I plan to update the blog every weekend, so you can check it and find out what interesting events are coming up in the week ahead. I'm located in Los Angeles, and that's where I know what's going on, but I want this blog to be a resource for folks around the country and around the world -- and for that I'll need your help. E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and let me know what events are happening where you are that should be included. I need to know what museums, revival houses and other venues should be on our radar. I also need your comments -- if you watch a program or attend an event that we've mentioned, let's have your reactions.
True Grit -- Brothers Ethan and Joel Coen, who brought us No Country For Old Men, 2007's Best Picture Oscar winner, are tackling the Charles Portis novel that Henry Hathaway first filmed in 1969. Playing U.S. Marshal Rooster Cogburn, one of John Wayne's best-loved performances, will be Jeff Bridges, who's currently starring in Crazy Heart. Matt Damon will play La Boeuf, the Texas Ranger that Glen Campbell portrayed, but no word yet on who'll be Mattie Ross, the Kim Darby role. Josh Brolin is also in the cast. Bridges will be the third actor to play Cogburn. Wayne did it again, opposite Katherine Hepburn in 1975's Rooster Cogburn, a western haircut on The African Queen, and Warren Oates played the part in 1978's TV movie, True Grit: A Further Adventure. The new True Grit is scheduled for a Christmas Day, 2010 release. True Grit (1969) plays on TCM Friday, Feb. 5th at 8pm, Pacific time.
6 Guns -- From The Asylum (no, I'm not being cute -- it's the actual company name) comes the story of a young woman who enlists the aid of a bounty hunter to teach her to be a gunfighter, so she can hunt down the men who killed her family. Sounds a little like a 'girl-power' version of Nevada Smith (1966), or a re-tooling of the Raquel Welch starrer Hannie Caulder (1971). The direct-to-video release stars Sage Mears and Barry Van Dyke, who was a regular with his father, Dick Van Dyke, in the Diagnosis: Murder series, and is directed by Dick's grandson, Shane Van Dyke (and a director named 'Shane' certainly should be making westerns). Also top-billed is Greg Evigon, star of the series BJ and the Bear (1979-1981). 6 Guns should reach your video shelf March 30, 2010.
ON THE TUBE
NEW STUFF: Wyatt Earp is the newest episode of the PBS documentary series, American Experience, and presents a convincing telling of the life of one of the west's most controversial figures. It's startling to imagine that a man who is today generally revered was so worried about his reputation that he begged William S. Hart to play him on film, and set the record straight. In addition to the commentary by several historians, the beautiful background footage is a cut above what you generally get in documentaries -- the slow-motion gunfire during the O.K. Corral sequence was so purty I kept rewinding and watching it again. Check your local PBS affiliate for airdates. Also check out an episode from some seasons back, The Donner Party, which is also currently playing.
WESTERN MOVIES ON TV 2/1 - 2/7
Note - All listings are Pacific Standard Time. TCM = Turner Classic Movies, FMC = Fox Movie Channel, AMC = American Movie Classics
10:00 a.m. - Broken Arrow (1950) James Stewart, Jeff Chandler, D:Delmer Daves, W:Albert Maltz(another writer's name may be one the credits -- Maltz was blacklisted and had someone 'front' for him)
12:00 p.m. - The Undefeated (1969) John Wayne, Rock Hudson, Ben Johnson, Harry Carey Jr.,D:Andrew McLaglen, W:James Lee Barrett
12:30 p.m. - Billy The Kid (1941) Robert Taylor, Brian Donlevy, D:David Miller, W:Gene Fowler. (Robert Taylor's 1st western!)
2:00 p.m. - Bandolero! (1968) James Stewart, Dean Martin, Raquel Welch, Harry Carey Jr., Jock Mahoney, Don 'Red' Barry, Roy Barcroft, D:Andrew McLaglen, W:James Lee Barrett (If you want to see an incredible list on stuntmen, check out the listing on IMDB)
5:45 a.m. - Viva Villa! (1934) Wallace Beery, Fay Wray, Leo Carillo, D:Jack Conway, W:Ben Hecht (This one has uncredited help on direction and script by Howard Hawks and Wild Bill Wellman. Stu Erwin's part was being played by Lee Tracy, but during production, Tracy got drunk and urinated off a balcony onto a Mexican military parade -- they had to rush him out of the country!)
