In the Mood To Start Again

Disgraceful - That's what I call it. I have simply not wanted to come and update my blog for so long.  I wonder if it is an age thing?  I went across to Wordpress a short while ago because so many people say how wonderful they are - and how much better than this one is.  So I thought I'd give it a try.  But I haven't got too far I am ashamed to say.  In fact I have had to print off their loads of instructions and I have almost fallen asleep reading them.

So here I am back again.  Not that anyone could possibly give a hoot for anything I might have to say BUT....
I might as well say it, as it is a kind of therapy.  Recreation if you like.  Almost four years ago, when I first decided to get it all off my chest, I really did find that it helped. My life had changed so much since the demise of- first of all Giorgio -and then dear Francis, both within a short distance of each other.  I had found myself, for the first time in my life, quite alone.  Now that's not so bad when you are young but it's not so good when you are old.  Especially if, like me, you don't really like joining things, and going to clubs for the elderly or whatever.  I mailed out to a few people I knew and got a lot of replies back, so it wasn't as if I was just talking to myself.

I'll get the nasty bit out of the way immediately.  In the picture above and to the right I have my darling old cat Billy in my arms and solo.  Heaven knows how old he really was but I do know the people I homed him from did not tell me the truth.  I was in touch with his previous owner's daughter out in New Zealand and she gave me dates that made old Billy something of a dinasaur!!!  But I really loved his gentle ways and great intelligence.  A kind animal who died on Christmas eve last.  I miss him but Daisy has come into her own and is now TOPCAT
and no mistake. 
So now I am looking back to remember what I have been up to since we last spoke.  I think I told you about my joining the adult education classes didn't I? I tried Bridge for a couple of seasons, and even gave my conservatory over as a venue for private sessions with about twelve players on a weekly basis.  It wasn't that I found Bridge difficult.  I like mathematics. But I just didn't enjoy it!

Can't say the same for the writing classes.  Except that they weren't writing classes.  They were listening and showing off classes.  We listened to whatever we each had dreamed up for the topic we had been given by the class master.  Very nice but not exactly learning anything about the actual subject.  I must say that the writers were simply marvellous and the different takes on the subjects were a joy to listen to. BUT.....The French classes drove me to frenzy because I was ahead of them all (BIG HEAD) and the drama reading classes became the subject for a farce.  Listening to old men and women (I was one) reading roles meant for 20 year olds was nothing short of depressing.  So I bottomed out as they say.  Apart from the fact that as an old pro, it is hard to playread in an amateur way.  It is just not fair to oneself or to the assembled group.  Also the chairs get very hard after 90 minutes!!!

And that brings me up to last summer.  Not a good one was it?  Weather was dodgy and we only had sporadic sunshine. I hardly used my swimming pool at all last year!  So everything crossed for a better situation this year.  Such a darned good pool is this one.  All plastic, it came from Canada and is now in its eleventh year.  It is the third one I have had in the garden and a total joy compared to the previous ones.  They were all metal and needed total repainting and derusting every 2 years.  This one is all plastic and nothing like the chore of the older ones.  It is my little bit of luxury each year when the weather is kind to us.  I hope I can still manage to get in and out, poor old soul!  Right now it is greenhouse time.  Much work to be done and I am happy to say that I have started. Because of the price of plants from the garden centres and the catalogues I am starting from seed much more this year.  February seems a good time to start and I have already done some of the hanging baskets and about twenty seed trays.
I am very fortunate in that I have a long polytunnel right down the bottom and out of sight in my garden, as well as the more presentable
glass greenhouse.  It is here that I have planted the seeds for the flowers and the few vegetables that I love to grow each year.  Having a large garden means that one really does need lots of plants.  I must say the seedsmen have become very mean too!  Time was when a packet of seeds was just that - a packet of seeds.  Now you have to read the back of the pack to see how many seeds.  Sometimes as low as five.  Imagine a hundred weight!!! Trillions of pounds or dollars that would bring in!  Last year and the year before I tried nasturtiums for the first time.  They were fabulous both in the hanging baskets and against the wall so I have sowed quite a lot again this year.  Hoping for a good crop of tomatoes, too.  They usually are very good from the polytunnel and are a boon for freezing and cooking throughout the winter.  Not that I do so much these days, but still, it is nice to have the produce from the garden.  At least you know it is fresh and not full of chemicals.

