Saturday, 27 June 2009


In the morning she takes time to choose her dress
and brushes her freshly washed hair
She applies her make-up and dabs on perfume
Even though she is invisible

Outside sometimes her eyes make contact with others
Sometimes not
No need to talk as she goes about her day
Walking unseen through a group of chatting people

Taking time to choose her goods
and moving quietly past the women
giddy with excitement
Buying shoes and bags for evenings out
that she will not be invited to

Just another day
Making no impact onto her world
No expectations
No invitations
No declarations
of love
because she is invisible

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

My Garden is Like My Body: Update

It's about time for another update on my dual garden and body projects . I was trying to think of a title for these post, but thought I might ask for some suggestions. Any ideas anyone?

Since last week I've been thwarted by some bad weather - it rained on a few days, but I've had other things that have kept me busy on others. However, I have made some progress. At the moment the main work is cutting back some of the overgrown bushes (stop sniggering Cybill...), clearing the pathways and getting rid of rubbish. This is a much bigger project than I anticipated, but I'm enjoying the work and seeing the results of my labour. It's a lovely garden - or at least it will be again - and I like the space and the level of privacy. The garden backs onto woodland which in turn backs onto a park, and the neighbours are shielded in the most part by fencing and outbuildings.

This week, I cleared some more of the borders - I worked for 3 hours one day, yet only made a small inroad into the clearance.
One of the things I did this week was to clear some old flagstones near the trellis and stand an old bench there, which I moved from another part of the garden. It's in a slightly secluded area, and very quiet and is the perfect place to sit and practise my meditations. The plant growing around the trellis is a very fragrant jasmine although it's not yet in flower. The white rose bush in the border has just come into flower and it's really beautiful, but has no scent so I'm planning to buy some old English roses with the double petals and exquisite scents to plant in some of the (soon to be) empty borders.

Just behind the bench, you can see the little blue playhouse which has been my daughters' secret hideaway for years. It's down at the bottom of the garden and slightly hidden away, so they could go down there and make mud pies and as much noise as they wanted. Sadly, it's fallen into disrepair and combined with the fact that they no longer play in it, it will have to be taken down at some stage this year. I'm not looking forward to doing that, and I'm sure it'll bring a tear to the girls' eyes too.

In addition, I've bought some new plants and have spent some time thinking about how best to utilise the space. My priority for the next week is to clear the patio area, and get some colourful plants into pots to brighten the area up.

Progress has been made, and it's going in the right direction. Since last week I've lost 4lb! I'm very pleased with that, especially as I only made some small changes to my diet (fewer snacks in the evening). I squeezed in a few small walks, although I intend to buy some decent 'power walking' shoes this week to make the longer walks more comfortable.
My skin continues to show improvements, as I've continued with the Clinique 3-step program. I'm also trying to drink more water - but why is that so hard? I don't know.
I have a make-up lesson booked for tomorrow afternoon, and I'm looking forward to that.
Priority for next week: increase the level of exercise, and get a haircut. At the moment I have a head of hair in search of a hairstyle - it's a mess.

Sunday, 21 June 2009

Mrs Malaprop goes hat shopping

Overheard by a friend recently in the hat section of a department store:

Female customer of a certain age: I'm going to the races, and I'd like something suitable. Instead of a hat I was thinking of trying a fellatio for a change....what do you think?

Shop assistant: Yes, Madam I'm sure a fascinator would be lovely....

The assistant somehow managed to keep a straight face, while my friend was falling about hysterically.

Today is Father's Day and this morning I went to visit my old Dad. As he's an old sea dog I bought him a book about how many of our phrases from today can be traced back to naval terms. The book is called "Naval Slang and its everyday usage".
The Teenager-in-waiting looked at it and said "Is it all about belly buttons then?" Naval? Navel? Ah, you had to be there...

Friday, 19 June 2009

TV show: The Mentalist

Mentalist, noun. Someone who uses mental acuity, hypnosis and/or suggestion. A master manipulator of thoughts and behaviour.

The Mentalist is about a former "psychic" turned police consultant. Simon Baker plays Patrick Jane whose family was murdered by a serial killer named Red John. He uses his honed observational skills to solve cases by using unusual and unconventional methods. His tendency to catch people out by his unpredictability is - for me at least - one of the shows strengths. His love of mischief is fun to watch, and for a serious detective show it does have a lot of laughs in it.

