Monday, May 25, 2009

Wedding anniversary

Shortly before we married, in fact, probably a few days after we met, husband and I realised that we shared few similar(cheap) pastimes. More recently we discovered, quite by accident, that we both moderately enjoy costume dramas. In fact, it may be the only TV and cinema that we both can watch at all. Perhaps because of my studying I have come round to things like Pride and Prejudice. I used to think it was middle-class clap-trap. Now I realise I am middle-class. And the car got clamped. Anyway, a few people got us this sort of thing on DVD for Christmas and we've just got round to watching them all, as he's had a bit of time off work. We really loved the BBC adaptation of Bleak House. Jane Eyre. North and South. Little Dorrit. The Duchess. Husband loves watching them, one after another, like some deranged drug addict craving the next fix. I prefer a middle-class feminine break with one's fan or smelling the latest thing from one's garden.

Glog - nothing flowering at this time of year. Note to self - must get stuff that flowers in May. Esp. Clematis Montana. Planted onions day before yesterday. Courgettes prob not suitable for Leeds - too cold. Two got eaten by magpies or woodpidgeons anyway. Bought a couple of replacements from Hollinsclough flower festival. Weeding bindweed, especially at front and got quote from Which Local for tree surgeon for sycamore - 450 bazookas.

We have spent our free time visiting friends and family. Or in my case running. In husband's case spending twenty quid every 2 minutes on replacement blades for his remote control helicopter, which they keep on telling him at Maplins is the best one in the world. Not really surprising as whatever it is, he's definitely keeping them in business.

Had a lovely anniversary time with our favourite Tory friends in the South. Agreed with them on a couple of things - my memory deserts me on specifically what we agreed on, but it was pleasant nonetheless. I am going to aim for consensus everywhere, particularly on this blog, so I am employing self-censorship. Watch this space.

Had a wonderful drive a week ago in the sunshine. Huddersfield to Leek via Hollinsclough has to be up there for the best 2 hour drive in the country.

Thoroughly enjoying Elizabeth Gaskell's biography of Charlotte Bronte. She really is the most under-rated writer of the nineteenth century. Mum told me I had to find the evidence for this and back it up. I agreed, especially since waiving my anonymity on this blog recently. Anyway haven't bothered to do this, but it is my uninformed opinion. She is brilliant. Some little snippets - she mentions football as a late eighteenth century activity, with commoners kicking stone balls round the moors. First mention I've ever come across. 'Make it out' - was a phrase they used for 'make it up' , ie creativity. Interesting slight change of language. Anyway off to attempt to persuade husband to let me get a Roomba for the tenth time (robot hoover).

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Chapel Allerton, Gipton Wood, Howarth and Mirfield

Had a very busy day today. Listening to a radio four programme about location has made me think: people; time; place. Was out leafleting with Hope not Hate in Gipton Wood. Turns out the main organiser lives on my road so he was roping me in for more stuff to do. Then zoomed over to Howarth where Mum has rented an apartment for a week with a friend. After terrible traffic issues would you believe, we found a pub still open at 1.30 (Grim up North) and got ourselves a pub lunch. Then after a series of complicated travelling arrangements got into the centre of Howarth to torrential rain, when there was a 1940s weekend going on. Highly anachronistic.

We went into the old parsonage where the Brontes' lives are celebrated. I actually found it quite inspirational. It doesn't feel that long ago suddenly where you see the very sofa that Emily Bronte died on. It still looks brand new. I was born one hundred and thirty seven years later. To the very day. And you're walking around, creaking the floor boards as they must have done, casting your eye over the slated roof of the scullery as you're walking down the stairs, pausing to catch the time on the grandfather clock. Tick-tock, time passing by.

I hadn't realised but our alleged distant relative - Miss Margaret Wooler from Mirfield (our family were the mill owning Woolers from Mirfield - surely related?) gave Charlotte Bronte away at her wedding. Her father of course, officiated. Charlotte Bronte briefly experienced success as Jane Eyre was an instant hit, so it did feel good to see her treasured possessions: her beautiful wedding dress, bonnet and white leather gloves. And the tiny delicate handwriting as she writes to her book reviewers complaining of their ignorance. Charlotte Bronte's husband died in 1906, so her generation is only our great-great grandparents'.

A few degrees of separation in people, time and place.

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Tattontastic self-help book

My friend Jemima has been writing a book, that I think is going to be published soon. It's one of my dreams too. Before I met my husband I was the queen of self-help, via bibliotheraphy mainly. But also the Expert Patient Programme, which was a course that I loved. I think I would have about eleven chapters for my self-help book:

1) Prioritise - what's important for you right now?

2) What makes you tick?

3) Making incremental changes, tips for good relationships

4) Know yourself - monitor your health

5) Get all the support you need to change your life in the way you want it to go

6) Managing stress

7) Dealing with bad news

8) Symptom management

9) Financial management & complaining well

10) Careers advice

11) Dying well