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Sunday, 29 July 2012

Are you ready for this...

a serious post from light-hearted Lindy Lou?



There's been a lot in the newspapers of late about 
dairy farmers being screwed for the price of their milk.


I want you to spare a thought for the work of our dairy farmers.  Every
cheap pint of milk sold in the supermarket is slowly (No not slowly -fastly)
putting another family out of business.


How do I know?  Not only from what I read in the papers
but from first hand experience.


I've had a rich and varied life, one of which was a fleeting marriage
(five years) to a dairy farmer.  The life isn't the bucolic idyll I had imagined.
Dancing through fields of wild flowers, picnics under blue skies,
barn dances, young virile farmers...
you get the picture!


And before you ask this isn't me!
This lass is far to glamorous.


The over-riding smell you get on a dairy farm is...
Yes, you've guessed it...
COW MUCK.


Twice a day on my little red Fergie tractor I scraped out 
the ankle deep shit, which is so much part of life on a dairy farm.



Every night you shower imagining that you are getting rid of the smell.
Trouble arises at social gatherings, usually laid on by
feed stuff merchants and the like, trying to flog you their wares.  The minute you get warm, your pores open the aroma of cows hangs about your person.  Luckily you are unaware of it, and sometimes on occasion, wonder why you have a completely uninterrupted view in front of you, on your oh so rare visits to the cinema.


Running a small dairy farm is truly a 24/7 occupation with NO days off.
The cows have to be milked twice a day, every day, Christmas day,
the days of funerals, family being in hospital, not feeling well days...
you get the picture?


For a long time now the price of milk paid to the farmer has been dropping.
It's the old story of the supermarkets screwing their suppliers, in order that
YOU get a cheap pint and they get a
HUGE profit.


If this is allowed to happen, all the small producers will be put out of business;
leaving the way open for EU farms where the animal welfare is at best questionable,
to supply us milk.  Is this what you really want to see?
Don't let's do to our farming industry, what has been done to coal mines,
steel and the once great British manufacturing industries.


***



Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Picture the scene...

a latter day Ma Larkin sitting in the shade of a 
magnolia tree, carefully shaped to resemble a Maharaja's 
palace.  Would you expect any less?




Legs akimbo, knicker less, sporting a Thai tie-dyed dress that has huge holes appearing where the acid has eaten into the material.  
Striding ahead down the alley she said to Pa
'Can you see my bare bum through the holes in my dress?  
Walking into a lamppost he failed to reply. 

Red paisley scarf completes the ensemble.

Before the ever loving, and I ought to say hugely understanding husband
sets off to swim, in imperious tones she requests a long cold drink.
No, no not a pint of brown and mild, but a juice drink watered down with naturally sparkling water.  Liver detox you understand, in readiness for the great Olympian occasion.  She's nothing if not totally committed to giving of her best. 

By her side she has an upturned 
James Day & Sons Ltd
Cranbrook Kent apple box; 
at exactly the right height in order not to cause too much strain
 on the expensively (£36.40) cuffed wrist.
Wind-up mobile phone, Kindle,
The Royal Horticultural Encyclopedia of Gardening
and Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable complete the picture.

Already today she has lightly dusted the den; ordered her next delivery
of Abel & Cole goodies and washed her many and various dusters.

Lettice's widdly bed, pulled out to air, competes with the strong smell of polish emanating from the dusters hanging disconsolately on the line.
Honeysuckle scent is hard pressed to make its presence felt.


The sound from the ancient hedge is deafening with the 
chirrup of newly fledged sparrows.  
Bumble bees are busy buzzing.  
Butterflies, flutter by.


Lettice endlessly stands and stares with tail gently wagging, at a snoozing hedgehog
slumbering unconcerned in the hedge bottom.

All is well in deepest Kent.


***










Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Training is well under way...



1.   Job lot of Louis Vuitton sweat bands bought






2.   Cases of energy drinks ready chilled...
Champagne with the addition of Kir for extra vigour 






3.   Salt and Shake crisps to replace the salt depleted stores






4.   Wrist support as worn by the lovely Madonna; for the good hand, which wouldn't have had the extensive training that
my now defunct and sorely right hand has had






5.   Stella McCartney on 24 hour helpline in case of
Lycra fatigue of my specially commissioned boned and corseted
Olympic kit






6.  High Carb. hampers taylor-made by Abel & Cole 
for the toppest of top athletes - like what I is. 
Delivered four hourly...
'Always complete the course in order to
gain maximum dietary effect'







7.   Hourly rub-down by my coach with a damp copy of the Sporting Life






8.   Double strength throat lozenges for the cheering hoarse throat





9.    Fruit flavoured Rennies to settle over-excited antacid tums






10.  Learn the words to 'God Save the Queen';
in order that we don't have the indignity of Lesley Garrett singing it for us.


