8 May 2011

Dear Sophisticated Ladies

 Well it had to happen sooner or later; yes Arabella has made her YouTube debut! I confess until I was attempting to embed the little (phone) videos in the Victorious Endeavours blog I had never actually looked at YouTube – shocking admission from a 21st Century Lady. Shameful in fact given that I make my living (largely) from the creative sector! But now that little omission from one’s life experience has been corrected I must not become addicted to browsing the exploits of other people’s pets! Sadly my darling Arabella is not unique (other than to me of course)

 So rather than describe and liberally sprinkle the missive with Bella’s diary entries I refer you to YouTube –   

Bella and the Ball http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kzRjpegvwWk the title is self explanatory but this is Bella’s introduction to football. Now the women’s football league has been acknowledge ney formalise I felt it important that she was being given the full range of pursuits she may wish to follow. It’s not just Tom cats who can be adept with the dribbling of a ball. Jessie, my late ginger and white kitty was amazingly swift on her paws; pity I never thought to capture her on film too!

Bella and the Bean  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uHv7jbDU8Us whilst preparing supper a green bean fell on the floor and twinkle toes appeared from nowhere and intercepted it almost before it touched the (kitchen) floor! When I turned round she was busy worrying it and for a moment I thought she’d eat it; pondering briefly how long it might be before it was spotted in one of the four litter trays.

Why are we so interested in the bowel movements of our pets? Oh you’re not; just me then! I confess that had Bella not started by squeaking, as if in pain, when she needed the tray I probably wouldn’t have been either.  Anyway that’s quite enough of this frankly unsophisticated conversation!

Today I confess I have been remarkably ineffective; I started off well, deciding that as my parents were staying with my brother this weekend, I could use the 2-3 hours usually spent on the ‘phone to ma and pa to catch up on ‘stuff’. You know what I mean those things that take an inordinate amount of time; they need doing and having done them you wonder what you’ve been doing all day! 

Add into the mix unexpectedly high levels of pain; poor balance; shoddy mobility and the co-ordination skills of a hamster in boxing gloves. And yes I never managed to actually achieve anything today but I do have a list of what I should have done! I do love a list and pander to this habit by, feeding the urge, through the purchasing of stationery! I have SO many notebooks it’s getting excessive and I am going to have to start using them completely rather than feeling the need to make a fresh start by starting a new notebook!

I am confident that I am not the only stationery junkie; not the only one seduced by Moleskin diaries or feeling that the highlight of Paddington Station is the Paperchase franchise on the platform! If there is a Paperchase in the new St David’s 2 centre and I haven’t found it please please tell me!

As you will have gathered Radio 4 is the sound scape to my daily life however I do listen to Radio Wales in the car when going to and from the swimming pool in the morning. One day this week I hadn’t re-tuned to Radio 4 and listened to Radio Wales in the evening (I think). Imagine my surprise when I heard that a previous employer was the subject of a court report!

Some years ago I worked in an estate agents on a Saturday morning; 9 am to 5 pm for which I got (in a brown enveloped) the sum of £25. I showed people round properties basically and it was quite interesting. I love seeing inside people’s houses and being paid to look inside their cupboards was pucker! Especially as the establishment was in one of Cardiff’s nicer suburbs

The owner of the business ‘head hunted’ a woman from another estate agent; she came to work for him; they (of course) had a torrid affair; he left his wife (and small child); and they shacked up together. All a bit of a mess really especially as she wasn’t in the same league as his wife; we, Saturday girls, cruelly called her white trash! She had been married with three adult daughters too.

Anyway apparently when the unfortunate man succumbed to an early death in his 50s the will could not be found (initially). This meant his estate was left to his previous (original) family in particular in trust for his daughter. That was until White Trash suddenly found a (new?) will leaving the estate divided in quite a different manner.  The allegation, and reason for the court report, is that this will is not genuine. It’s the stuff you read of in the weekend papers not hear on local radio!

The publication of the report on the 7/7 bombings in London this week reminded me of my own recollections of that day. I had worked in the Russian Federation during the previous year and had met a young Russian woman. I have so many stories of those curious contracts but this one is worth telling!

Marina came to stay with me and in preparation for her visit I had to agree to be her sponsor in effect. This meant if anything happened to her I was financially responsible for her. At the time I thought nothing of it. Marina had met a (elderly) Austrian gentleman on a flight into Moscow from Vienna. They struck up a ‘friendship’ that included patronage one could only dream of.

The Austrian bought her an apartment and furnished it from Ikea. He also gave her a credit card so she could buy things and hence we went shopping in Cardiff during her stay. When using chip and pin this is fine but in those days this wasn’t the universal method of transacting a purchase. In a well known high street store I had sat outside the changing rooms, resembling a grumpy boyfriend, as she tried on numerous pairs of jeans.

 When paying for the final five pairs of denim delights she was asked to sign the credit card slip. At which point she asked in broken English ‘do you mean mine or his?’! I nearly had heart failure on the spot! She had no idea that what she was doing was wrong. I swiftly intervened, paid for the jeans and marched her to the cash point where she gave me the money back.

 She left the next day taking the train to London on 7/7. I couldn’t get hold of her as the mobile networks were taken down. It wasn’t until several weeks later that the Austrian gentleman telephoned me to say she was fine and was with him. It turned out that as she arrived in Paddington Station the first bomb had gone off. A taxi driver took her, for free, to another station from where she went to Southampton to another friend.

I wasn’t best pleased that she hadn’t let me know she was OK. In fact she had sent a text message; it arrived randomly in October!  The joys of Facebook means I am back in contact with and can follow her trips across Europe with a new boyfriend. I can only assume her Patron is still on the scene.


Edith Piaf’s letters were published this week and I was most amused by the anecdotes they described. She had a series of unsuccessful affaires including one with a cycling champion. It was all very secretive but this man was one she would have liked to keep. She talks of marriage and promises him a dinner service! Oh and compliments him on his ‘pretty buttocks’!

I don’t know what kind of hair style you are sporting at the moment but my ‘mop’ includes a long fringe. We, the hairdresser (also referred to as the Midwife) and I, are going for a bob style that is the same length all the way round. The problem is eating and drinking without getting your hair in it!

 Finally, well pen ultimately, I am so glad the Bella has concluded that the kitten milk I bought (in too large a quantity) is palatable. I confess when starring at the 6 cartons of Kitten Milk in the cupboard I had wondered what on earth I was going to do with it as pussy showed no interest in it (at that point). Entre nous I toyed with the idea of making my porridge with it as it appears to be cow’s milk minus lactose – surely fit for human consumption!


Molly Parkin was the subject of Desert Island Discs today (Sunday) and I did enjoy the programme. She described her form of hedonism as a state where sex was like shaking hands! Funnily working in the creative sector I seldom shake hands these days which makes her comment ironic somehow.

 Her adventurous sex life, much probed by the programme host, put’s my exploits to shame or at least in a very dark shadow! My granny always told me a little of what you fancy does you good, and yes most of the time it was little although I question whether much of it did me any good!

 Disc number 8 was Little Richard ‘Good Golly Miss Molly’ and in my compromised physical state even I did a little dance. OK I did cheat and hold onto the kitchen cupboard to avoid a trip to A&E!!


I am PLEASED to be able to announce that Catrin Finch, the harpist, is joining us for the Salon on Monday 4 July 2011. I will be tweeting about it and sending an invitation to you all. Please do come along as she is an amazing woman ~ I think she’s fab!

In sophistication, as always

(Delciously pensive shot courtesy of Monsieur Campbell-Moore)


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Filed under Musings of a Contemporary Spinster

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