Thursday, 29 October 2009

This is it

Last night I went to see This Is It. I had bought my tickets the moment they went on sale to ensure I got them for the first day. I know the premier was much earlier but as eager as I was to see it I wasn’t that eager. I went with my mum. (damn this is harder to write about than I thought it would be) We got there half an hour before it started and the queue was immense. By the time we got into the screen it was about two thirds full. Still we managed to get seats in the row I usually like. The variety of people in the audience was amazing. Every age and culture you can imagine was there. It was brilliant to see how far reaching the love of Michael is.
I had heard both good and bad reviews of the film and having seen it I can see why. If you go into it thinking you are going to learn something new about Michael or that you will see his illness you are going to be disappointed. However if you look at it purely as if you were at the arena watching the rehearsal you will love it! From the opening of Gotta Be Starting Something to the closing of Man In The Mirror it is brilliant. A true insight into a genius at work. This Is It would have been a phenomenal show.

My love of Michael began when I was very young. I had several of his songs on vinyl and tones of tape. I credit Man in the Mirror as being the first song where I paid attention to the lyrics. Not only were his songs toe tapping, bum shaking wonders they had messages too. His shows were outstanding to look at. Moonwalker was a film I could watch over and over again. The height of my childhood was in August 1992 when my parents took me to Roundhay Park in Leeds to see him live on the Dangerous Tour.

My Dad has never been a fan really but to this day he says it was worth it for my face the moment Michael came on stage!

The love continued throughout my life as I started going to clubs and dancing to Billie Jean etc. I hadn’t realized until watching This Is It how much my own dancing style has been influenced by Michael. It’s great to watch Spadgersdottier dancing to Michael now and seeing how she will be influenced too.
The dancers on the This Is It tour certainly tug the heart strings. Each and every one of them was inspired by Michael and awe at least part of their decision to go into performing to him. You can really feel from all of them how important it is to them to be there.

He had left such a wonderful legacy in music and entertainment in general. He has inspired millions and is continuing to do so. His untimely death has brought his music a whole new generation, Spadgersdottier included.

I plan to get a copy of Moonwalker in time for Christmas along with This Is It and sit with Spadgersdottier and watch them. I’m sure I will cry again as I did in the cinema last night. It’s silly really. I never met him. I did not know him. But he was such a big part of my life. I know many people don’t get the whole idol thing and I can really understand it. However I will always miss Michael. The way my mum says to look at it though is at least I got to see him perform. Her idol was Elvis and she never got to see him. I feel privileged to have that tangible memory of Michael.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

The first blog I ever read

My introduction to the lovely world of blogging came via this fab lady and her tutorials. Pay her a visit, she's great!

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Hoping to be a lifer

Well I've signed up to Wardrobe Refashion for life. Hopefully my pledge will be accepted. I signed up first for 2 months and I don't know why I didn't sign up for life straight away really. I am committed to not buying new. I don't see the need really. I love sewing and really like the idea of making all the clothes me and my family might need, either from scratch or from refashioning things.

So I have sorted out my stash box.

Here is the clothing that will not be refashion but I'm just going to treat it as material.

This pile is material and various bedding I have acquired as material.

And here is the refashioning pile.

Just because we can go to the store and buy a new whatever because ours has a hole/lost a button/we just don't like it anymore doesn't mean we should. I really believe this and am trying to live that belief. Currently this pledge does allow me to buy thing like underwear, specialist sports wear and shoes. I am hoping to be able to either make them or get them from charity shops or used off Ebay. So wish me luck with this endevour. That and convincing Spadgersdottier that not being bought anythng new is a good thing!

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Simple is hard work

Phew, no one ever said that the Simple Life was easy.

