I came across Mark Steel when we moved to the UK the first time in 2003. He was on the radio with a series called The Mark Steel Lectures where he argued for the importance of particular historical figures, fascinating AND funny. I loved it.
I would have posted a video of one of the lectures from the t.v. version off You Tube but it won’t let me embed for some reason, so you will have to check them out for yourself.
Today we tuned in to listen to Chain Reaction on BBC Radio Four and were pleased to discover that Mark Steel was being interviewed by the equally brilliant Kevin Eldon – if you are in need of a laugh you can find it here for the next 6 days.
My friend Simon owns a shop called Goosey Gander’s and if you are in Hay you just have to go along and check it out. It is an experience for sure.
Simon knows all about glass and everything there is to know about chandeliers. Including how to put them together, he buys wrecks and restores them into the most beautiful, magical things.
His shop is tiny, but crammed full of light.
And I do love them all – but they would look really crap in my house.
Simon’s house is filled with the ones that he just can’t part with – including a few of the rare, giant, man sized lava lamps in existence.
Toastie, Simon and I sit on the front step of the shop and watch the world go by. We discuss the appalling state of parking in Hay and genrally set the world to rights, then we visit Kilverts’s across the road for liquid sustenance and continue.
I can’t quite remember how I came across the How to be a Retronaut website but it is absolutely fabulous.. If you’ve got a moment check it out, this postcard comes from a French series circa 1910 that envisions the world of 2000. Some of them are way beyond me – I have no idea what they were thinking. Others are just really cool – I particularly liked the firemen with the bat wings.
The spiders are coming inside.. It’s a sure sign that summer is on the wain.
I had noticed an extra few about the place a couple of weeks ago. And then Mr T commented on a particularly large one he had seen run under the sofa – and the one he had seen in the bathroom running under the cabinet… and then that night, as I was getting ready for bed, I noticed Toastie staring intently at something on the floor by my bed side table. I couldn’t find anything crawly on my search but then spent some time lying in bed in the dark feeling imaginary insects creeping on me..
I have been stewing plums, making plum jam, and caramelised red onion relish. Very soon our apples will need picking and as our tree is over loaded we will be eating them for quite awhile to come. I once had a recipe for spiced apple preserve which has disappeared so I will have to try and make it up. I know the apples were cooked in orange juice and a little bag of spice but that is about all I can recall..except that it was heavenly.
I have been eating home made muesli, Rachel’s Full Fat Organic Yoghurt and my own stewed plums for breakfast and enjoying every last bite. Mr T has taken up making sour dough bread so for a change I eat the most wonderful toast with my jam on it of course.
I am getting even fatter..
On the other hand I am getting way more exercise now we have Toastie and that is a very good thing both for my body and for my mental health. There are a lot of walks to choose from in this area. Cusop even has its own little packet of trail maps that we bought from the Information Centre in Hay . One map points out Badger sets which I had walked past before and not noticed.
Although our weather is on the turn it is still warm and last night as the dog and I sauntered out for our evening constitutional we stopped to watch the wee bats stealth diving around the street light at the end of our terrace. Although the light and warmth make the days seem lazy and slow, with the Dingle sluggish in places, the animal life is in a mad rush to eat and/or store away as much food as possible. Nut trees are stripped in days by ravening hoards of squirrels. Flocks of birds are migrating as well, our most noticeable visitors from afar – the Swifts, have disappeared in the last couple of weeks.
We have been on several long walks lately but the longest would have to be to visit The Begwns – a lovely stretch of open access land owned by the National Trust. We wanted to walk to The Roundabout, a small group of trees planted on a hill to mark Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. Toastie is sporting her mohawk which is has got thinner as the summer has gone on. So far we have resisted efforts to get us to dye it pink.
I do love late summer – except for the spider bit that is..
It looks very grey here today but boy was it hot. Everyone who came into work was complaining about it – muggy, as if there should have been a big thunderstorm. We are finally getting some summer weather and the gardens everywhere are burgeoning. As well as loaded apple and walnut tree our veges are doing really well and we have dug our early potatoes.
Our flag was given to us by our friend Sue before we left New Zealand and I have been meaning to put it up for ages. Now it is out in the light and I love watching it unfurling in the wind. It has a small panel of gold sequins that shine out in the sun. I will have to get a better photo of it on a finer day.
I have finished a few crochet projects lately, the last one I sewed the button closure on this evening. It is my first cushion cover – so this is my Ta Da!
The design is taken from a cushion I saw on the Crochet With Raymond blog – however the back circle is made up by myself, and i’m very glad I managed to work out how to do it. Now I have made one I am definitely making more, very satisfying.
I have also made one of these..
The following is my attempt at a shawl/capelet/scarf.. just because I love things that do more than one job – kinda like the swiss army knife of garments 🙂