Tuesday, 6 June 2017


*********My Wild West************

I have come to a pretty big decision. Well, a big one to me and Husband. I'm no longer going to do wild west living history. It's taken a lot of heart searching but finally I reached that decision the other day.

There's a western roundup due soon and I was fully prepared to do the packing, turn up and do my 'thaing'. Husband and son returned from the Birmingham Navigation Challenge (of more anon...!) and I had thought that the roundup was the weekend directly afterwards, so w...as mentally prepared. Still slightly apprehensive but okay.

I then discovered that the roundup was the following weekend and I was relieved. A bit more time to panic in. THEN I discovered that the roundup wasn't where we thought it would be but was in a location used before, which we thought had been abandoned for various reasons, and this roundup wasn't for TWO weeks ahead! I was even more relieved, at which point I really had to think more deeply about this. Did I really want to go? The answer was 'no'. On that same date we had arranged to look after our twin granddaughters for two nights on our narrow boat and that appealed enormously. Camping didn't. I wasn't actually looking forward to it, and a large portion of my desire to camp had been to 'prove' myself.

I reached the decision in our local Nero's. I discussed it over coffee with Husband. The truth is I wasn't disappointed. I was glad I'd done living history and I was really pleased that I'd finally cracked the anxiety and made the event last year. I'd met old friends and made new ones, as they say, but I wasn't looking forward to it.

The conclusion I reached was that the apprehension, attributed to depression, was real. It really wasn't my 'thaing'. The people were great, and we've made some lovely mates out of it, but we always found it impossible to sleep at these events, and we both hate country music! And, much as i love people, I'm quite shy and appreciate my privacy. The relief, actually, is huge! We're not abandoning events altogether, and will do day visits in gear, but camping - no. We're hugely relieved. No more worrying about the trailer, no more worrying about dates, and no more apprehension for me.


  A visit to ...
 *********Uppark, West Sussex*********
Today we visited the National Trust's Uppark, West Sussex, up the road from us in Hampshire. During the 1980/90s it burnt almost completely down upstairs, so much of it has been rebuilt and replicated. But Husband and I love downstairs servants' quarters, kitchens, basements, cellars, bathrooms, loos and upstairs attics in all these places. Not so keen on the gilt and posh of all the main living areas of Lord and Lady Snot. Must say something about us! So I didn't taken pics of the 'poshe' rooms in the main house, because they simply didn't appeal to me, but the minute we walked 'downstairs', I just had to snap away. My apologies to all those who love period glitz and glamour.

A collection of burnt pieces -
wood and plaster decorative items from the fire.

Down in the cellar

The servant's bells 'downstairs'

The café area - used to be the kitchen

The range in the café/kitchen


A padded door

in the main house

The café/kitchen and poultry hanging room

Poultry hanging

Underneath - cellars, basement, kitchen...

Butler's room


Down below

Before I continue, I must apologise and work out why the following cock-up has cocked up. I'm still learning on Blogger, so please bear/bare with me, if you can bare it.  Thank you!

This is felt tip on textured watercolour paper.
Haven't finished yet - enjoying it!

Sculpture class. Latest piece. Easter Island head. At the start, I was going to do a bust. Not mine, although that is ample, but a head and shoulders. Instead of carving from a solid lump of clay - this is known as stoneware clay, I adore the creamy texture - you use what is known in the trade as a bust peg. You heard. 😄 Layers of newspaper are wrapped around the peg and taped. You then build your head on that. As I build up small pieces of clay, the shape evolved and I thought: Easter Island head! I love Easter Island heads! At first it was v rude, particularly when I attached a piece for the forehead. Soon got rid of that! In the background you can see Elaine. She's adorable, and she's nearly 100! Tutor Yvonne (she's adorable too) thought she was 97, and that was pretty amazing, but her registration form reveals that her birth is around 1917. She's my latest role model! Very with it. Sends e-cards to her numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren, and thinks Email is a godsend! I love her. The bust she's modelling is what has inspired me.

That  Novel!
(Alias Jeannie Delaney)

Okay, working on it! I'm printing it out, chapter by chapter, so that it's clearer to me what's working and what ain't. His Greatness (Husband) has taken it upon himself to read each chapter and critique it. Bless him. Posting chapters on Facebook and doing pretty well.

Every time I hear evocative music I dream about my heroine. Shows how strong my story is and how much I want it 'out there'. I'm growing more confident about discussing it with people, something I've been needing forever, and I'm growing happier and happier about it. Before, the novel actually caused part of my depression.

I'm going to post chapters here soon. I did so on my old blog, so I'll have to transfer them to here. Keep a look out for it.

One thing that does bother me is the muddle in the middle and politics, because Jeannie ultimately becomes mayor and I know zilch and understand even less about British politics, let alone old west politics ! So... I'll cross that darn bridge when I get to it.


I'm Reading ...

I love reading. Well, it certainly helps if you're writing books and articles and blogs!

As a late teen, early twenties gal, I loved Daphne Du Maurier and read most of her books. In later years I became rather proud of the fact that I read a number of classic authors, such as Nevil Shute's Beyond the Black Stump and A Town Like Alice. I read Mary Stewart's The Sun King (about Louis X1V), and Nicholas Monsarrat's The Cruel Sea. So yes, I read a number of good books. In later years I read Girl on the Landing by Paul Torday, and The Time Traveller's Wife by Audrey Niffennegger. Enjoyed both of those very much.

I'm a huge fan of paranormal stories - real and imagined - enjoyed some biographies or autobiographies, loved a selection of Alan Tichmarsh's stories (he's a well known British gardener/tv presenter. Actually lives near us). I'm currently reading The Mystery of Princess Louise by Lucinda Hawksley. I watched documentaries about the offspring of Queen Victoria, all of whom struggled for independence from her, and Princess Louise struck me hugely. A rebellious sculptor (her sculpture of Queen Victoria stands in front of Windsor Castle) who managed to attend art school. 'I have got to read that.', I decided. Enjoying it so far.

I Watch and Am Watching...

I watch a lot of telly and used to go to the cinema regularly. Am definitely a film addict, a visual person (geddaway...).
The Big Bang Theory, the CSI series, Doctor Who, Star Trek... Love them all! Person of Interest (now sadly finished *sniff*). I love the paranormal shows, particularly Zak Bagans Ghost Adventures - nuts and hilarious! I love action hero movies hero and heroines

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood is distinctly creepy. A totalitarian world is taken over by a military dictatorship where the birth rate has fallen due to pollution and sexually transmitted diseases, the story takes place in a future New England. All fertile women are taken to a religious community where they are trained for reproductive purposes. It's narrated by the protagonist and has flashbacks to her life before the commune. I do know how it ends cuz I read the plot last night. Shall watch till the end and see how it goes.


Plans are  afoot , as they say. We are making efforts to  research ways of getting to Aussie land next year, taking short hops to get there. Meantime we'd like to endeavour to see the northern lights (Aurora Borealis) this year. It shall be done (I hope). So, for the moment, our plans are UK based, particularly the coast, which I we love. Better  get a move on - year's half done!

No comments:

Post a Comment