***           

Friday, 20 July 2012

I limped back from...

the doctors via our local pharmacy.




In my good hand I carried a bag full of pills & potions.
Whilst there, I remembered to enquire about the cost of their
Miss Tena bed pads
'For the dog you understand!'
my dulcet tones reverberated around the Weald.


'Yes, yes of course!?!'

They did go through the motions 
(oops sorry, couldn't resist it)
of suggesting that in these straightened times, the vets might
be worth a try.
'Vets?' says I.
'Their prices are on a par with estate agents!'

'Mothercare then!'
Now you're talking.

Getting to the nitty-gritty; for my sorely thumb,
the doctor suggested I get a thumb splint.

 Elizabeth Bott-like, I discovered that the cost of the appliance would be 
nearly 40 quid.  Forty pounds!
A wave of nausea swept over me as I hung with good hand on the counter.
Perusing the Surgical Appliance Catalogue I was dismayed to learn
that the only colour was flesh-grubby-looking-pink. 
'For that price I want a rainbow range from which to chose my
latest must-have accessory!'
I declared in my best majestic Lady Docker tones. 


***
The doctors advice was not to use my right hand for
at least two weeks.
'Just in time for the Olympics, Ive already been in training!'
I said visibly brightening.


'Yes, Linda, just don't forget to put your flute of Champagne on the left side!'
She's a good doctor and one who unfortunately knows me too well.
She has to get me in for annual visits by using emotive words like...
Trust you will come!


As a consequence of my morning's visit, I now won't be able to
start on my corsage, knitting, crochet, tatting or any of the
other planned projects.

As I sink into the clutches of my boudica chaise; 
just pray it doesn't get a severe case of chariot fatigue.



***







Thursday, 19 July 2012

Laughing Cavalier...

chuckle no more...
and the reason is...
I've found a new love.
Yes, yes, some may say how fickle I am
and I'd have to agree!
However (that word again) without anything to do, 
I don't mind admitting I was lost.
*The Laughing Cavalier morphed into the Mona Lisa
as his broad grin took on more of a grim expression.
Unloved he languished in the crafting cupboard thinking that 
one day, just one day he might eventually be made into a tapestry wall hanging.
Or better still, a cushion where his smile would get broader as nubile young wenches
(well me actually) would cosy up to him on the sofa.

*The painting by numbers set grows ever more morose and
dried up with angst when along with the L.C. they realise that there is a new kid on the block.
Let me present my newest crafting love from
the ever talented Ms Viv Hensteeth.



At last I can get crafting cracking again!

These instructions arrived this morning in the post
and jolly good they look too!

I will naturally give you a blow by blow account of my progress.
Oh and by the way, you know I've always said 
I always tell the truth on my blog...
Well these two - ** are fibs!  
More like Laughing Caveliar -Sorry!
They were just included to help the flow of the tale, 
if you get my gist?


Reports & photo's are to follow...
'Now where did I put my felt?'



Sunday, 15 July 2012

Polishing my Aspidistra...




I got to thinking...
Am I missing a trick here?

Fifty Shades of Grey - isn't that what I see in the mirror every morning?

Mumsnet - Hair Net?

S & M - Marks and Spencer backwards?

Rubber Wear - Wellies?

 Paddles -  Don't they come with a canoe?

Jiggle Balls - Yes I've got a pair,  
I use them in the washing machine instead of powder.

Riding crops - I'm all for young gels getting outside,
enjoying the fresh air. 
An outride what could be better?
Although I draw the line, when behind a horse box creeping along at 24 mph,
being driven by a slip of a lass.

Why is it that every generation thinks it is the first to discover

SEX?

Smiling I mount my trusty steed and ride into the sunset.

***











Friday, 13 July 2012

Constance Spry I ain't...




a little nosegay picked in my garden today.

Can you tell what this is?



In these troubled economic times...
All the little extras we once took for granted, 
have had to bite the dust.

Instead find solace in the simple things in life.

My posy comprises of...
Feverfew
Sage
Fennel
Perennial Sweet Peas
and
a Gone to Seed Lettuce.

***



At snails pace we strode out...

unfortunately the only muscles exercised 
were my chuckle muscles.
Why?
As we manfully...
POWER CRAWLED *
Ted said...
'When I was in London last week I was looking for a present for you?'

