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Showing posts from November, 2008

The joy of an old house

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I have mixed feelings about our house. I love its history, its quirkiness and the sense of being one in a long line of people who've lived there. I do like looking at things, like the carved panelling that has mysteriously ended up lining the boiler cupboard, and wondering "Why?"
One thing I have had to learn, after living most of my life in houses no one else wanted to, is the ability to stick my hands over my eyes and go "LA LA LA LA LA I'm not looking," as the sheer enormity of what needs doing threatens to overwhelm us. Taking on a "project" when you have scadloads of money is one thing, but doing it when you don't, and your income is, as mine is, unpredictable, is daft. However much your surveyor might like to say that x, x, and x are urgent and y and y could certainly do with being done within the year, we know full well the limitations of what our income is, and so nod wisely and mentally stretch the period of works to years, not months…

Who benefits from the credit crunch?

Our dog. We don't have the heating on much here anyway, but even less so now. I am permanently buttoned into my ancient Barbour bodywarmer. And the dog, who is a warm sort of creature, is now allowed on the sofas so she can keep us warm. Not quite, "It's a little chilly, so I've put another dog on your bed," but I'm sure it won't be long.

Have had a stinking cold all week, and I'm now off to join dog on the sofa, drink hot chocolate and nurse my woes. Have a lovely weekend.

Well....

another posting from the far shores of equine weirdness, though I have to say despite the obvious continuity issues, I rather like this. I'd rather look at him than our Katie any day.



And I want those boots.

Six things about me

I was tagged last week by Frances over at France and the Unknown, so here, a bit late, are the results! I don't usually tag people but if anyone wants to pick this up on their own blog, and reveal six things about themselves, feel free.

1. I was a runner up in the Daily Mail (actually it could have been Daily Mirror but I can't find my copy of the book in which the results where published to check) children's poetry competition when I was 11. I wrote a poem about my grandmother, who was torn between being miffed at my not very flattering portrait of her, and pride at my brief national celebrity.

2. I last fell off a horse into a ploughed field. The horse was standing still at the time. Dear Tess, alas now PTS, and I careered across a ploughed field, and I had one of those moments when I lose all physical co-ordination, and just sat there thinking "OOH I am NOT in control here." Anyway, Tess stopped of her own accord, and I sat there for a few seconds and the…

A round of applause for my mother

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Who I don't imagine will be reading this unless she's suddenly developed an addiction to internet cafés!

I get a lot of messages from people who are looking to re-build their collections after they either "grew up" and chucked out their collections themselves, or as seems to happen rather more often, had their collections ruthlessly downsized by their mothers. As an aside, I do notice that fathers do not appear to do this. Presumably they either a. don't care b. don't notice the house is disappearing under books or c. prefer to leave such tricky decisions to mothers.
I must now say my own mother did not chuck out my pony book collection of immensely tatty paperbacks, and it still survives. Mum nobly held on to it for a good 10 years after I'd left home, asking occasionally through gritted teeth, "Are you sure you can't fit those books in yet?", at which point I would say "NO, I can't possibly - you've got far more space," in …

A bit of Ruby Ferguson news

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There is now a Facebook Ruby Ferguson group for discussion of all things Jill. It's been started by John Rees, and it's here. (And thanks for the link, to Vanessa from Fidra. I whipped it off her blog having been totally incapable of working out how to find it after John rang me to ask if I minded if he linked to the website).




Eek - I might actually have to join Facebook now. I have held off until now because I've heard how addictive it is and I know what I'm like, but can I resist the appeal of Jill? I don't think I can.

And the winner is...

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Anne Bullen's A Pony to School.



I think Anne Bullen was supreme at catching the wish fulfilment element of pony books. Her ponies are not 100% as ponies are, but they certainly are as they canter through your dreams; breedy, kindly and oh so noble. Her Cascade in Wish for a Pony was my childhood dream of bliss, as was Daybreak in I Wanted a Pony. I wonder if that's why she's won out over artists who are arguably technically more accomplished? I know that when I voted in the rounds coming up to the final that the emotional pull of several of the dustjackets won out over the technical expertise of others.
Lionel Edwards is one who I think lost out because of this. In the initial round of over 60 books, there were 13 of his titles, with Anne Bullen having 8 and Sam Savitt, Sheila Rose and Peter Biegel (a Lionel Edwards pupil with a very similar style) following on behind with 3 each. There's absolutely no element of fantasy whatsoever in Lionel Edwards' style: he gives …

Fitting back into life

I'm always amazed by the sheer effort of extracting myself from my life for even a week, but we're now back, having had an excellent week, and I have now downloaded my emails. This has reminded me that I now of course have to lever myself back into my life..... Even after I'd deleted the 250+ spam, I still have 262 emails to deal with.

So, if you've emailed me over the past week, please be patient. It is going to take me a time to get through the backlog.