a walk.

Later I managed, with Mas helping me, to give Salty his worm pill. I had to break in in half, and pop it in past his tonsils (if cats have these), he kept spitting them out, but eventually I succeeded, then gave him a treat to eat as compensation.
I tidied up a bit and did various chores before going off to Belsize Park and meeting Diane at The George pub. We had a long cool drink as it was such a hot day while we decided where to go for lunch.

We decided to go to Chez Gérard which is situated across the road in what was once The Post House. It was in this hotel dining room that I had my first date with Mas so many years ago. He had met me the previous evening when I was out with Diane, and invited both of us for breakfast at 9.00am!
We had champagne, and later all went for a walk, and eventually Diane and I returned home in the afternoon.

Diane and I had a nice light lunch and a glass of wine, and caught up on all the news. She has been in Normandy for a while, and will be leaving soon to live in Paris for six months!
Later we walked to the tube, and went off in different directions.

When I got home, as planned, Monika and Oktay were there with the children and Mas. Oktay has recently had an operation on his shoulder, and has to have physiotherapy so it is a chance for us to meet up. Monika has finished her exams now too. We put on some children's TV programmes, and I was surprised at how nice they were, especially the Cbeebies Tinga Tanga Tales which are so beautifully animated. It was lovely to see them all, Mas had given everyone some snacks, and before too long they left to go home again.

Tuesday 1 June 2010

Memories of Maureen

This morning I had to hurry off to the Royal Free Hospital for a routine check up and a blood test. I saw my Consultant; she always makes me feel cheerful and well looked after.

Walking back from the hospital I remembered that while Mas and were having our breakfast coffee they had played some music by Sir Arnold Bax on Classic FM which had reminded me of my friend Maureen. She had liked his music, and his romantic love of Ireland. While walking I began to list all the things that Maureen had shared with me, or introduced me to! Here goes:

Gin and tonic.

Perfume: Jolie Madam, by Balmain.

James Thurber's quirky humour.

Funny holiday meetings in Guernsey.

Lunch time meetings at The Phoenix, Oxford Steet.

French music.

Jacques Loussier's jazzed up classical music, and going to a concert together.

Seeing Swan Lake together.

The Stockpot at Leicester Square.

Pink gin: drinking this and looking at the setting sun through it, several times, as the anchor had been lowered while the sails were still up!

Sitting in an Emsworth cafee after a sailing adventure, both covered in mud up to our eyeballs, and she said " We look as if we are in camouflage....eeeh! I can't wait till I am in nylons and high heels again!

Intermittent conversations about the merits of Trad jazz as opposed to Modern Jazz.

Evenings when she wound Mas up about who the best American President had been, and he always rose to the bait!

The funeral service she had taken fun in planning, during which 'Take Five' by Dave Brubeck was played, and I knew was a nod in my direction.

The list is too long, but what a wonderful thing friendship is! I feel so lucky to have known her for so long.