My ears were never more pricked, as visions of
Garrards,
Vivian Westwood
Alexander McQueen
Do Manolo Blahnik do Broad, I idly wondered?
Harvey Knicks
Rigby and Peller
Fortnum and Mason (birthday picnic hamper - full of course!)
Oh alright...
John Lewis.

But Wait...

A battery for my 
mobile breeze-block phone...
being dug up any day now in a peat bog near you.
'I wasn't going to wrap it up for you!'

Look, I know I'm a rather (very)
selfish lump of a lass,
with a 'sort-of' special birthday coming up
however...
for this I was not prepared.

Laugh...
I never thought my drawers would dry.
Miss Tena... now I know!
With every step, I chortled; the more I thought about it
the more I belly laughed.
Tears ran... yes tears?


* For those that don't know us, we have a very elderly dog (Lettice) who in her own funny way totally and utterly controls our lives.  Our walks have got slower and shorter.
Her nose and opposite end don't seem affected by her ancient frame. Every blade of grass is sniffed, double sniffed and sniffed again, just to be sure that the message she was receiving was the right info.  Bit like doggy blogging.  She widdles (I've written about this before) and deposits Walnut Whips (remember those?) for Ted to collect.  Surely his collection must be completed now, she must wonder when in reflective mood.  Disgusted looks are fired in his direction as he lobs the offending packages over our garden gate.  Which in case you're wondering is locked.  We have walked out of the front door and down the drive (read rough track) up the hill and along the back alley, (if you'll pardon the expression) which runs along the perimeter of our garden.  'Why don't you go out of the back gate' if you're still with me I hear you thinking?   Well the way out is too rough for Lettice to negotiate. 




The question is do we tell them it's our garden or let them think we are the Gilbert and George of the doggy-do world?  Our artwork hanging in the trees for all to see.








Thursday, 12 July 2012

A curate's egg sort of day...

I felt strangely excited?
Could it be the candlelight glinting through the amber liquor...
of a 'lightly peated with hints of smoke and spice' single malt whisky?
No, just through the the bottle of Sarson's finest Malt Vinegar.



The soft  flickering light, caresses the Heinz Tomato ketchup bottle.


But wait...

Wednesday night is fish and chip night in the village
so.....
even though I'm a 'Gordon Blue' chef 
we  occasionally succumb to the delights of the deep fat fryer.

Yesterday I went to the dentist.
Imagine my dismay on discovering that the filling in a front tooth
was just a sham.  After removing the discoloured coating the dentist found
a perfectly good tooth; yellow (its me age) admittedly.  A frigging sound peg!
Alright I know I've motored through some dentists,
the good , the bad and the outright fraudulent apparently.
The dentist is smack bang in the middle of my old stomping ground.

Now I thought is a good time to fast backwards to times gone by.
Wandering around Westerham in the rain,
I got to thinking of happy lazy luncheons at the Rendevous.
The Christmas Eve the three of us resplendent in...
Simon - genuine Russian Army fur hat
Aaron - Funky Multi-coloured Rasta Ski hat
Me - with half a sheep (black - it had to be!?!)
huge fluffy hat, looking for all the world like Lara
in Doctor Zhivago...
at least that's what I kidded myself!


We had walked down the hill in the snow and swept in to the restaurant
The French staff fell back...
'zeez Inglish... odd but on zis occasion
strangely styliz!'
A very boozy lunch followed, happy in the knowledge
that all we had to do was crampon clad scramble back.


'I know!' thought I
'I'll go and check out Simon's old allotment.'
As I walked up the footpath there was a clap of thunder
and the heavens opened.
Simon sitting on a cloud thinking...
'What took you so long?'


***

I laughed, I gossiped, caught up with all the news of many and various neighbours, 
remembering the happy and sad times of yore.


A mixed bag you'll agree...
just don't mention the w......


No, no, not the war,
the hailstones the size of a new born babies head!


Happy days. 















Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Hold tight...

this Saturday is the
5th
(Yes, can you believe it?)


Kitsch and Stitch Fair


I am just so happy to see Debs taking our
brainchild onwards and upwards.

I will be there with purse in podgy hand.
For the first time a punter...
not a stall holder.






See you there!




Monday, 9 July 2012

Today is the first day...

of my non-crafting life!




I'd like to say I feel liberated,
however I feel strangely discombobulated.
Alright, I know you can get ointment for it, I'm just too shy to cross our local
chemists threshold to ask.


This is the plan...


