Wednesday, 13 October 2021

Wealth .


Down the motorway and onto the lane . 

That's Ilford lane which is actually a busy main road .

The saxophonist is used to driving in London . Which is just as well as no rules is the rule . Speed and a loud horn usually sort it out .

Once parked we make our way to Chopra's who sell kitchen equipment at very fair prices . I wanted more metal bowls and some new spatulas . 

On the way past the butchers shops and sari shops was a shop with jewelled saris and opulent jewellery in the window . I could not resist .

The bulk of the shop was jewellery . Beautiful earrings covered one entire wall and the opposite wall was all bangles .

The bangles were in jewel colours and exquisite .The old man in the turban responded to my gestures and racked each choice up on a long metal pole he held between his hands . When I had what I wanted he pulled them off in groups and expertly wrapped them in celophane .He put the bangles into a smart box and sealed the lid and then put the box into a little bag . I paid ,  he gave me his card and shook hands with the saxophonist . It was a lovely experience . It has only cost me ten pounds .

Then on to Chopras the hospitable kitchen equipment shop . Then the grocers . 

I bought three big bunches of coriander for £1.17 , three bunches of spinach for £1.47 , two cucumbers you could have knocked nails in with for £1.38 . 

There was also curry leaves , ginger , paneer and other things .

I could not find the Panch Puran and a stranger stopped me and asked what I was looking for and found it for me . 

Then to the snack shop for samosas and bhajiyas to enjoy tonight . Four huge samosas and four fat bhajiyas for £6.00 .

When I got home I found little pots of sauce that had been added for nothing .

We were the only white faces in those shops . What people miss !

The quality of the goods , the excellent prices . Much more is the kindness and warmth given to white people who come with respect and enthusiasm .

I have left the box of bangles on the table and twice I have been back just to open the box and look at the lovely colours and thought of the man who boxed the bangles up  .

Later we shall eat the samosas and bhajiyas .

I feel very rich tonight .

Sunday, 10 October 2021

Cause and effect .


Had this theory about the front garden .

 It went "the front garden has gone a bit wild this year given the extreme heat and mucho rain . So better to let the lot go over , die down and thus be easily got ready for winter and then the snowdrops etc ,"

( Snowdrops start the cavalcade of the years returning treats : snowdrops , crocuses , scillas , daffodils , tulips and so on and on ...... ) 

Did you see what I did there ?   Gloss over the fact that I have spent most of my time post lockdown by ocean , by estuary ,  beside myself with glee . 

Anyway chicken in oven , saxophonist on pruning , me to do the rest .

Theory rubbish , work exhausting and time consuming only compensated by fantasy of having a gun full of liquid manure and Monty Don in my sights . 

The holly was the worst .

Back indoors new Nigel Slater lemon chicken recipe on table .Extra fat lemons to squeeze atop the juicy joys .

Facts : holly pricks your hands and forearms .An enthusiast with a fat lemon will find this out as the lemon juice hits the holly leaf punctures on her forearms . This causes an effect and quite a dramatic one at that .

Observation : Perhaps reassess gardening schedule for next year .

Saturday, 9 October 2021

Sausage and shingle .


Bought Autumn / Winter wardrobe editions on Friday . Two shift dresses in a thrilling blue Two denim pinafore dresses .

Blue dresses still thrilling . Two pinafore dresses a sodding disaster . The cut was entirely wrong . ( " I don't need to try these on , they are fine ". )

I looked like an over stuffed sausage - one that had been stuffed with vengeance in the heart .

Two places could do one pinafore but not two in the size I wanted to make them loose , boxy and nineteen twenties .

Inspiration struck and I found a supplier near a shingle beach .

Tried on two lovely designs and came away with one of each .

Fish and chips and then ice cream gazing out to sea . Satisfaction on the shingle .

Thursday, 7 October 2021

Red velvet .


A trip to stock up on wine takes us past two sources of second hand books . Such is the location of both that the " top ten "paperbacks are sought after . The rest changes regularly and is largely untouched except by the happy few . 

Today biographies of Katherine Mansfield and William Morris . A book of Ardizone sketches plus some poetry : Plath , Hughes , Larkin and Wendy Cope . I think I like the Larkin and the illustrations best but the biographies will sit and wait for the right moment .

A fat slice of red velvet cake and a steaming pint mug of strong tea each when we returned .

Wednesday, 6 October 2021

Small satisfactions .


It's good to go shopping across country (petrol situation much improved and plenty for all ).

Across country then , a deer in the middle of the road starred us out on the way over and mackerel skin skies on the way back .

Inbetween a ferocious curry, reduced Leuchtturm note books which saved me a fortune ( well £124.51 anyway ), groceries of course and some men's tee shirts in kingfisher blue .I bought XL size so I could cut a chunk off the bottom of each and have a boxy customised shape . The bottom where cut obligingly curls up slightly ( allowed for that ) so the style looks very meant . 

Small satisfactions .

Tuesday, 5 October 2021

There is nothing phoney about a coney .


Came back by the country roads today . Light fading and rain dripping on the leaves and the land . Every so often the rain had had flowed from the sloping fields onto the road making them silver and making that nice swishing sound as we drove through . 

The sky looked like a part of paradise . Pale pink , pale blue , pale grey , shining white and silver with bursts of gold where the setting sun flowed across the sky through a chink .

I was not looking forward to Autumn . Last year's with the circumscribed circumstances and the prospects clear to all made that difficult .

It's different though . 

I relish collecting some more conkers ( do you bake or vinegar ? )

I have plans to go to a favourite market town to see a good butcher about a bunny. 

I'm looking forward to lingering and greedily gulping down some good art in a nice warm gallery . 

I've had my hair cut very short - I'm all about the cheek bones at the moment . It's a good style to take some of my semi precious earrings . Today long thins strands of lilac ( Lolite ) and later with a dark green dress some fiery Garnets - as big as hips and the same colour as haws .

I've ordered the new Nigel Slater to cook into the winter with and have the latest Rachel Roddy on my desk to compliment it  .

I've finally got into the Elena Ferrante quartet ( the Neopolitan novels ) and have some eye wateringly expensive wool gradually knitting up into a wrap to take me into late Autumn with a swish . I can sit in a quiet corner , with either , and some fifties New York jazz and good coffee making good even better .

Its to easy to look at the world and see only bleak . I heard someone talking the other day about it being " futile to hope " .

Hope is never futile .  

Maybe Lolites and Italian novels are not for you but we all have our rabbit pie so to speak ,  don't we .

Friday, 26 February 2021

You can keep your hat on .


Two beings have seen me through the worst of these times . A young barn owl that fluttered in the gloom and a magnificent stag that stared me out . Their beauty and sheer indifference to the virus helped . 

Those days of gun metal skies and numbing cold. In that persisting gloomy light and ice all you could make out was hope running into the distance with his arse on fire .

The wild things helped - that and any song or piece of music that could make me cry . It was like blood letting .

Today was different.

 The alert level has been taken down by the medics . The demise of the virus has been more speedy and significant than they expected .

Under a very blue sky I have seen snowdrops , primroses , catkins and pussy willow . 

I have had enough of augury and omens , none of them good .

 Instead I look at small green buds and I have to tell you that this years are particularly fine . 

Note to self .

Buy lamb for Easter feasting .

Put date in diary to purchase frilly knickers and a new straw hat .

Plan to wear the two for breakfast and then leave one on .

Further note to self .

Buy hat pin .