Friday, 31 May 2013

I'm going to Mars!

OK, not me exactly, but my name and possibly some of my words - and I have the certificate to prove it. Thanks to fellow blogger Sally who posted the details on her blog here, I've written a haiku for a competition and the prize is for it to be put on a DVD and launched into space!

Other causes for celebration: I know I've already said this, but since it happened this week I have no qualms about telling you again how fabulous Rush were on Sunday. Off to see Bill Bailey tonight - different, but still good, I hope.

My friend Wendy has announced that she is getting married again. Congrats to her and Ian. And speaking of weddings, a few of us from choir are singing at the ceremony tomorrow of the daughter of one of our members. While the register is being signed we shall be singing Rutter arrangements of 'For The Beauty of the Earth' and 'The Lord Bless You and Keep You'. I'm welling up just thinking about it!

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

First World War pictures: help needed

Friends, I have a question for you all.

I have in my possession a copy of THE FIRST WORLD WAR A Photographic History edited with captions by Laurence Stallings, published in 1933 by Daily Express Publications. It is, it's fair to say, of its time; the 'Introduction', written by the unnamed editor of the Daily Express, includes the paragraph:

'When night comes men will take [this book] from the bookshelf and live again the days when they played their part in the mad comedy of Armageddon.' 

There then follows 300 pages of photographs, which are not for the fainthearted. Captions include: 'Tunic of the murdered archduke';'Ace', this one showing the sprawled body of an airman; and 'Ten thousand dollars for the folks back home', beneath a photo of bodies in a shallow grave.

It's horrible.

The book isn't in very good condition. Although the pages aren't bad, the cover is falling off and the stitched binding is barely holding together.

The question is: what shall I do with it?

Monday, 27 May 2013

Did you miss me?

Reader, forgive me; it's been over a week since my last submission.

Product DetailsMay has been so busy. Work has picked up, which is always good news, but I've also had a ridiculous amount of fun. In chronological order, amongst the stuff that's been going on: coffee and a catch-up with a family friend; folk gig - Harry Bird & The Rubber Wellies, supported by Cernewode; coffee and a catch-up with one of my girl friends; family movie night with pizza and popcorn; singing in a concert; Birdsong at the theatre; teaching at my first co-hosted yoga workshop; indoor surfing at Bedford Flowhouse; Mickey Flannagan gig; coffee and a catch-up with a friend I studied with; cricket and football with my niece, nephews and my brothers, while Grandma kept score; and to top it all, Rush in concert at the LG Arena - best band in the world!

And it's not over yet. I'm planning to go to our local Buddhist meditation centre this evening for a session with Lama Jinpa, a Western Cho Master - don't know what to expect! I have a lunch with 'the girls' booked for Wednesday. Then I'm rounding off the month by going to see Bill Bailey.

Meanwhile, the grass grows up to the windowsills and the dust gathers. Some parts of my house are starting to look like a Miss Haversham theme park. I can't remember where this poem came from, but it seems appropriate to insert it here, with thanks to whoever wrote it:


Dust if you must,
But wouldn’t it be better
To paint a picture, write a letter,
Bake a cake or plant a seed,
Ponder the difference between want and need?

Dust if you must,
But there’s not much time,
With rivers to swim and mountains to climb,
Music to hear and books to read,
Friends to cherish – a life to lead.

Dust if you must,
But the world’s out there,
The sun in your eyes, the wind in your hair,
A flurry of snow, a shower of rain,
This day will not come round again.

Dust if you must,
But bear in mind,
Old age will come and it’s not kind,
And when you go, as go you must, 
You yourself will make more dust.

Friday, 17 May 2013

Surf's up #2

It's been a good week on the yoga front. My Monday evening classes were starting to look a bit flaky, but we've managed to find a way to keep them going, which is good news for everyone. My other classes all went off without a hitch - even got a couple of new ladies this afternoon - and preparations for my workshop tomorrow are in hand. Let's hope everyone who has booked turns up.

Yep, surfing indoors!
My gas central heating broke down, but has now been fixed. Hurray! I'm so nesh that the thought of being without warmth and hot water turns me all feeble and makes me want to hide under a blanket.

Had a message via my website from someone I was at college with and whom I haven't seen for many a long year. Made me smile.

Off to the theatre tonight to see Birdsong, then on Sunday I'm going Flowboarding again. Fair to say it's going to be a varied weekend!

Monday, 13 May 2013

Should have gone to...

What do you think of this cheerful berberis fighting its way up through the forget-me-nots? I took this pic because these bright orange berries can be seen through my office window and always lift my spirits. However, their charms were tarnished somewhat on this occasion, because I was concentrating so hard on making sure I had the camera switched on that I wasn't looking where I was going and smacked straight into the back door.

In other news today: my central heating system has packed up for no apparent reason. Just had the darn thing serviced, too. So I missed Zumba this morning, because getting all sweaty and then not having a shower might not be too kind on my yoga students later on. The gas man cometh tomorrow.

I've just been for a quick haircut, where the young lady wielding the scissors suggested I needed a tidy up round the back and some weight taking out of my bottom area. None taken!

Kettering Camerata's spring concert went well on Saturday (with only one slightly dodgy moment - but I think we got away with it). We were joined by some fantastic young soloists who were all graduates of the Birmingham Conservatoire, and an organist who entertained us with an impromptu performance of Widor's Toccata from memory. That's just showing off!

Now I'm focusing all my energies of preparing for my yoga workshop next Saturday - except that from the Ether Books community I hear news of a flash fiction competition being run in collaboration with The British Fantasy Society (who knew!). There's no money, but publication and some nice books for the winner. Might just give it a go. Details here, if you fancy it.

Friday, 10 May 2013

More small things to celebrate

So what's happened this week? 

I managed to get a plug on local radio for my choir's concert tomorrow. Fingers crossed that we sell plenty of tickets on the door, or we're going to have a lot of wine to drink amongst ourselves.

I've had some lovely feedback on my stories on (she says, modestly).

Got a £2 refund from Virgin because my internet just suddenly stopped working on Tuesday morning.

Had a 'quick coffee' with a friend this morning that lasted two hours.

Taught a great session of yoga this afternoon with my lovely class, who worked really hard.

Off to Waterstones tomorrow where my friend Will Adams is signing copies of his latest book.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Just a quick word

I'm spending the day editing for the Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport, which as usual has meant a bit of fact checking. Amongst the terms my internet browsing history records that I have searched for so far are: Pot Noodle, Aston Martin, Warburtons, crowdsourcing, Polish to English translation, and the Guggenheim Project. It's been an interesting morning! If I had more time, I'd sit and weave all these elements into a short story.

Friday, 3 May 2013

Reasons to be cheerful!

  1. My son has passed his driving test at the first attempt. Now the worrying begins... His first solo trip was, somewhat predictably, to Dominos to pick up a celebratory pizza.
  2. Bookings have started to come in for my yoga workshop on 18th May.
  3. Started a new yoga class teaching gentle stretches to the residents in a care home.
  4. My story 'Briefs Encounter' is now available for free download from Ether Books.
  5. A tiny Co-op has opened at the end of our road. Hurray for divi!
  6. My cucumber seeds have sprouted.
How are things in your world?