1.  Arrive promptly at nine in the studio,
now renamed den due to the 
artistical images created by the word...
'Studio'
Which with my new persona will clearly be misleading.


2.  If necessary sit in hard hat on one of the two sofas,
 staring vacantly into space,
waiting for the thunderbolt strike as to the way forward.


3.  Open the empty exercise book




entitled 'Ideas for Me'
and
'The Way Forward'


4.  Be prepared for the long haul, as the 
old grey matter isn't as nimble as it used to be.


5.  Don't give displacement therapy house room...
already today I have...
Made the momentous decision to shrink one of my lovely blankets
I've corrected my split basil mayonnaise and
hung washing on the line .
It only remains for me to repoint the chimney and then I'm ready.
  Excuse me while I just put the blanket out to dry...
 How to reverse the shrinking process...
think I'll google for the answer.
Ironing... 
I'd better... to enable the clear flow of ideas to circulate...
Second thoughts stuff it, I'll just twiddle the dial and retune.


6.  Got this far and already I've run out of ideas...
the quire of graph paper bought in readiness is 
obviously and sadly redundant and it's
not even 1 pm.


Think I'd better be off for my lunch hour...


'Work' resumes again at 2 pm.


On second thoughts, perhaps after a productive morning
 a seista might be called for...



Saturday, 7 July 2012

Brace yourselves...

this is a serious request for help!


You might fall about laughing when I tell you where
I was given this...
wait for it...
.....
Aqua Zumba.

Yes, ME and exercise.
Esher Williams I ain't!
Whoooo?
I hear those of tender years cry!






I digress...
every week for weeks, months, years even...
this fellow water sprite has been telling me about a dress
she has that is nearly a hundred years old.
Well, after the initial excitement of thinking
maybe this week?
I had completely forgotten it, thinking it won't happen.
This Tuesday it did!
And out of a small pink carrier bag she produced this.
Well you could have knocked me down with a feather.
In my mind it was a Victorian, yards and yards of material
day dress.
Her parting killer words in the changing rooms were...
'I can't wait to hear what you do with it!'
Like NEXT TIME we meet - Tuesday!
I zumbared through the water, my mind more exercised than the flab.
'What the flipping 'eck am I going to do with it?'
I had to be hauled up from the bottom more than once (fib)
because there and then, the full horror of my pretend
artistical abilities hit home.
'Why me?'
The bubble filled air rising to the top demanded, 
as I floundered on the pool floor.


The next day I looked at it more closely to discover that the sides had been sewn together with black wool which I unpicked.
Progress at speed was being made...
then I hit the graffittied stone wall called 
THE BUCK STOPS HERE!


Mr Chad like I hang on the wall
quietly wailing....
HELP!


Now I am fully aware that I'm 'Billy No Mates'
(apart from those faithful friends who do comment)
when it comes to requests for advice and ideas on my blog.
However I'm prepared to grovel...
'What the flaming heck shall I do with it?'
 Can you help?


PLEEEEESE!






The good the bad and the ugly will be gratefully received.


***







Friday, 6 July 2012

I blog therefore I am...



A snapshot of our day...
Ted's out leaving two bitches in charge...
Lettice and Lindy Lou.






All in the old homestead is shrew slumberingly quiet.
The tennis is on, the sound is off.
The sun is out, the sun is in...

grey clouds gather like geese at a wake.
The great British weather at its best


On the way back from taking Hubs to the station I called in to
Waitrose for home-alone treats for little Cinderella (her) and ugly sister (me)
Organic bickies for Cinders,
Bubbles* and Wotsits for Drizella
aka as Grizella
cos that's what she does, if her demands aren't met.

Feeling sorry for myself I bought a bunch of pom pom pink
peonies, the size of candy floss on a stick 

The major decision now is one of timing...
Should I down a flute or two now (4 pm-ish) leaving lots of hours
for the bod to process the alcohol;
before I roar off in my Mercedes (alright, it's the souped up 600cc sort;
more commonly known as Smart with scratch black go-faster body work)
to scoop up the remains of the man about town?

Or the preferred option to be on the safe side -
have the bubbles in the form of water.

Tricky I know!

When Ted gets home we'll endeavour to look crest fallen and down.
Tummies grumbling through lack of sustenance.
Conveniently forgetting to tell him of the 
Greek salad luncheon
Organic muffins spread with local honey for tea
A little light supper of
Crab salad with new potatoes breast stroking through
a becalmed butter sea.

'How's the diet been today darling?'

I'll smile winsomely!


*  Cava these days due to the economic climate and helping out our mate George
    (Ossie to his friends.)