2:00 p.m. - Flaming Star (1960)Elvis Presley, Steve Forrest, Barbara Eden, L.Q. Jones, D:Don Seigel, W:Clair Huffaker, Nunnally Johnson
2:45 p.m. - Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957) Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, Earl Holliman, Dennis Hopper, D:John Sturges, W:Leon Uris
5:00 p.m. - True Grit (1969) John Wayne, Kim Darby, Glen Campbell, Robert Duvall, Dennis Hopper, Strother Martin, D:Henry Hathaway, W:Margeurite Roberts
7:15 pm - The Shootist (1976) John Wayne, James Stewart, Lauren Bacall, Ron Howard, Richard Boone, John Carradine, Henry Morgan, D:Don Siegel, W:Miles Wood Swarthout, Scott Hale. (John Wayne earned his Oscar for this one)
1:30 a.m. - Bad Day at Black Rock (1955) Spencer Tracy, Robert Ryan, Anne Francis, D:John Sturges, W:Millard Kaufman
6:00 a.m. - Call Of The Wild (1935) Clark Gable, Loretta Young, Jack Oakie, Buck, D:William Wellman, W:Gene Fowler - from Jack London's novel. (Great stuff, and Gable at his best - no wonder Loretta got impregnated by him on the shoot!)
6:30 a.m. - How The West Was Won (1962) James Stewart, John Wayne, Henry Fonda, D:John Ford, Henry Hathaway, George Marshall, W:James Webb, from his series of LIFE Magazine articles.
9:30 a.m. - The Magnificent Seven (1960) Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, Robert Vaughn, Brad Dexter, James Coburn, Horst Buchholtz, Eli Wallach, D:John Sturges, W:William Roberts.
11:45 a.m. - Maverick (1994) Mel Gibson, James Garner, Jodie Foster, D:Richard Donner, W:William Goldman from the Roy Huggins series. (Fun, and countless cameos by cowboy actors and country music stars.
That's all for today, but in my next post I'll be adding more info about westerns on TV, radio, podcasts and more! Let me hear from you!
Composure regained, we talk jazz, about which I know very little, but she paints a picture of an exciting, passionate crowd who turn up nightly to enjoy the different shows they put on throughout the week. In some ways it’s disappointing to hear that even before the smoking ban, no one was allowed to light up in here; with the purple walls and low ceiling, it would have housed a debilitating cloud very well.
Tony drops me off at the National Gallery of Victoria to explore on my own. The place is big and airy and, in many ways, the building itself is as interesting as a lot of the pieces on display.
I’ve got the rest of the day to myself and force myself out into the streets to take more pictures. There’s a big dramatic sunset to shoot too and the number of people there with cameras is amazing; I need to get a better one as soon as I can afford it.
A while later I’m back in my room waiting for some kind of signal to meet my friends. Sitting down is a problem as I immediately want to fall asleep, but getting five minutes wouldn’t be a problem. If I just close my eyes for a sec… The phone goes. It’s time to go out. I scrape myself from the bed, put on a shirt and head out into the cool night.
Do you remember this quilt? This was the quilt that started it all. My quilt career was launched with the publication of this quilt pattern. It was a BOM pattern and now, I am proud to offer it as a complete pattern. It will be available next week and you can order it from Kindred Quilts. It is called "Believe" [there is a boring story as to why this wasn't named "Dream"] and it was fun to make. I'm interested to see how you will color this quilt now! Do send me a photo when you're done. xo, L
If you look here, here, and here, you could easily conclude that I am a lover of all things banana bread. And you would be right. I do love this humble loaf and am always up for trying yet another banana bread recipe. I cannot resist the perfume-y moistness the bananas give the cake. It’s also a fantastic way to use bananas that have been sitting on the dining room table, fast moving past their prime. If you are part of a small household, and bananas come in big bunches, you will know what I mean. With a new member on board though, perhaps I can look forward to the day when we won’t always end up with a few rotten bananas. Which is not to say that I will ever stop letting some go “bad” for my bread :)
Now, you may not be up for reading yet another banana bread recipe over here but the fact of the matter is, and I might as well admit it now and get it out of the way, I will most likely continue trying all manners of banana bread recipes, and posting them in this space (unless of course it was totally heinous then you can be sure nobody would hear of it). I hope you don’t mind :)
This recipe is from Tessa Kiros’ book Apples for Jam, one of my very favorite cookbooks just because it is such a beautiful book written in such a lovely way. It’s a book I tucked into bed with me many times when I was pregnant. More than any pregnancy or baby book, Apples for Jam, with Tessa’s lyrical snippets from her childhood and that of her two (adorable!) daughters, would keep my pre-delivery jitters at bay much more than any account of “what to expect”. I still look over its pages and dream of the good things I want to make for (and with!) Little C someday.
