Showing posts from August, 2012

The electric jolt of the city

Even the most confirmed country dweller needs an injection of city energy every now and then.  Today I went into Manchester for lunch with an old friend.  Sometimes going into the city overwhelms me for a while with its noise and dirt and crowds, and it takes a few hours for me to stop gawping at the traffic like a country bumpkin.  You wouldn't think I had lived and worked in Manchester and London for years.  Seven years up here on the hillside has created a world, internal as well as external, which is green and quiet and empty of rubbish and crowds and noise.  But today for some reason I just slipped right into city mode like an otter into water. It helped that the city was quiet this morning.  I caught a bus into the centre after Ian dropped me off.  At home in North Wales we walk or we go in the car.  Public transport is thin on the ground in the country.  It was a pleasant surprise to sit on a bus and watch the university buildings pass by.  In a very few weeks they will be

Catching up

Last week my sister came to stay with her two children.  I haven't lived near my own family for years and years, in fact all my adult life.  I left home to go to London for university and never came back.  Despite that, I am close to my family and my sister and I have managed to twine our lives together, picking up where we left off when we see each other, sharing the same sense of humour, the same tendency to take on too much, the same taste in clothes and houses and men.  Ten years ago she moved back to Devon and now lives near my parents so we often  see each other when I go to see them.  We tend to whizz in and out: a couple of days' visit, full of people and snatched conversation, lovely but squeezed.  So when she suggested she might come and stay for a few days I was delighted. It was so good to have time to cook together, to eat together, to chat over a glass of wine in the evenings when her teenage children had gone to bed.  It was good to spend time with my nephew an

Solitude and company

You know those irritating statements which begin "There are two sorts of people....."?  I never believe them. There are all sorts of people and people are more complex than any sort of labelling can convey, particularly the kind of labelling that sets one description against another: you are either an x or  y. Take the long recognised distinction in personality testing between introvert and extrovert.  I can accept that some people take their energy from interaction with other people while others find it from within but I know plenty of people, including me, who do both.  Whenever I do the Myers Briggs type tests which look at introversion, extroversion, thinking styles and ways of interacting with people and problems, I am always an extrovert.  I see that in myself quite clearly in that if I have too little engagement with people I begin to have less and less motivation to do things.  I feel myself become grey and blurry round the edges.  Leave me with no interaction with

End of month views for June and July

Is the year slipping away from me?  I took the photos for last month's end of month view post but somehow they never made it to the blog so here is a two for the price of one blog because the record is so interesting and useful.  It makes you stop and look and think. Here is the side garden at the end of June: The oriental poppies are still in flower and the blue hardy geraniums and simple orange day lillies. By the end of July the hardy geraniums and poppies have been cut back hard although the day lillies are still going strong.  The gazebo is up for a party with some friends who live in the US and are over here for the Olympics.  We had a great time with them and other friends who came up to spend time with them.  This makes the garden look quite formal which is misleading!  It is not. By the end of July the stars of the side garden are Crocosmia Lucifer and a persicaria given to me by a friend.  The fennel too is soaring and the rudbeckia and cosmos are beginning

And Breathe

A full week: full of people, full of televised Olympics, daughter's dog staying for a few days, visitors in the holiday cottage, friends coming to stay at the weekend.  All great, all welcome. There is an archaeological dig going on up on Penycloddiau on the Iron Age hillfort .  I really want to walk up and look at it.  Writing that makes me realise that I have lost it a bit.  How can I not have time to visit an excavation within walking distance of my house, just about forty minutes away up on the hills? Today was the first day I snatched ten minutes in my hut since Monday. Slow down, calm, down and breathe..... Does this happen to you?