Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Cohen and a camera

This evening I felt a real need to get out and do something active. I'd been planning all day to go to the street jazz dance class at the Community Dance Centre on Jacobs Wells Road but realised that it's closed for the Easter holiday.
Thwarted of a good hour dancing around, and with the evening sun calling me, I headed down to the river instead.
I had Leanord Cohen on my ipod and my shiny new camera in my pocket - all I needed for a thoughtful saunter along the harbourside. Somehow, the sight of boats on water always helps when I need to clear my head a bit.
Plenty of people seemed to have had the same idea - I felt particularly envious of the woman I saw sitting out on the deck of her houseboat, sewing. At that moment, I couldn't imagine anything more blissful.
I was going to upload some photos here but several attempts later I'm still being told I can't. I'm not sure who's at fault - me or the computer - but things to do and all that, so I'll have to try and get them up tomorrow.

Monday, 11 April 2011

Bunting at bedtime

I've had a bit of a thing about bunting for several years now. It started at university when I bought some online on a whim. I was hoping for genteel English tea-party but the plasticky, primary-coloured flags that turned up were more dodgy pub garden during the World Cup. I festooned our living room with them nevertheless, and the festive, if incongruous, sight never failed to raise a smile. I'm sure my housemates agreed.
Bunting has stayed with me ever since. I now have a more restrained, pastel-coloured set strung across my bedroom, bought for me by a friend who lived with me at the above-mentioned house, which suggests  that she wasn't quite as enamoured with the orignal purchase as I thought. 
I also have a bunting necklace and, when a friend had a baby recently, I knew exactly what I'd be contributing to the nursery.
But it's my most recent foray into the world of bunting that is making me really happy at the moment - pillow cases. I made them myself out of an old, torn sheet, which I cut up and then appliqued the flag design to.
It's amazing how much pleasure such a simple thing can bring - I challenge anyone to fail to be cheered by the jauntiness of my new bedlinen.
And we're going to be seeing a lot more of this particular decoration in the next couple of weeks. So if the thought of the Royal Wedding leaves you cold, follow my lead, lie back, and just think of the bunting.

Sunday, 3 April 2011

A Saturday stroll in springtime

Saturday afternoon was meant to be devoted to working, tidying up, and generally getting things done, but the sun was out so my boyfriend and I decided to go for a little walk first. The thinking was that we would then return to our chores refreshed. We walked down to the SS Great Britain, with a quick rummage in Recession, the second-hand clothes shop on Jacob's Wells Road, on the way. We then headed along the river back in the direction of the town centre, dreaming of living in one of the apartments on the waterfront. I've always found that riversides in cities have a particular rough charm - I think it's something to do with the meeting of urban life and nature. The swan we spotted protecting her eggs in a rubbish-strewn nest illustrated this rather well.

We'd got to Welshback and were thinking of heading back home to begin those chores, when we heard some strains of gypsy jazz floating from the direction of The Old Duke.
 A jam session was in full swing out in the square and we thought a quick drink wouldn't hurt. A few pints and whisky chasers later we were still there, soaking in the very last of the rays and tapping our feet along to the ever changing line-up of musicians. It was a perfect spontaneous afternoon - the work didn't get done but that's what tomorrow is for...