One of things I got up to  last summer - around September - I decided to try my hand at selling some books on Amazon. I have so many and I know my family will just chuck 'em out at my demise, so why not sell some?  I signed up and called myself Pearlsboox and actually sold quite a few.  I have got my list of titles up to about 230 odd. Each time I sell one I try to add another.  Not easy though.  I have found that the really weird books sell best.  Celtic Poems, History of Coconut Matting Through the Ages, Boys Own book of Warts and Pimples etc that sort of thing.  True.  Novels hardly sell at all.  Biographies hardy ever, unless it is by some weirdy of old.  But you never know.  Things have become very slow now.  February and a few months after Christmas I daresay it is to be expected.  One thing I will not do is to sell books at a penny as so many sellers do.  They must be crazy with the cost of postage and packing.  I will not insult the author.  I have asked Amazon why they permit it but they are not sympathetic.  Still I find that even with similar books priced so low, mine seem to sell at a fair price, and if they don't sell- so what?  They are stilll here and nothing's lost.
I also ventured into E-bay too.  Got rid of a few dresses that I'd never worn and a few handbags and odds and ends.  But again, it is not something to go into seriously unless you have a good product wanted by everyone and are prepared to take on a shop. Loads of great eBooks to be found here Like boot fairs I think Ebay is becoming too big.  You used to be able to go to a boot sale and find bargains from people's attics and homes.  Things that were interesting and perhaps old and valuable.  But there are now so many TV programmes about making money at boot sales and fairs that the meaning has gone out of the window.  Go to Ebay now and you will find Marks and Spencer and Harrods and Tesco there.  Not what it was once all about.  But business is business and nothing stays the same forever, more's the pity sometimes.  I found out about an American website that was for Arts and Crafts recently so I listed a group of matted prints I had mounted of 3 film posters.  They do not photgraph very well
and look much better in fact than here, so I doubt I'll sell them.  Nothing ventured as they say.  Apart from this I have had quite a few nice things happen this past year.  I won a small 'big' prize on a premium bond and was asked to contribute to a DVD which was being produced by the British Film Institute of a movie I had appeared in way back in the sixties.!!!  Of the cast, only myself and one of the actresses was still around.  The Italian leading lady was in Italy and didn't feel up to travelling, although she wrote for the DVD cover.  Happy to say that both the writer Glyn Christian and the Director were still hale and hearty.  It was one of the most enjoyable things - meeting up with people I had not seen for over forty years. My goodness!  But it was fun.  I also met a young teacher, he was actually doing a 'paper' on the director of this movie, from Eastbourne.  He is coming to my house in a couple of weeks to see a DVD which I was given, also by the British Film Institute of a production in the sixties by the BBC of a 'Play of the Week' called "Lee Oswald - Assassin" That too brought back a lot of memories.  The part of Lee Oswald was to have been played by Montgomery Clift. but something happened and a young American called Tony Bill played the part
instead.  He is, I believe, now a big Hollywood producer, but then he was a protegee of Frank Sinatra, so we were told.  Anyway there were two periods of activity which were really weird for me.  Not just a question of remembering, but actually seeing yourself as you were all those years ago.  Moving around and talking.  And no chins or lost waistlines either. ODD to be sure.

I shall finish here now.  I really will be sure to come back again soon.  Take care.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Pearl

    Well I hope you can be persuaded to post a bit more often...your blog is wise, gentle and poignant. Your stories about your recently departed husband and the trip to Budapest is particularly moving, but hopeful too, as you met so late in life.

    I'm 48 and often consider myself old - maybe most of life we believe we're "past it" when actually we all have the reality of the new day before us, so we should make of it whatever we can.

    I will definitely be checking back :)