This banana bread is one of them.
Banana Bread with Chocolate Chip Streusel
(Banana bread from Apples for Jam by Tessa Kiros, streusel adapted from Ramblings From a Gypsy Soul)
For the banana bread:
- 125 grams butter
- 180 grams dark brown sugar
- 350 grams ripe bananas, mashed
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 250 grams all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 3 tablespoons warm milk
For the chocolate chip streusel:
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons butter, cold
- 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/4 cup chocolate chips
- Make your streusel: Mix sugar and flour together. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or rub with your fingers until it resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in walnuts and chocolate chips. Set aside in a cool place where the butter will not melt while you get on with your batter (I stick mine in the fridge).
- Cream the butter and sugar until smooth. Mix in the mashed bananas.
- Add the eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt to the mixture and stir until everything is mixed well. Sift in the flour and baking powder and mix until just incorporated and smooth.
- Mix baking soda into the warm milk and mix this into the batter.
- Scrape the batter into a loaf tin that’s been buttered and bake for about 50 minutes in an 180C oven, or until a skewer poked into the middle comes out clean. Turn out onto a rack to cool.
Tessa’s recipe is for just the cake. I added the same streusel topping I used here, adding chocolate chips to the mix just because I had them around…although who really needs a reason to add chocolate to cake? I certainly don’t :)
I've updated my art page and I'm now working
on the book page. I found a robot I illustrated in
1999 for Make Yourself A Monster
A Book of Creepy Crafts written by Kathy Ross.
The original robot is holding the craft supplies
needed to make the Alien Necklace and the
other illustration was transported into
the future with a little Photoshop.
Perhaps the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) never stood much chance with me when it’s competition is a cherished (and no doubt partly fictionalised) childhood memory, but people I speak to later on agreed that its current installation is quite uninspiring. A bit too general, a bit too rubbish; it’s too flat and far too much of it has been dedicated to the meandering yawnfest that is Baz Luhrmann’s Australia. I’m as polite as can be with the PR, but truth be told, I’m clock-watching.
My next appointment is at 11:30, but I have plenty of time. In fact, my plan is get to a pawn shop I’d noticed the other day in a bid to punt an ill-fated diamond ring I’d bought a month earlier.
The first place is populated by two old women who buy and sell antique jewellery. While they’re passingly interested in the ring, they’re a little put off when I tell them how much I paid (obviously adding a good few dirhams onto the real total). I pop next door to an Indian guy who doesn’t look it as the bespoke piece of finery that it is, but rather a collection of not especially value shiny things. The diamonds (all five of them) are worthless, according to him, and the white gold is only worth about 25 quid. I’d rather swallow the thing and shit it into eternity than sell for that, so I leave indignant and poor. Next stop is Pellegrini’s, an Italian café that is apparently a Melbourne institution, but given that anything over ten years old is, according to A, an institution, that doesn’t say much.
Truth be told, for somewhere that’s both very famous (and it is) and very busy (and it certainly is), it’s pretty hard to find. A small, nondescript café on a corner that, back home, would have blended into obscurity and ruin, here it’s narrow walls instead house a hive of Italian theatricality; all passionate shouting and wild gesticulating. Empty it would feel tight – a long narrow bar stretch back to the kitchen, with barely enough room to walk two abreast. But Pellegrini’s is never empty, and for lunch and dinner, it’s rammed full. Co-owner and host Sisto, is an Italian from Ancona, who is so over-the-top, it’s hard to imagine any other nationality getting away with behaving the way he does: a Glasgow equivalent would be some fat dick in a ginger wig shouting “hoots mon!” and serving only haggis, whiskey and rainwater. Being Italian, though, all that cliché and theatricality instead feels genuinely warm and welcoming. His place is laid out like several Italian-owned ice cream parlours or fish and chip shops you find all down the west coast of Scotland and as a result, what the locals find quirky-cool, I find familiar in the best possible way.
The food served is outstanding too and the coffee is easily some of the best I’ve had in months. Sisto’s amateur dramatics impress me less, but I’m happy enough to listen while he gives me a history of his place. Soon I’m joined by two senior figures from Tourism Victoria. They’re keen to learn more about my job and Dubai and as usual, I paint a bleak picture, but play up Abu Dhabi. Between a slight nervousness and a second atomic coffee, I find it hard to put the brakes on – blasting out bullshit like Amnesia’s ice cannon. I’m so wired, it actually feels like I’m a bit steaming, but the big cheese from the tourist board seems to be in a similar nick so I feel less out of place. After an hour or more of this insanity I leave shouting “Ciao Sisto!” as I go, immediately cringing for sounding like my bloody father.
