- A Winter’s Day in 1939It’s more than that. It’s most of the war, but the story began on that winter’s day in Poland in 1939, when WWII was new and people hoped it might soon be over. Melinda Szymanik’s book brings home the sheer … Continue reading →
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Category Archives: Blogs
Knowing that the food at Cornerhouse is good, it shouldn’t have come as a surprise to find they cater well for events, too.
Yesterday – as Bookwitch – I went to a book event at the Annexe at Cornerhouse, and although they called it breakfast, I didn’t expect to be so well fed. After all, it was seeing and hearing the authors that was important. Meeting others. Networking a little.
Nice room. Easy to get to by train. The weather was good, but I’m guessing I can’t praise Cornerhouse for that. But it meant that the little outside area looked particularly attractive, and it made me want to sit there. Except then I wouldn’t have been able to hear Melvin Burgess and the other Chicken House writers read from their books.
When I saw the rolls – freshly made, and to a nice recipe – filled with sausages and bacon I wasn’t at all hopeful. But lo and behold; they had veggie sausages as well! I should only have eaten one, though. The reason for my lack of control was they tasted so good.
But so did the cake that came after. One cake or two? Carrot cake or blueberry muffin? I did what others did. Ate one and sneaked the other into my bag. (And obviously went without lunch, which is a severely under-used phrase in my life.)
And in my usual illogical fashion I began thinking about a reason to hire the Annexe. That must be a sign that either I am crazy, or they are good. It could be both. Probably is.
Bookwitch has already mentioned plans to move house. Things have to be got rid of. There are far too many things.
But whereas too much china or even too many books can prove hard to throw out, they are slightly less personal than paintings done by someone close to you. Picasso is all very well, but Mother-of-witch produced an awful lot of pictures. Nice ones. At least I think so.
The walls are full, and at some point I gave up on trying to frame more to hang. So the rest are still sitting in the cupboards where I put them while I was thinking about what to do.
I can’t throw them away. Nor can I really take them with me, hoping to find a cupboard large enough to stash them in, in the ‘new place,’ wherever that will be. I once did a picture sale, and actually sold a tremendous number of the paintings. And I still have more.
Offspring would have to get themselves their own houses now – with plenty of empty walls – if the situation is to improve.
I’m thinking of the rolls of large black and white sketches, not to mention the prints, which as the word suggests, exist in quite a few copies. There are sketchbooks. What do I do with them?
Maybe it’s because I’m a little obsessed with houses at the moment, but I discovered a ‘new’ one the other day. Victorian, but new to me. I hadn’t walked near the park for a while, so was surprised to see something I’d never seen before. I stopped and stood there, staring. Crossed the street to look more closely.
After a bit I came to the conclusion that the reason I’d never noticed this large Victorian house in the 25 years we’ve lived here was because it must have been hidden, Sleeping Beauty style. There could have been lots of greenery between the pavement and the house. And now the prince has come, putting it up for sale.
It’s a fantastic house, if you allow for it being old and tired looking. I’m guessing it has either stood empty for a while, or that someone elderly has lived there, unable to do much with it.
The garage has to go, but other than that, it’s wonderful. It wants a lot of work doing to it. Not by me, I hasten to add. But it’s the kind of house that makes my fingers itch.
In short, you liked NCIS.
The top five posts in 2012 were three on Abby’s tattoos, one on Gibbs’s watch strap, and one about Pam Dawber.
Have you really no other hobbies? Great! That’s what I like to hear. (I am sorry I’ve not kept up as well with new episodes as previously, but will do my best to watch more NCIS, faster, and blogging about it sooner.)
2012 was the year when CultureWitch almost caught up with Bookwitch in numbers which, frankly, feels very strange. Most of you came from the US, but my visitors from the other 156 countries were also more than welcome.
Here’s to 2013, and may it occasionally have something other than NCIS to offer!
Isn’t it refreshing to see a princess dressed properly? Here is Princess Estelle with her parents, all ready for fun in the snow. She looks quite regal, in white on white. Some blue in-between.
And as I was musing about partners for future Nobel dinners over on Bookwitch, it struck me that if you are young enough to be a very future Nobel Prize winner for Physics, you could end up eating that grand meal sitting next to Estelle. Or your husband will.
Just as I was about to throw it away, I looked at the thin wire with the small red ‘berries.’ I could use this. My new white – but frankly boring – wooden electric candlestick from that well known shop needed some help. As it turned out, the fake berries/jewels were just the thing. Years later, they still drape themselves lovingly over the frame of the lights.
I call them my vinaigrette candles.
Shortly before Christmas that year I had sent the Resident IT Consultant out with a list of food to buy from the large supermarket. The two bottles of french dressing he returned home with were already out of date. I had no wish to use old dressing, however safe, and had no wish to go to the shop myself to complain. And the Resident IT Consultant does not like complaining.
Wrote the shop a letter. They phoned to say I could eaily swap the bottles next time I was in. I said I was not intending to come again before Christmas and that I had actually hoped to use the dressing for Christmas. That’s why we’d bought it. I mentioned the small fact that it was a use by, not best before, date we were talking about, and they had displayed it in their shop well past that date.
Half an hour later two members of supermarket staff bearing gifts rang my doorbell. They brought fresh dressing. They brought a £10 voucher. And they brought flowers. Even I was impressed at the swift change of heart and tone.
I am allergic to flowers, but put them in a vase and enjoyed them for as long as I could, before deciding that being able to breathe was also quite attractive. So I dispatched the flowers to the compost and before that the garland of jewels adorning the bouquet had to be removed.
You know how it is. The girl who lived down the road and who sang the most beautiful songs as you skipped rope together is discovered and becomes a star almost overnight. Your lives go in different directions, and forty years later one of you (that would be me) thinks it’d be good to interview the other one (Lena Andersson, or Lena Hubbard as she is today), to find out what she did after stardom.
Lena always had a fantastic voice, so it was more circumstance – like the birth of ABBA – than any lack of talent that had her career fade away some years later. But I’m never sure if teen fame is a good thing, so it might have been for the best.
Ten years ago Lena married Tobe Hubbard and moved to America with him. And a couple of years ago we met up again, online, and I had my idea of interviewing her. She rarely travels to Sweden these days, and I travel to the US even more rarely, so an email interview was inevitable. But it’s OK; we have our shared skipping background.
This is mainly about her present life. We – some of us, anyway – know about her famous past. It’s interesting to find out what Lena does now.
I didn’t grow up with one, so wouldn’t know. But I have brought one up, and I can see that sometimes brothers might be somewhat annoying.
Even when I was a small child, Uncle was an adult. Prone to jokes and pranks, but still an ‘old man.’ I was quite surprised when Mother-of-witch told me about the milk jug. It was very nice, apparently, but it died one day when her six-year-old self was doing the washing up.
Her pesky older brother (12) teased her. She in turn attempted to throw water over him, by means of this jug, which was being washed. It slipped out of her hand and broke.
Now, I was very surprised to see a new side to Uncle, finding that he had not always been an old man. It’s worth remembering that most old(er) men have once been annoying little boys.
Happy 94th Birthday, to this former little boy! He has lost all four sisters, but not his sense of the ridiculous. If he could, I’m sure he’d still annoy girls with milk jugs.