Tag Archives: Julia

The Birthday Present

Better late than never, as they say.

We went to Bakewell today and finally bought Julia’s birthday present.  We’d originally gone to the retail park just off the M1, then Matlock Bath, and finally Bakewell. Derbyshire seemed quite busy, with several Christmas events taking place.

We eventually ended up in a very nice jeweller’s shop and selected the pendant and chain in the main picture. It’s forget-me-nots in a silver mount. I’m not sure what the clear stuff is – it’s tempting to call it crystal but it’s probably some sort of plastic. This is the 21st century, after all, and it was very reasonably priced.

To sum up – Julia likes it, it looks good and it wasn’t expensive. What’s not to like?

When we left the shop they gave us a crystal angel decoration to celebrate their 15 years in business in Bakewell.

If you happen to be in Bakewell they are in Water Street and open from 10.00 until 5.00.

http://www.jewellerybystoneart.co.uk

They have a great selection of stock and I could have bought more, but Julia decided to be economical.

 

Things I Think About in the Car (Part 1)

Just one trip to the other side of town to take Julia to work has given me more than enough subjects to fill a blog for a week.

One is obviously the morality of taking the car to work when we have a good bus service in Nottingham, and trams that run close to where she wants to be.

Two is the fact that she had four bags with her. Two contain things she is removing from the house. One is phone, sandwiches and such. The fourth is stationery and gym gear. Would she take four bags if she had to use the bus? Discuss.

Three – why do women need a bag to carry the things that go in my pockets? Even in summer I can manage, with a jacket in winter I have a pocket surplus.

Four – decluttering.

Five – decluttering, with special reference to the two bags she has removed today. One only arrived yesterday, the other last Saturday, so my view is that they represent clutter rather than declutter, particularly as most of the Saturday stuff is still here.

Six – the theory of two steps forward and one step back,  and how it applies to our decluttering policy.

Seven – differential decluttering. Her stuff is essential (I am told) but mine is fit for the skip.

Eight – do I need treatment for my obsession with clutter?

Nine – design of roads, junctions, traffic lights, bus lanes, cycle lanes and such stuff.

Ten, with reference to Nine, is all this done to make driving so hard we use buses?

Eleven – what is actually in the bus drivers’ test – bullying, cutting corners, pulling off at short notice, providing cyclists with near death experiences? (This question was asked early in the journey, but asked again as I tried to change lanes with a bus bearing down on me.)

Twelve – should I have bought one of those flats by Trent Bridge when I first moved to Nottingham?

Thirteen – would we have had a family if we had a flat there?

Fourteen – if we had a flat, and a family, and had moved, would we have less clutter?

Fifteen – am I obsessed with clutter?

Sixteen – if I had realised that you only had to do five years in the French Foreign Legion would this have altered my attitude towards parenthood?

That covers the journey to work and the first few hundred yards of the journey back. For the second part, which is just as interesting as the first, please call back in a later.

 

 

 

Wandering, not lost

Not all those who wander are lost

J R R Tolkien

I dropped Julia off at work this morning. The gates into the school car park were open today, as it’s school holidays, so we were able to drive right up to the garden gates and unload plants. Yes, unload plants. We’re at it again, making up gardens from scrounged plants.

After that I took a turn through the countryside between Nottingham and Loughborough. It’s scenic, though unexciting countryside, with some pleasant villages. The weather was a bit dull for photography and I wasn’t on top of my game so there are no photographs today. If there were, they would be pictures of gently rolling countryside with lots of greenery.

The trouble was that I started off mentally listing the things I need to do to set my life right, I’ve been letting things drift over the last few years and need to get organised.

Unfortunately this line of thought has a habit of sliding into thoughts of things that went wrong, things I should have done better and bad decisions I have made. It’s often sparked off by looking at a biggish house and thinking “I could have had one like that if I’d worked harder and planned better.”

However, I enjoyed my life as an unprofitable antique dealer and gardener. I also enjoyed the unprofitable time I spent with the kids. And I have two neighbours who ply me with cake.