After that A comes to pick me up and take me to Brunetti’s, another Italian place, that specialises in cakes and yet more coffee. I’m pretty sure I’ll shit myself if I have another drop of caffeine, but while he lets me off on that front, he insists that I eat at least two slices of cake. Poor A – he describes himself as a “heavy fella”, but it’s pretty clear he’s over the moon at hosting international guests – it means he can get torn into three course meals on the company at all times. For this week, I am little more than his enabler.
An hour later, he’s dropping me off at my next hotel in the city centre. We go through my itinerary a few times to make sure I know what I’m supposed to be doing for the next few days. I leave him and head into the lobby and what happens next is all really weird.
I’ve had dreams like this; where I walk into a room and there are people from home and I’m so fucking happy to see them and just as we start to talk… Then I wake up in the Middle East, alone in a room without a door or window. But this time – this time – they’re definitely here in front of me. I hug Patch and Louise hello and am immediately ripped for my International Speaking Voice while checking in. It doesn’t matter how many things change; thankfully some things stay the same.
After an hour of frantic talking they’re leaving for dinner and I can’t help but feel sorry to see them go, despite knowing I’ll see them again over the next few days. A while later I’m sitting in the dark in an expensive seat at the Prince’s Theatre for a production of Wicked. It’s pretty good, but between being a bit drunk and the heat of the place, I sit stewing in my fatigue like an unflushed turd. Embarrassingly, the people either side of me are old enough to be my grandparents and have no problem in staying awake. But what do they know?
See you next week when everything slows down a bit. xo, L
Before long, I'm being led into a dingy studio to meet N, a sculptor, and M, a jeweller who's been resident in this same place for 20 years. And it certainly looks that way; the place is a marvellous jumble of paint brushes and tools and paper and scalpels and toys and 1940s ballads.
N's speciality is carving shapes into books, which might sound like the work of a troublesome teen, but is actually quite a skilled process. He has a big exhibition coming up and feels quite nervous about it. Marcus, meanwhile, is much more extroverted and blasé about whether or not things go well from one day to the next. The place is filthy with creativity; for both the men, their artistry and their life are one and the same. Perhaps it's the relative squalor and faint hint of grass in the air, but something about it all reminds me of going round to older friends' flats to listen to band practise and new demos as an impressionable teenager.
Next stop is a painter's studio in the suburbs. We talk about the creative process, about how much time it's possible to spend just thinking, rather than actually working, and about how being an artist isn't a choice, but a life that chooses you. I wonder if my writing is at all comparable: if someone told me I couldn't do it any more, could I simply slide into something else, or is it a bigger part of who I am? If it is, why don't I find it easier? Why can't I dedicate myself to it more? Why, quite simply, am I not better at it?
Thus the self-doubt starts on the train back into town with Bernadette. To distract myself from this morbidity, I play peek-a-boo with a kid of about four or five. Her mum smiles at the interaction.
"What's your name?" Asks the wean.
I tell her and ask hers.
"Allana. Where are you from?"
"Me? I'm from
"It's a place where bad men like me go to make money. There's a lot of cars and sand." Here her mother's gormless grin fades to a look of mild concern, so I put a lid on it. Even with a pre-school child I can't mask my contempt for the place. Poor A has already made up his mind never to visit, despite clearly having an interest in seeing the carnage first hand and, upon learning of some of the preposterous facts and figures, exclaiming "Fair dinkum?!?" again and again without any hint of irony.
I follow B to a cafe for some cheese, wine and a debrief. With that out the way, we then get talking about
That ends an altogether weird, but fascinating afternoon after which I go to the Crystal Club for complimentary canapés (which I eat enough of to cover dinner) and drink. I sit alone at a table across from a slightly sinister poker player, his minion and their professional girlfriends, who get $100 each pocket money to accompany a pat on the arse as they head out. Wearing dark shades for no obvious reason, with greasy blond hair slicked back from his wolfish face, he looks like he’s fallen out of a gangster movie into the real world. When we find ourselves standing next to each other at the feeding trough and he offers me a prawn, I can’t help feel a bit scared.
