For those of you who don’t know me ‘in real life’, this is me and this is my boy. He graduated yesterday with a BSc Hons 2:1 in Psychology and I am beyond proud of him. I shan’t bang on about it but suffice to say that I am a very lucky mother to have two such wonderfully different children. One may be academic and the other a parent of many but they are both brilliantly loving, determined, strong and caring people who have grown into people who will make the world a better place to be in. I realise that I’m biased but there you go! Imagine being 22 again with the whole of your life in front of you… Brilliant!
No. Before you ask, it’s not me who has been dispatched thankfully. My life which had previously been bonkers became a little more so but in a good way. We have a new addition to the family. He is a very small boy who had a rather traumatic entry into this world but who has come out the other side and is a bonny little thing despite it all. We now have four urchins living up the road, all very different in their own little ways and a complete joy. I sometimes wonder if I love them too much for my (and their) own good but then that can’t be a bad thing can it? Whether we’re making octopus legs from socks, running round the garden pretending to be birds, cutting and sticking, reading stories or just having one of a billion cuddles, they are one of the best things that have ever happened to me and I am so grateful to have them in my life! Meanwhile and in the midst of what was an emotional and exhausting couple of weeks we had a wedding. Now this was a wedding that was a long time in the coming but which was a lovely family occasion from the little country church in Lincolnshire to the garden reception on what was a beautifully sunny English country afternoon. The urchins really enjoyed the whole thing, from looking pious in church To fun and frolics with their fabulous (as opposed to great) aunt To getting lost in the lovely garden And there was, of course, cake All in all a lovely day Sadly, they say that when someone enters the world, someone leaves and this was true unfortunately with the death of a marvellous old friend of my mothers who departed aged 99. A real Dub and former theatrical agent she was a lovely lady and never afraid to speak her mind even at such a great age. See you Betty! So that’s what’s been going on in this neck of the woods. Well that and closing my first issue of Style of Wight as Deputy Editor. A brilliant if knackering experience and hopefully when the mag hits the shelves on Friday, a job well done! Phew!!
I am foolish. But then that’s no great surprise. Who in their right mind would think that a new job and a full on production of Macbeth would be a good idea when taken at exactly the same time. To get your head a round one of the two would be bad enough but to be doing both at once was complete lunacy!
The following photos were taken weeks ago at a time when I hadn’t grasped the full idiocy of what I had done. They show the garden in full blossom all long since disappeared but here they are anyway…
All of it’s now completely gone which is a bit sad but then the geraniums and those ‘yellow things'(whatever they are) have taken over and plugged the gaps.
Anyway, there it all was.
The small people came for a couple of visits and some making and doing sessions which was lovely and really why this flexi time part time thing sounded like a good idea (the reality is somewhat different but will hopefully calm down when I now what I’m doing she said optimistically) when it was mooted – to see more of them. They do make me laugh so much – all their little idiosyncracies and funny sayings. They knacker me out too and I get precisely nothing at all done whilst they’re here but hey, life’s too short sometimes for chores and they do give the best cuddles ever!
They do love a bit of cutting and sticking and it’s amazing how much pleasure can be got from a box of buttons – simple pleasures.
And so what of the new job? I’ve been here there and everywhere meeting some really great people here on the sunny Isle, doing interviews and then fashioning it all into some kind of cohesive prose. I am absolutely loving it and now that the postmodern, all female, punk version of Macbeth is over I can begin to enjoy it even more. To be given something to do that you really love is a great feeling and a bit of a privilege and I am very conscious of that. The treats aren’t bad either and Friday saw myself and the editor at a cocktail bar for a lesson and a spot of high tea which was fab.
Photoshoots are great fun and we’re going to be doing a behind the scenes piece so I’m there taking photos of the photo taking and learning as I go along
The cocktails weren’t half bad
And as for the tea. Well…..
I think I’ve finally found my calling!
