My job is mobile and I split my time working alternate weeks in Norfolk and Nottinghamshire. I drive down country roads, enjoying rural England through the seasons.

Monday, 12 July 2010

Taken from Instances of the Number 3 by Salley Vickers

"I doubt not of my own salvation; and in whom can I have such occasion of doubt as in my Self?  When I come to heaven, shall I be able to say to any there, Lord! how got you hither?  Was any man less likely to come hither than I?"  John Donne, Sermon VIII, 371.

I love Salley Vickers' books.  To date I've read Miss Garnet's Angel, which inspired in me a (so far unfulfilled) ambition to go for long solitary walks in Venice; and Mr Golightly's Holiday, in which God decides to take a long overdue holiday in an English country village.  I'm currently half way through Instances of the Number 3 which I bought for 50p from a church fete a few weeks ago. 

I'm reading it very slowly as I don't want to end the pleasure; Salley writes beautifully, her style is clear and understated and reading her prose just feels good in itself.  But what I like most of all is that she is a kind author - her characters aren't perfect, and she shows that it's their faults and foibles that make them individual, human, and likeable.  And as they grow and develop, I feel somehow that I do too in my understanding of human nature and my place in the world around me.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

At last, the perfect handbag

Not sure if I mean the "at last" to refer to finding the perfect handbag, or simply relief at finding a few spare minutes to continue my last post - life seems to be continuing its current rather hectic pace at the moment. Anyway, before I have to go and help with dinner, sterilise my kits, wash my towels, walk the dog, help feed the horses... I'm going to write a bit about my lovely new handbag.

So, where to start..
Sizewise, it's fairly small, only 8" tall by about 12" wide and expands to about 4-5 inches depthwise. But one of the great things about it is that the depth is the same at the top as at the bottom - and you can still close the zip without any difficulty, which means that you don't lose any storage space from the bag getting narrower as you get to the top. Also, with it being fairly short, you don't lose things at the bottom of the bag - which usually happens to me as I resort to larger and larger hold-all type bags to try to fit all the things I feel the need to carry around with me.
So, at the moment I have in my bag the following:
1 purse, 1 filofax, 2 cheque books and 1 paying in book, small notebook, 2 pens, bunch of keys, small handbag sized deodorant spray, tube of handcream, packet of polos, small packet of biscuits left over from lunch, small pack of wet-wipes, pencil case holding some headache pills, plasters, tweezers and a pair of scissors, 1 lipstick, small compact mirror, facepowder, eyeliner pencil, hair comb, slim wallet of business cards, packet of sweeteners, couple of wrapped sachets of fennel tea, mobile phone, and a pair of reading glasses.
Not bad for such a small space I think. Everything is easy to find, it all holds together nicely, the zip does up nicely without any wrestling or tugging needed - and there are poppers at each end of the zip to fasten the ends down neatly to the ends of the bag.
And that's not the end of it, as I have saved the best till last! The outside of the bag is a detachable shell, so the colour and fabric/texture can change to fit my mood/clothes/the weather etc etc. When I bought the bag, it came with 2 shells, and a change of straps so that I have a choice if I want the short straps shown in the photo, or longer ones so that it hangs down to my hips. I went for 2 fairly conservative shells, but my sister bought a bright pink one and my mother a lime green one - both of which I intend to "borrow" every now and again...
And instead of having a suitcase to carry all my different handbags, all I need is a shelf to stack the shells flat on, which means a bit more space in my tiny bedroom for other things - such as books, shoes...
It's called a michebag, I believe there is a website, which I intend to find at some point so that I can ask for new shells for my birthday or Christmas!

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Finding the Perfect Handbag

I don't know if there's something in this or not, but the only times I seem to be posting anything to this blog this year are on or around birthdays - Kathryn's in May, and mum's yesterday. Anyway, first sentence over and done with, I thought I'd post something on our mini holiday in Norfolk and day at the Norfolk show.

Mum and dad have been back in the UK for about 18 months now and I was wondering if we would ever get dad to agree to a visit to Kathryn's so the coincidence of mum's 75th and the Norflk show seemed too good an opportunity to miss, especially as Kathryn's wedding has now been postponed so we could move the B&B booking. And we had a great time, both at Kathryn's and at the show - which was not only great in itself, but pretty wonderful given my sister and parents' fragile relationship, all too often fraught by mis-remembered and long-held grievances and unresolved issues. For once, these all stayed safely buried and in the past and we simply enjoyed a few days with each other in the here and now.

The show was great too - I know that being a Norfolk dumpling makes me biased, but there really isn't another county show as good as it I think. When we were younger it was such an important date in the calendar that we used to get the days off school, and it was good to see that there were still lots of school trips and kids as excited as we used to be.

We saw some of the livestock exhibitions and competitions. I have a real fondness for the pigs and if I ever win the lottery and get my little cottage in the country I'm going to keep a couple of pigs - saddlebacks or oldspots for choice.

And we also wandered round the exhibitions and sales stands - which brings me to my latest handbag purchase. But of that I will write more next time as I'm starting to run out of time and steam tonight. I had to drive us back after the show yesterday and have had a full day's work today, and I'm so tired I'm starting to spend too much time correcting my typos now.