A bottle of wine later, I'm in the casino. As someone with a diabolical history as a gambler, I've avoid these places – in fact I've only ever been in one before, for a friend's birthday with £17 that I lost in half an hour. I've only once tried to get into another one at the end of a night out – I accidentally-on-purpose got a knock back by falling out of the taxi and squealing like a Deliverance tribute act. But now here I am, my entire week's allowance in my back pocket, quite drunk and with no one to regulate my behaviour. It can only go two ways, but I surprise myself by not turning a cent.
Instead, I walk around surveying the misery, becoming self-righteously smug towards the rows of unhappy punters. There are the Chinese with their super-stressed looks of desperation; and there are the pensioners refusing to slope off and die in dignity; and – look! - there's a gaggle of stupid white macho dickheads who are essentially doing nothing more than trying to prove that they know better than their friends, the casino and all of human history. I leave rich but depressed and decide to take some drink to my hotel room instead. Head nodding as though I'm having vertebrae progressively removed, I collapse onto my enormous bed and blink into immediate unconsciousness.
One month...yet another month has passed since I last dropped in here. I suppose I need a lesson in mum-time-management (mums across the world: how do you do it?). Would it suffice to say I've been distracted by the most delicious little feet and hands I have ever had the good fortune to encounter? Not to mention cheeks and bums and pata-jamon legs. That's not even to talk about the seemingly endless expressions she has, that no doubt would bore another human being to bits, but leave me hopelessly captivated. Enamored. Smitten.
My kingdon for all the time in the world to just watch her.
Unfortunately my kingdom doesn't fetch a price as high as that, so it's back to work I go! And back to all the other things I've (tsk, tsk, shuffle, shuffle) let fall a bit to the wayside (hello housework! hello home accounting! hello bills filing!) while I have been otherwise occupied.
And hopefully back to more regular visits here! Perhaps you won't believe me but I have been cooking despite the nourishment I already get from nibbling on chubby baby appendages. There's been some chori-gamba pasta using a newly discovered local chorizo purveyor. There's been some Asian-style steamed fish. Some wonderful steaks with potatoes roasted in duck fat. And even a lovely loaf of banana bread to use some old bananas and a new recipe (will share this soon!). The only thing is, the jump from cooking to actual photographing and posting was just not happening.
Well, it's a new year (hello 2010!) and (fingers crossed!) I aim to journal more of my cooking and baking adventures here. I'm not only writing for me (and for you kind folk who still come back despite my wonky posting) but for little C as well...something for her to read in the future when (fingers crossed!) she discovers the joys of creating her own food :)
Before we move forward however, let me share a look back at what I made for my Christmas gifts (yes, I did manage some homemade gifts!) in 2009. Because of the move and renovation, and my iminent delivery, I couldn't make anything as involved as chutney or jam, or even manage baked goods of any kind. I did want to make something for Christmas though and I found the perfect goody in Jen's all-purpose red rub! No-cook, easy to throw together, and a wonderfully flavorful --- it certainly fit the bill for Christmas 2009 :) It's a great spice mix to have on hand and can work with so many different things. I've tried it with chicken and pork ribs to excellent results. I'm thinking of using it on some fish fillets next, and maybe in some baked beans!
I wish you all the best in 2010! May many dreams come true this year! :)
I think that my undeclared word of the year is refresh. My husband's wondered what's possessed me! I have been tossing things, making changes in my life and starting to do minor renovations. I'm even itching to move but that is not something that will happen soon. [You see, my theory in life that movement, motion or change is a great thing. I think that people need to get out and see things even on a daily basis. I also believe that moving every five years is a great idea. Unfortunately, it doesn't always happen. My husband is warming up to the idea though!]
Instead, I have been refreshing things around here and going the renovation route. I wanted to make something fresh and fun for the kids' room so I made this little stencil from Little A's photo. We have a lot of photos around but I wanted to put up something a bit more artsy.
The flight time is 13 hours and the time difference from the UAE +7. I spend part of it reading, which sends me immediately to sleep, as well as watching Appaloosa (pretty average), Igor (better than average), City of Ember (better than average), Bottle Shock (abandoned) six episodes of Arrested Development (inferior to Scrubs, but better than Friends), an episode of 30 Rock and an episode of Family Guy, both of which I've seen before. Between that lot and eating three times, the journey is nowhere near as arduous as it probably should be.
There's a three hour delay at Sydney which added to a layover means that by the time I'm picked up from Melbourne airport, I've been travelling for 24 hours. My eyes look like someone has dug them out with dirty nails and I occasionally lose control of my looming, spherical cranium. But it's 3pm and I have a day of meeting and greeting ahead of me so I cannot – will not – be tired.