…is horribly out of date for which my apologies to those of you who’ve been tuning in the hopes of an update. This is due to overwork and lack of time.
I will make amends at the weekend.
I always think that it’s amazing that in the 13 years that I’ve lived here on the sunny Isle there are still places that I’ve never been to. Newtown is one of those.
From the woods which are full of bluebells and wood anemones…
…to the marshes which are the breeding grounds for all sorts of birds…
There were boats
And all manner of interesting things to look at
The village is pretty too and we did a circuitous route to make the most of it all
We walked off too much wine the night before, too many chips and a bank holiday argument and felt much better all round
And sometimes that’s just what you need!
I very rarely meet my fellow bloggers but there are one or two who live here on the sunny Isle. Bryony who is a fellow Islander came round during the week last week to collect some cuttings that I’d potted up for her and chew the fat a bit. It was lovely and she very kindly wrote about it here on her blog Rusty Rambles.
Have a look at her lovely blog. And her husband’s wonderful photos. They are a clever pair!
When I was a teenager many moons ago in rural Ireland I had dreams like every other teenage girl my age. I wanted to meet rock stars, have a ‘boy next door boyfriend’ so beloved of Jackie columnists, shop at Topshop and Miss Selfridge and Chelsea Girl (non existent in those days in Ireland) and wear make up properly, lose weight and go clubbing. Unfortunately I lived, as I say, in rural Ireland where the nearest neighbour, a farmer in his 70s, was a mile away, the nearest village 3 miles away and the shopping mecca of Dublin 50 miles away so precisely none of this ever happened.
So I lived my teenage fantasies out through magazines which in themselves were in short supply and had to be ordered specially from the newsagents to be delivered at least three weeks after their publication date. From my little room at the top of the Wicklow mountains I devoured copies of Jackie (every girl’s staple for knowing what was what) and Smash Hits with its printed song lyrics and pull out posters for bedroom walls.
Cathy and Claire, the Jackie agony aunts gave an address of King’s Reach Tower in London and I wondered where that might be. Of course this being eons ago there was no internet or Google so I wondered on for many years until I ended up working there myself in a bizarre quirk of fate on Classic Cars Magazine and so the wondering on that count was over. But what of Smash Hits?
At the time of my reading, there was a rather handsome editor called Mark Ellen in charge and I gazed at his picture and wondered (again) what he was like and how he got to be in the exalted position of editor. He seemed terribly knowledgable and interesting and I longed to meet him, just for a minute so that I could reassure myself that he was all that he seemed. Fast forward about 15 more years and in another bizarre quirk of fate I bumped into a friend in Soho and who should she be with but the man himself. It’s inevitable isn’t it, that at the moment when you want to seem nonchalant and cool you blow it completely and gush that you’d had a HUGE crush on this bemused man and that you were so thrilled to meet him…coolness was ever one of my twentysomething attributes.
And then. Just a couple of weeks ago over on Twitter, Mr Ellen was giving away some rather fantastic things from his attic and so we began a little correspondence. I admitted to my crush, he didn’t run away screaming, I won none of his prizes and asked (reasonably coolly) for a signed copy of Smash Hits as a consolation prize as it were. I have since read of his great charm in interviews and book reviews and this charm has been extended to me because just last week a signed copy of this landed on the mat.
He also sent a lovely e mail making sure that I’d received it. They say that you should never meet your heroes and OK if we’re being honest here I did disgrace myself somewhat by gushing when we did meet briefly but I think that I’ve redeemed myself sufficiently. The mag will be framed and I shall hang it next to a vintage Isle of Wight Festival poster because that seems kind of fitting. I know that this might sound like the worst sort of sad muppetry to some but as it just so happens I have recently been made Deputy Editor of a magazine here on the sunny Isle – Style of Wight and I like to think that the path was set for me all those years ago in my little bedroom in Ireland with Cathy and Claire and of course the very charming Mark Ellen.