Australian actor Simon Baker who plays Jane is perfectly cast as he is charming and easy on the eye, whilst still packing a punch in the role. He manages to rile people with his skills yet all the time his blue eyes are twinkling and he's flashing that drop-dead gorgeous smile. I love LOVE LOVE this show and won't answer the phone or the door when it's on. I just hope George Clooney doesn't try and reach me at 9pm on Thursday because I'm not available. (Note to George: leave a message, I'll get back to you.)

It's on at 9pm Thursday, Channel 5.

Monday, 15 June 2009

My garden is like my body....

Last week I did a post about the flowers in my garden. I realise that I unwittingly fooled some of you into thinking I was a good gardener, and that the flowers were there because of my hours of cultivating and hard work. Not so.

The truth is that my ex-husband was a very keen gardener, in fact when I met him he was a landscape gardener so he spent a lot of time tending and caring for our garden. After he left the garden became a real source of sadness to me, because it was probably the only place we found a common ground and a mutual love of flowers and plants. It was a few years before I could even face spending more than a few minutes out there, and only this year that I've decided it's a project I could take on.

The garden two weeks ago

The photos from the previous post were carefully edited to show the beauty of the flower or shrub, most of which were chosen by me originally and planted and tended by my ex. However, the garden has been neglected over the years and needs a lot of TLC to get it back to its former glory.

I've spent some time over the last two weeks working on bringing the garden back to a manageable state, trying to tidy it up and make it look something like the garden it once was.

It got me thinking that my garden is like my body. After years of neglect, the attractive features are hidden away and no longer presented to their full potential. Underneath it all, there is something there....something that could look quite good once again.

So, here's the plan. Each week I will continue the work on the garden, and in parallel will work on myself too. My efforts will be recorded here.

Since thinking about this plan I've done the following:

Mown the lawn (twice!)
Cut back shrubs and bushes and tidied up some of the border
Bought a new set of garden chairs, cushions and set them out with a table and parasol.
Taken the old garden furniture to the waste tip.

The garden this week

Had my eyebrows waxed, as people were spontaneously singing Werewolf of London to me.
Restarted my diet - again.
Booked a place for a make-up lesson at the Clinique counter in a department store.
Started, and continued, with a morning and evening skin care routine. Cleanse, tone and moisturise, with a weekly skin exfoliation.

I have lots of ideas and plans for both projects, and I'll be detailing my progress each week. I'm open for suggestions on what I should include and any other ideas you have!

Friday, 12 June 2009

More dispatches from the chalkface

Following on from my previous post about the funny things children do at school, here's some more. These have all happened to me or one of my colleagues.

During an arts lesson in the reception class (4 and 5 year olds) Tommy is looking a bit sheepish, and is sitting next to a desk with his hands underneath.

Teacher: What are you doing Tommy?
Tommy: Nuffink Miss.
Teacher: What have you got in your hands then?
Tommy: Nuffink Miss
Teacher: OK then, sit back in your chair and let me see what you're doing....
Tommy sits back to reveal a big hole in his jumper and he is holding a pair of (safety) scissors.
Teacher: Tommy! have you cut a hole in your jumper?
Tommy: (without any hesitation) No Miss, my belly button exploded.

In a science lesson, discussing healthy eating with 6 and 7 year olds.
Me: So, what did you have for breakfast this morning?
Milly: My Dad made me some strangled eggs.

Small child asks a teacher, "Is your name Mrs Smith?"
Teacher: "No, my name is Mrs Jones."
Small child: "Oh. Mrs Jones, is your name Mrs Smith?"

During storytime while I'm reading Percy the Park Keeper's Ducks to a class of 6 - 7 year olds.
We're up to a part of the story where we know something has happened to the ducks on the pond, and before turning the page to carry on I ask the class what they think may have happened.
Joseph: Well, I think there has been a genetic mutation and some of them have been killed off. (What??)

In a class of 5 - 6 year olds. There is a bit of a commotion between a boy and a girl. The girl comes over to the teacher looking very indignant.
Teacher: Is everything OK?
Girl: No, he was being really nasty to me.
Teacher: Well ask him to come over to me so I can speak to him please.
Girl: Oh no, it's ok now. I told him that if he doesn't stop being nasty to me I'll have to have a word with his social worker.

Out of the mouths of babes...