I arrive at the Crown Tower, part of a large, luxurious complex that hosts a casino. It's one of the nicer hotels in town and when I turn up, I'm shown to the Crystal Club Lounge, a 29th floor executive area for the very rich and wanky, and me, for whom only half is applicable. I'm greeted by the PR manager for the hotel complex who gives me about five minutes to sling my bag in my room, mash cold water through my greasy hair and follow her to Nobu, an up-market Japanese fusion restaurant on the ground floor. Despite looking like a hairy smackhead, I'm treated to some quite wonderful food, much of which is Japanese with a Mexican twist. The sashimi tacos are especially excellent, as is the king fish with jalapeños.
Some time later I'm back in my room with a chance to acknowledge the fact that it may well be the poshest one I've ever stayed in. Over lunch my friend had accidentally-on-purpose mentioned just how much it would cost for a member of the public - $500 Australian a night, or roughly £250. I'm not sure if this included the Crystal Club entrance or not, but that's £75 per night on top of room charges.
For all that money, though, what you get is quite magnificent – a view down the Yarra River, a plasma TV in the bath, an iHome if you are unfortunate enough to have an iPod and even a phone in the bog. If, for example, you were dumping out and the guy you were supposed to be meeting from Tourism Vic called to tell you that he'd be 15 minutes late, you wouldn't have to hop shitty-arsed through the bedroom worrying about leaving a Hansel and Gretel trail of turd in your wake; you could simple grunt, scratch, fart and answer from the throne. The place has been recently refurbished and just about achieves the all-too-rare trait of making you believe that your room is unique.
I've to meet my man from Tourism Vic in a couple of hours. I look at the bed and discount it – if I go to sleep now, I may never get up again. Instead, after setting up my computer and falling asleep for an indeterminable amount of time with my eyes open, I head out into the streets of Melbourne with my camera.
There's something very Glasgow about this place – and I don't mean maurading maniacs, widespread depression and general clattyness, none of which are here. It's hard to place exactly, but something to do with the grid-iron streets and tall buildings and the fact that a lot of the best places have to be sought rather than viewed from afar.
While abroad, I tell anyone who'll listen that if you're visiting Scotland for a weekend, then go to Edinburgh – but if you're staying for a while, then live in Glasgow. According to most locals, as Edinburgh is to Glasgow, so Sydney is to Melbourne. In other words, it's my kind of town.
Awww, so handsome! xo, L
Our final day in old
In fairness to the fat bastard, once he realises that we’re at the end of our holiday, finances and tether, he gives up with trying to scam us and actually goes as far as to explain some of the tricks of the trade. The upshot is that nowhere in
I mean, even when some wanker comes up, tries to read my palm and asks for £20, I don’t let it distract me from the prehistoric scene ahead:
I mean, even when some wanker comes up, tries to read my palm and asks for £20, I don’t let it distract me from the prehistoric scene ahead:
Glorious hours pass before we find ourselves back on a train, heading towards the dreaded
I wonder if the trains have been changed since the British handed the place back in 1948. The fact that it has seats individually designated for various afflictions (disabled, pregnant, clergy) suggests not. At every stop, someone gets on, trying to earn a little money. The majority of them are selling greasy pastries, or ripe fruit but once in a while an out-right beggar will have a go too. A woman singing a wistful lament while holding a picture of a (presumably dead) child is particularly heart-rending; half a man dragging himself across the floor is beyond pitiful. My compassion has hardened into an obstinate ball, though, and my hand stays in its pocket.
In years to come, I hope I look back on my time in
Over the holidays, I relaxed and enjoyed the time off but my mind is always thinking and dreaming. I had time to think about the past 10 years and to start dreaming about the next 10 years.
I thought about the big events in my life in the past 10 years. [Pardon me for coming across as vain, I'm not trying to. This exercise is necessary for me in order to be able to process things and to put things into perspective.]:
* I had my first, beautiful baby boy
* I had my second, beautiful baby boy
* I celebrated a lot of years of marriage with my guy
* I lost my father, grandmother, father-in-law and uncle in a year
* I wrote a bunch of books on quilting, knitting and scrapbooking
* I was profiled by American Patchwork & Quilting
* I designed a lot of magazine projects
* I designed a lot of fabric for Henry Glass Fabrics
* I appeared on Quilt Out Loud!
* I met and worked with many wonderful people in this industry
* I went to Quilt Market many, many times and had loads of fun
* I met a lot of wonderful people like you via my blog, website and Facebook
I laughed and cried, and succeeded and failed. I came out a stronger, wiser and better person. I am lucky!