Thursday 31 December 2020
Friday 25 December 2020
Thursday 24 December 2020
Wednesday 23 December 2020
Tuesday 22 December 2020
Stickers seen on my last visit to Sheppey. Now we are isolated Britain. I feel sorry for all the lorry drivers caught up in the mess at Dover. They don't seem to have been made provision for-no toilets, running water or easily available food or drink for a lot of them. How difficult is it to install some porta loos and a water truck?
Monday 21 December 2020
Angel chimes from my friend in Holland a few years ago (the small ones) and from Mum's. I realise that Mum's ones are going around backwards so need to twist the sails. I have mixed the Christmas things I kept from her house (a small selection-she had lots of Christmas things) in with mine and it is comforting to have them there. I am trying to enjoy the things about Christmas that I love and think about how Mum always enjoyed it and made it so special. The day itself will just be Andy and I here. I had cat sitting jobs as normal until Sunday when the new measures were announced, and they all cancelled, apart from the owners of Barney, a new client who I visited for the first time today. He is sweet and entertaining. After seeing him, I spent the next two hours returning keys I had collected last week. But I am glad not to have to go anywhere, and will think about Mum and try to enjoy it as she would have wanted that. Andy and I are going to go for a walk to the river if the tides are right. My brother was going to visit us on Boxing Day, but can't now which is a shame. Things seem suddenly to have gone from bad to worse. The tier four is basically lockdown, Brexit with no deal (so far) is looming, lorries are queueing up in Kent, unable to get to the continent because of the new 'mutant' strain of Corona virus, and 40 countries have banned travellers from the UK. My mince pie consumption has grown exponentially in response to all of this. I also bought a chocolate yule log cake today. Oh dear.
Linda Sue. I do wish that I could find out who made some of my dolls. I wonder if this person made up the pattern. She is just such a little character.
Probably more mince pies and Christmas stuff tomorrow! One more thing-Lara Maiklem, the London Mudlark, shared the Alexander McQueen video, for their Spring/Summer 2021 collection. She was sharing it because it was filmed on the Thames foreshore, and it was along the lines of, 'I wonder if they know what they are sitting in?' I read all the comments on her post after watching the video, and because it was a bunch of Mudlarks, they were a bit dismissive of the video, and how the Thames mud was filthy etc. But one of them used to work in television or films, and said that the section where the girl made a mud angel was probably filmed either in green screen, or at least they would have put a cloth down with some imitation mud on it. There is also a part where two of the models are walking along thigh deep in the water, which would not be a sensible thing to do, and the person was talking about how that may be green screen too as risk assessments would not allow that. Anyway, despite all the mudlark carping, I was pleased she shared it, as it is mesmerising. The soundtrack is made up of strange noises, whistles and clicks-they sound a little like starlings, and the characters are dream like figures on the foreshore, with lots of possible little stories to show or tell. I loved it! It is called 'First Light'. Jonathan Glazer is the film maker and he made 'Under the Skin', which is from a book of the same name by Michel Faber. I loved the book, and the film too. It evokes the atmosphere of the book really well I think.
Friday 18 December 2020
I had a vague idea in my head of making a painting or drawing with just one mark for all the people who have died from Covid here. I experimented on this page. The enormity of the numbers is hard to comprehend, and I wanted a physical representation of some kind. Each day the total number of deaths is announced and I know the news readers don't mean it to be, but it comes across as almost cursory now. Every day I think of all the people coping with their loss and how the lost become a number. Each Friday I write down the figures-the new cases, weekly average new cases, hospital admission average, daily deaths and total deaths. I am doing it to keep some kind of a track in my mind that does not rely on what the news tells me is the trend.
Thursday 17 December 2020
Mr Chaston was lovely. Mrs Bowker was my year 6 teacher-not called year 6 then but probably Class 6. She was from Northumberland and was a very strong character who I liked a lot. She played the accordion and taught us country dancing. She and her husband Bob, and daughter Ann became good friends to our family when my parents got divorced, and they were very kind to my Mum. Mum kept in touch with them both until they died, and with Ann until Mum did. I had a lovely letter from Ann when Mum died. I will write back sometime. I should have done already but everything was so difficult so I didn't. Mum used to worry about Ann and supported her quite a bit I think. We used to go to their house sometimes. It was great. In the middle of woods in Kent, with dogs and cats, music and weaving. They had a lovely Alsatian called Nicky who used to hide his head under things and think he was invisible. He used to suck my arm like a baby sucking its thumb. Sounds disgusting really but he was a sweetie
Mrs Hinks taught me in the second class. My first teacher there was Mrs Bottomley. She used to worry about me because all I did for ages was quietly cry! I hadn't been to nursery so it was the first time I was away from Mum and clearly I wasn't happy about it.
And then there was Miss Porter. Straight out of the 1940s with her tweed suits and short bob. She was big on maths and I wasn't. I used to copy the boy I sat next to and hope for the best. She had this fantastic role play shop in her room, with salt dough cakes and bread, but I don't remember ever being allowed to play with it. She also had a poster of wild life, or maybe just birds, that I would snap up if I saw it in a charity shop or market now. We sat in rows, which I don't think was very on trend for the seventies, but she was definitely old school. Mr Taylor was the teacher in the next year and he was a lot more laid back. At some point we had a guitar playing young man-probably a student. I remember him singing the Streets of London song by Ralph McTell to us. I think the girl in the background of the picture must be a student too.
If I was 10 this is 45 years ago. Unbelievable!