All in all, it could be worse.

Eventually, I decided I was lost. Strictly speaking I couldn’t have been lost because I wasn’t going anywhere. That’s often been the subject of some discussion between me and Julia when I’ve been happily exploring country lanes over the years. Just because I don’t know where I am doesn’t mean I’m lost. And if I’ve got nowhere particular to go I can’t be going the wrong way.

After that I succumbed to the lure of the Oxfam bookshop in West Bridgford. It’s been refitted since last time I was here and is much better lit and laid out. This isn’t necessarily a good thing as I liked the poky old shop. In fact part of the experience of buying second-hand books ought to be in the dim, cramped, slightly musty conditions.

I resisted the temptation to buy books on Shakespeare, Mary Queen of Scots and Richard III, but did buy books on Percy Toplis, Moorcroft Pottery and historical trivia.

The Moorcroft book cost me £3.49. It was originally £35. Unfortunately, just as I was feeling  economically prudent I took a look at the prices on the Moorcroft site.

I’m going for a nice lie down in a darkened room now.

 

Feeling Better Already

The foot still hurts, but I’m feeling a lot more cheerful and I’m actually starting to think again, even though it’s only a couple of hours from my last post. Julia says I’m also looking pink again after several days of looking grey.

While I was in the surgery this afternoon, despite having a book in my pocket, I just didn’t have the energy to read it. This is much more of an indicator of my wellbeing than a temperature measurement, because, as we saw earlier, I didn’t actually notice I had a temperature.

I’ve been missing my photography recently so I’ve decided to post a few of my favourite photos.

The featured image is one of the mice off a wheatsheaf loaf. I always liked making them, both the loaves and the mice. It’s actually very simple, though I never did get the knack of drying them out properly, so they had a tendency to curl up and go mouldy.

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Little and Large!

I couldn’t do without a picture of the Odd Couple. I haven’t been able to visit for a few weeks now, but I’ll be going as soon as I can walk.

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Nuthatch at Rufford Abbey

I like Nuthatches, and we had a good day at Rufford on this particular day. In fact we’ve never had a better day photographing birds in the woods at Rufford. However, I live in hope.

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Julia at Clumber Park

There are other subjects for photography apart from birds, wives for instance. This is a particularly fine example, and I would probably have starved to death if she hadn’t been here to look after me over the last few weeks.

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I forget the name of this one, but it’s quite impressive.

I’m going to miss the garden this year, it was so easy to pop out when the sun shone. Our own garden needs a bit of work after being ignored for years.

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Right place, right time

I may have to enhance the rainbow, but it’s still a favourite shot of mine.

More photographs in a day or two.

 

The Epitome of Relaxation

I’ve just been to the doctor, which is not something to be undertaken lightly after my recent experiences. Fortunately I emerged with only mild embarrassment and a prescription for antibiotics and ointment.

I still look forwards to the day when I am allowed to keep my trousers on. This was, unfortunately, not that day.

My reward was a nice quiet sit-down in the pharmacy followed by test of willpower (swallowing a large uncoated pill which I suspect of having veterinary origins).

I then sat down to watch a number of obnoxious people competing to be judged as best value B&B. I can understand why people would want to go on such a programme to boost their business. I can’t, on the other hand, see why anyone would want to go on national TV to reveal themselves as the reincarnation of Lucretia Borgia.

Juli just returned from the hairdresser looking gorgeous. She has just changed because her last one, where she’d been going for 10 years, rang her to say they had closed down. Fortunately a new one has just opened round the corner, and it seems to be good. They will even shave my head for £6, which isn’t bad when you consider the contortions and safety aspects of doing it myself.

She just cooked beans on toast, with a garnish of sausage and bacon, plus a few mushrooms and some bubble and squeak (you have to remember the veg!).

Now I’m watching The Saint. it’s in colour and features Yootha Joyce and Tony Booth as Russian agents.

Soon it will be time to read a bit more, shout at some idiot quiz contestants and drink more tea.

Wife, tea, TV.

Does it get any better than this?