18 June 2011

















Dear Sophisticated Ladies

 Is it just me that somehow find’s the wind unsettling? I don’t confess to being Dorothy but there is something sinister about the destructive potential embodied in the whipping of the wind in the trees. The climbing roses sprinkle confetti on an invisible wedding, the scented petals in drifts in the flower beds beneath them.

 I am delighted to find that I have roses that smell like real roses. I courted the idea of gathering them to make my own pot pourri but the buds are a tad off putting as they don’t give up the ghost conveniently when brought into the house. Creeping things in the bathroom are not my idea of an ideal accompaniment to a relaxing candle lit bath!

 As I write I keep half an eye on the cloths rack on the patio; it is covered in wet whites and wedged securely between two teak garden chairs. So far it has not toppled over as it is wont to do. The builder has not come to restring the washing line and I love drying the clothes outside. They smell cleaner and fresher somehow which should make ironing less or a chore but doesn’t!

 I was the guest speaker at the Older Feminist Network; a date that had been in my diary for the best part of a year as a return favour to one of our Salon guests. I always feel a bit of a fraud doing these jaunts as talking about my work never seems that exciting. On this occasion I was reflecting on the Magdalena Project something of which I know relatively little only having held the position for 7 years. My fellow directors have been there for the whole of our quarter century existence!

 As the members introduced themselves I remembered what it was like to be part of a feminist network. To talk about feminist issues with knowledgeable and interest compatriots’; I miss this side of my life. Getting angry and excited in equal measures; debating real issues that have a real impact on the lives of real people. These days our lives are so much about getting through the day; about surviving; and focussing inward. Hmm this is not healthy ladies!

 On my return home the over grown hedge was still there; still a mess and still in need of me getting busy with the secateurs! Vita Sackville- West would never have been so shoddy!  Feeling a little bereft after being house bound and unable to vacation en famille I had gone on the ‘sites’. I really should get a block put on these sites to save myself from the potential damage they can do.

 It is my dark secret; my own form of titillation; a secret solitary pursuit of which I am neither ashamed nor willing to talk about (usually). I speak of the on line second hand book shops. Abe.com (I think) brings together hundreds of sellers from around the world. It’s fantastic and terribly dangerous (to me). You can always find an out of print book.

Last week end I set myself a cash limited and sat comfortably for a session. Virginia Woolf and Vita Sackville-West were my targets. And every day this week the parcels have arrived. The smell of old books, the messages written on the inside cover and the curious things publishers used to print on books. I love it all!

 Today I unwrapped one parcel to find the seller had used the old pages of an atlas with a map of Europe revealed as I tore into it. Followed by an article about Russian dolls. Why would you do this? It added to the experience and yes I do need to get out more!

 This week I did get out and saw Patagonia. The film about Patagonia, heavily supported by money from Wales and this was well deserved. I loved it! And stayed awake for the whole thing! Go and see it if you get the chance; it’s a heart warming feel good film both funny and sad at the same time. And introduced the singer Duffy with a small part.

 Most curious was the death of one of the characters on a trip back to North Wales to find the family farm her mother had left a century before. She is given a funeral on the water with her wicker burial casket filled with flowers before being pushed out into the lake and set alight. This is where the realism fell apart – what local authority would have given permission to do that I thought!!

 And last night I saw Container, a theatre piece made in partnership with the Welsh Refugee Council and coinciding with Refugee Week. It was staged inside a container with an audience of 28. How likely was it that an ex, who I still harbour feelings of ‘violence’ for, would be one of my fellow travellers? Small you might think. Well you’d be wrong! I managed to say hello but was somehow aware of the proximity of this ‘ sub human being’ and still not stay awake!

 At one point I lost my balance and fell towards the man next to me. I jerked awake and shuffled embarrassedly towards my friend. I’d like to think the gentleman concerned wouldn’t remember me but I think I might be mistaken! The piece evoked the experience of being transported as a refugee seeking asylum in the UK. The container as a space worked; it was dark the whole time and only lit by the actors with torches.

 It was an important piece of theatre in terms of subject matter and the fact it was both written and directed by women. But for me the script could have been stronger with some strands of dialogue being less than convincing.

 Well tomorrow I shall be in London working for a client and will be travelling down by train. An early morning and careful selection of outfit (tonight) is needed. I have a simply divine linen coat jacket the hemline of which grazes the calf. How practical is it for train travel? I do prefer not to have to remove a garment when sitting but vanity may necessitate this!

 Bella doodles happily gambles lamb like in the garden as she leaps gracefully in pursuit of hapless insects. We are friends most of the time although the claws on bare flesh are still a daily occurrence! Once again I thank the power of Vanish!

 So away I must be as voyages require a degree of planning and preparation; the weather forecast has not been consulted! Boots may be required and if so polish may need to be applied.

 In sophistication and eager anticipation of our next Salon


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