Sunday, 16 October 2011

Shorter days, longer shadows . . .

Good Afternoon Dear Friends!

Welcome to the study at Myrtle House at just a shadow before 3 pm . . . following a rather damp and drizzly morning, a splendidly sunny day is gracing proceedings, albeit with a decidedly autumnal feel and so soon despite the sunshine, flames will lap and lick at coals and the scent of ginger and orange oil will float through the air and suffuse the later afternoon with the spice and promise of the coming seasonal occurrences . . . and so here I sit with tea at my hand and write to you, wherever you may be, which is not here.

Living in the Victorian Quarter in autumn is a very sensual experience nasally; I'm sure I have mentioned before about the wonderful fragrance of the local Santus mint ball factory which wafts gracefully around the environs . . . this Sal and I usually pick up on our way to the Parish Church Gardens - one of our daily constitutionals - it walks with us, protecting us from unpleasant odours, until it hands us over to the waiting arms of the Allgates Brewery, whose warm hoppy mash wraps us in invisible fleecy cotton wool until the gardens are behind us and the familiar figure of Uncle Joe is encountered waiting patiently at the stepped exit to the gardens, with the backdrop of railways behind him . . . all very À la recherche du temps perdu ! This morning our walk took us along the streets of the Old Duchess' childhood and through the still lovely Mesnes ( pronounced mains!) Park where the photograph above was captured in the Pagett Rose Garden . . . I do feel I am so fortunate to live in Myrtle House; so close to the centre of the town and yet so peaceful  and only a few minutes away from access to the local countryside . . .

So what has been happening since last we met? Well, the counselling practice I mentioned before is officially up and running - you can see details of it at our website here which is, I hasten to add, still in it's early days and not yet as swish as it could be, but the practice itself is really quite sweet - we're deeply involved in the process of putting together all the promotional literature etc which seems to take an age but we will I'm sure get there eventually.  We are located in a little backwater just off Wigan Lane - the website has a map and directions - far enough away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life to be a sort of little oasis of calm and serenity . . . you can expect a few photographs of the interior to follow shortly; I may even pop one or two in this post if I can get them back from the chemist in time . . . that was a joke for my older readers naturally! 

Meanwhile the year turns and all things autumnal come to pass at a rate which seems swifter each year - before you know it Halloween will be upon us, then Bonfire Night and then it's a swift slide in the snow to Christmas . . . oh hum where does the time go?  When thoughts like this invade my bonce I try to remember to slow down and stop if possible; and to taste and savour each moment and live in it rather than speed ahead and miss the now . . . not always easy but often very profitable . . . I think the world of retail is very much to blame for this chronological confusion with its propensity to advertise Halloween in September, Christmas in October and Easter eggs in November - madness! Even though I can buy lovely German Christmas biscuits and enjoy them now - which I do, of course - it still feels somehow wrong; unseasonal maybe, like winter strawberries . . .

And so with those musings I shall put down my pen figuratively speaking, take up my cup and head to the kitchen for a refill  . . . the choice of activities awaiting me could be a good read by the fire or, as has been haunting my mind over the past few days, a hour or so in the company of the delightfully sweet and batty Margaret Rutherford  - there was only ever one Miss Marple and it was she!

I hope you all are happy and glad to feel the pulse in your veins; may the rest of your weekend be filled to the brim with love and happiness, and may there be enough to slop over into the saucer of the week ahead.

'til next time

Be Seeing You !

Thursday, 6 October 2011

In Memorium

Steve Jobs  1955 - 2011

I'd just like to add my voice to the many millions around the world who are mourning the loss of a very talented individual.  I didn't know him or ever meet him but I am, as you know, an Apple fan - though much to old and staid to be a fan-boy!

I use an iPhone4 and this blog is being written on a MacBook Air - the ease of use and sheer joy which these objects bring into my life would be reason enough, in my book, to want to remember him. I have never enjoyed interfacing with technology as much.

I know that, if you aren't a card-carrying member of the crew like me, you may wonder what all the fuss is about; well, that's fair enough.  As I wrote in the early hours when I heard the news, let's just remember that a family have lost someone today, as have many families around the world.  I'm choosing to remember them all but think of one in particular.

'til next time

Be Seeing You !

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Painting: The art of protecting flat surfaces from the weather, and exposing them to the critics . . .

Good Morning Dear Friends . . .

And welcome to the study at Myrtle House, just slightly before breakfast, on a quite unseasonable first day of October from where, I am glad to say, three white rabbits - the usual suspects - clad somewhat bizarrely in bermuda shorts, send their familiar monthly welcoming greet!

What a bizarre few days we have had: whether the little summer of St Luke (October 18th) beginning slightly early or perhaps, in a more Mediterranean frame of mind, Veranillo del Membrillo or the summer of the quince as they call it in Spain,  it has certainly been welcome; definitely a season of Magosotos rather than mist and mellow fruitfulness!

I have spent these glorious dog days not basking and topping up my non-existent tan, but being heavily involved in a rather exciting and yet terrifying project; along with a good friend - and excellent counsellor and hypnotherapist - I have decided to take the leap into the unknown and set up a private practice!  Now whilst this sounds like something off Young Doctors or some other antipodean drivel, it in fact involved a long slog around lots of unsuitable premises until one was found that fitted the bill as closely as time and money would allow - I had in fact used this place in a previous life to edit and shoot film, bizarrely enough!  Since then it's been one long giddy social whirl of undercoat, and overcoats and gloss and emulsion and lamps and chairs and - well, I'm exhausted and probably need counselling but we are more or less ready . . . in between all this I've been putting together a simple web site - with much guidance and head-shaking from the kindly Sam @Gecko  with the result that we should be launched onto an unsuspecting world on or around October the 10th - eek!

I shan't pre-empt the launch by hinting at anything as mundane as the name and address of the practice but can reveal that it will act as an affiliation of practitioners and will provide facilities for other therapists seeking space to practice, so if you're one of them keep your eyes peeled too !

Sal has been a tad grumpy as her walks have been relegated whilst the dreadful but necessaries on the practice have been completed; to be honest though the heat does not sit too well with her where walks are concerned and so early mornings and evenings fit the bill much better . . . this does not stop her sitting at home in grumpiness, very kindly opening and shredding my mail for me . . . I sometimes, in a bout of forensic activity, manage to read some of it too.  Still, today is a Saturday and other than a bout of retail therapy later, it is a day to chill and relax ( note: not chillax  - whatever that may be!) and dismiss my already very forgettable and deplorable painting skills until at least tomorrow; the front door does need another coat, ah me . . .

With all this swirling around my bounce there has been little space for the old writing compartment of my life and less for wondering what can possibly be happening on the Isle of Jura with my prize winning story . . . today is the official 7 monthaversary of the announcement of my winning this coveted prize - surely, as gestations go, that is long enough? I could have walked, caught and individually flayed the deer population of the island (c 5000) and used their pelts as a cover for a limited edition version publication in less time . . . call me impatient but I'm impatient! I can feel an (other) email coming on !

However, that will probably wait until I have breakfasted and had a matutinal meander with my micturating mammal - mate before the the sun gets too high in the sky . . .  Have a delightful day and a wonderful weekend filled, once again, with sunshine and love.

"til next time

Be Seeing You!