Sunday always seems to be our mad day. We get lazy during the week and things pile up. Suddenly it's Sunday and we have to get Spadgersdottier back home and there is a ton of stuff to do. So today Spadger took her home on his own and I stayed at home. The main reason for this was to get the bread done. However while he has been gone I have cooked the bread, vacuumed the whole house, dusted the living room, scrubbed the kitchen floor and cleaned the bathroom. It's amazing what you can do when you set your mind to it. The only this wrong with all this is I missed the dinger on the oven and the top of the bread is a little crisp. Oh well. I've also cleared all the ironing today.

I must get better organised if I'm going to live the Simple LIfe. There is so much to do and I refuse to go down the convenient but wasteful/chemical route anymore. Up until now all the housework got left until the weekend. That is just the way it has always been. I think I need to start doing more as I go. Sweep the kitchen after I make bread, wash the bath thoroughly after use, that kind of thing. There just isn't enough time on a weekend to do everything unless I dedicate my whole weekend to it. Once we get into planting season I will have to be organised as there will be as much to do outside as in so we will both be busy.

Living Simply does not mean easy or with less to do. I guess it means more deliberatly. I'm not going to quote Walden as so many people do however living deliberately is the first step in a Simple Life I think.

So now to go and deliberately get some cake as I think Spadger has just pulled up!

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Sure smells a lot like flowers

I love flowers but not many grow in my garden. A combination of the most clay ridden soil in the world and 2 large trees that suck all the moisture out
:o( However we have one rose bush which I love.
It didn't flower this year as we had to cut it back a lot due to black spot. Hopefully it will come back next year.

I'm hoping to plant many things in pots this year but as always I'm really late at starting this. I have a tonne of tulip bulbs that needed planing about a month ago. Must do that this weekend!!!
I really like orchids and while we don't have any in the garden there are masses of them along the riverbank on our walk to the Abbey.

I also like most of the bugs that flowers bring in. Not only are they pretty, they help pollinate all our vegetables. Win win as far as I'm concerned.

I think that will have to be enough from me for today as my back is killing me and I can't really sit at the computer for much longer. Ah well, plenty of pretty pics if not much in the way of words. So much for my must blog more plan :o)

Friday, 9 October 2009

I really must get on with some sewing!

Francoise Duparc (1726-78) Woman Knitting,

We've had a countdown on our board at work of the days til Christmas since the 100 day mark. Mostly to wind up our boss, bless her. However it is now 77 days and I haven't started any of my Christmas gifts yet. I've decided that everyone is getting something homemade this year as this fits in with my increasing dislike of commercialism.
As much as possible I'd like to make them from my wool and fabric stash but I get the feeling I may need to buy some new stuff. Might be time for a charity shop rummage! Anyone who isn't getting something from the sewing machine or the needles will be getting baking.
My boss has suggested I offer to bake things for folk on the Christmas run up for a small fee. It's a brilliant idea as I like baking. Might look into seriously pricing that up next week.

On the none Christmas related front I have completed stage one of the baby quilt. Only 5 more stages to go! I also really need to go through my stash and figure out what I'm doing with it all. It will be the next sign up for Wardrobe Re-Fashion next week and I'm planning on signing up for life!! No more new for me, just re-fashioning and thrifting :o)

Emma's dress

Well Emma sent me some pics of her in the dress I made. Not bad for my first real re-fashion!

Thursday, 8 October 2009

monster bread and pastry demons

Well here are the promised pics of the monster bread and my attempts at pastry.

Here is the min version of the quiche I made. Baby's first pastry!

Here is the cheese pastry pie I made.

Yeah Baby!!!

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

a bit of this....

So this entry in the blog is certainly a bit more journal like. The everyday musings and descriptions of my day. I’ve been reading Rhonda’s blog for a few weeks now and I guess this post reminds me of hers. I am up to August 2008 now and as soon as I get up to date I intend to introduce myself.
We had rain here for the first time in what seems like ages. Now I know it has rained, we’ve not been in a drought or anything like that. But it has been really sporadic and only little showers. Our water barrel, which we use for all the garden and indoor plants, was down to it’s last few inches. Well when we got home last night it was overflowing! It’s times like this I wish We had a second barrel. We are going to look at another one soon. It’s kinda unfortunate it rained as the barrel being empty would have been the perfect time to move it in readiness for another one. Ah well.
Last night I made pie for the first time. All my life I’ve wanted to be able to make pastry and it is a skill that has eluded me. For some reason I see a meat pie as the height of the housewife’s art. Not sure why. (I’m not even a housewife so I’m not sure why it matters so much) Well last night I made a pie with cheese pastry filled with the left over stew from the night before. We had it with half a baked squash and it was delicious. The pastry demon is definitely conquered hehehehe.
I also made some shortbread biscuits, 2 pound cake loaves and set some fruit soaking in tea to make Brack. This is a tea loaf that is in my Be~Ro cookbook. Spadger loves it! So tonight I shall make that and then set to work on the baby quilt I am making for a friend. It is my first attempt at quilting and I really hope it works well. Tea will be leftover pie from last night served cold with a baked potato and some baked beans.
All in all I’m feeling a very “simple” vibe this week which I love.

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Me time

Phew, time for a break methinks. There is a tureen full of tomato soup on the kitchen side, 1 pan and 1 big bowl full of tomato sauce cooling down to go in the freezer and 2 batches of bread dough on the oven top proving. Definitely time for a sit down and a cuppa. I still have stuff to do but the kitchen is a bit tropical at the moment and I need to wash up (again) before I can do anything else. Plus I really should get the bread done before I try to much more. Our kitchen is rather small and although I am clearing as much side space as I can there is only so much I can do.

So a moment of reflection. I'm inside seeing to the culinary needs of my family and Spadger is out in the garden breaking apart pallets to make planters for the next season's crops. This morning we harvested the last of the produce that is in the ground. This added up to abut 3 and a half pounds of quite misshapen parsnips (gotta love ugly veg!) and around 11 pounds of jerusalem artichokes. We've never even tasted them before but thought we'd have a crack at growing them. There are 2 of their flowers in a glass on top of the piano at the moment which Spadger gave me in exchange for a cuppa. He'd have gotten the cuppa anyway but I'm not adverse to the flowers hehehehehe.

It's days like today that make me realise how much I love my "simple" life. It's hard work and definitely takes more effort than the conventional life but I feel so much more enriched for it. The amount of people who ask me how I get the time to make all our bread or shake their heads in wonder at the fact that I knit, sew and bake every week. I can tell you now that getting rid of the idiot box (television) is one of the reasons I have the time and the inclination to do these things. Not feeling the need to update my status on Facebook every 5 minutes helps as well. I'm not adverse to technology or being up-productive, I wouldn't be on here if I were, but these things do just eat time. Not having a TV means that when I normally would have sat down in front of something I didn't really want to watch but I couldn't be bothered to do anything else I now have to find something to do.

Having this extra time means I have finally learnt to knit properly. I have a beautiful, 100 year old sewing machine that I use to make beautiful things and I am learning to cook new things. What makes it even better is that on average I do all this and STILL have time to play on here, indulge my love of taking photos and read all the books I want. I can spend and evening every week at the knit and knatter night that the local wool shop runs. I can go to the market on a weekend and spend plenty of time actually connecting with my family.

When Spadgersdottier is visiting we watch films together occasionally but more often we can be found playing board games. Rather than having her comatose in front of whatever passes for children's programming she is in the kitchen or garden with us. All this time that has suddenly "appeared" to do all this in was there already. Time is totally relevant and there is a lot more of it than we think.

We have this belief that we have the right to "me" time. This time must be spent doing something we enjoy. However it cannot be spent doing something productive, that goes against the concept of me time. Well my me time is spent on the above mentioned things. Crafting, cooking, reading and taking pictures are things I love doing. I get a great amount of pleasure out of them and a feeling of satisfaction that shopping and vegging in front of the TV never gave me.

What do you do in your Me time?