It was our ruby wedding anniversary on Sunday – forty years. As we both remarked at some point in the day, if one of us had killed the other early on in our relationship, we’d have been out of clink by now! We didn’t have a big celebration, just a Sunday dinner with our elder daughter and a very
old close family friend. That hadn’t been the plan. We were all set to jet off to Mexico with my cousin and her husband, who were celebrating their 45th just over a week before. So the plan was to go for a couple of weeks, covering both celebrations with the same holiday. And then I got the date for my neurosurgery and everything went on hold. (We hadn’t booked it, just made plans.) To my intense disgust, as you can imagine, they went anyway and we stayed at home and didn’t envy them one bit. Even when she kept putting photos on Facebook. It’s a good job she’s family. (I’m hoping to go next year, but it won’t be the same.)
And for my anniversary present last year, the loved one bought me a lovely ring, decorated with Welsh (Clogau) gold, just like the Queen’s. Well, it might not be exactly like hers, mine’s nicer. So this year, he bought me the matching ear rings. And what did I buy him? Nothing. Why? Because he doesn’t want anything and, whenever I start looking in shops with him, at watches, signet rings or other man appropriate gifts, he stands it so long and then says, “I’m not that bothered, love, don’t waste your money.” And he means it. He’s rather have a holiday for two than a watch for one. (Me? I want both, obviously.)
So the back/neck is pretty much healed and I am able to draw and craft again, although I still get achey after a while. So I’ve made a couple of cards for my son’s wedding at the end of October. And now I can’t decide which one I like best, If either. I might be doing a third one just to see if I can get it right.
The loved one likes the one with the drawing on so for now, that’s the one I’ll be going with. We’ll see.
And for the swap on Facebook, I’m doing bookmarks with literary quotes, which is proving to be amazing fun, since it involves reading as well as drawing. So far, I have completed five. Three more to go.
I did the writing on some of them by hand but was not entirely happy with it, so the next ones were printed instead. I used Promarkers for the background colour and then whatever came to hand for the detail.
My choice of literary quotes was a bit random, from Jane Eyre to The Little Prince to Adrian Henri and Margaret Atwood. I am enjoying the various swaps and challenges, although there gets a stage where I wonder what on earth I am doing, setting myself so many tasks to do. But, and I know just how sad this sounds, I sort of like the pressure.
As always, the shine and sparkle don’t show on the scanned versions, but you get the idea.
So now I’m going to have another practice run at icing a wedding cake, in the hope that I can improve on the previous version, which tasted good but looked very amateur.
And then, and then…
We went down to Stratford Upon Avon for a few days. Now, for those of you who don’t know, this was Shakespeare’s birthplace – and where he died too, for that matter. If you ever go there, believe me, you will not escape the old Bard. Every house, shop, cafe, street name, public lavatory has a Shakespeare connection. He lived here/he shopped here/he ate here/he walked here/he peed here – you get the idea. The thing is, there is so little empirical evidence that no-one knows what he did for most of his life, or where he was, or who he was with. They don’t actually KNOW his date of birth. It was probably late April because they have his baptism date in the church records (April 26th 1564) but they tell everyone he was born on April 23rd, as children were baptised pretty quickly because infant mortality was high and they wanted the child to meet its Maker in a state of Grace if possible, and that, coincidentally and rather tidily, is the day he died.
Now Stratford is a lovely town centre with lots of genuine Tudor buildings and a lot more through the ages that are equally as attractive. (For example, The Old Bank on Chapel Street is a tour de force of decorative brickwork.) As you can see, I borrowed a photo from alamy.com because I forgot to take a picture myself!
By the time we had been there a couple of days, I was pretty much Shakespeared out, especially as, like every tourist hotspot I’ve ever been too, the souvenirs were of a uniformly appalling standard and sold at a uniformly appalling price. However, I did go in the Shakespeare’s birthplace centre – the loved one refused when he saw it cost £16.50 even for the elderly and went back to the hotel for a nap.
The museum part was uninspired but informative, struggling as it must with the lack of real information about the man himself. There was plenty about the plays and famous productions and then there was the house itself, where HE was born. And it is; and he was; and it is the real thing. However, none of the contents are original, well how could they be after 450 years? It’s all a case of “this is how it probably might have possibly been a bit like, we think, maybe.” There were nice ladies and gents in 16th century costumes, plucking away at their lutes and theeing all over the place. They were scrupulous in saying he might have slept in this room and could have been born in this one and this was possibly his father’s workshop and you could see it was killing them. They so wanted to plant a few facts.
But, in the garden at the back of the house, there were actors in costume prepared to give a speech or two at the drop of a hat. “What’s your favourite play?” they asked, “we’ll do our best.” And a pretty good best it was too. I sat for quite a while and they gave me a very good “Friends, Romans, countrymen..” from Julius Caesar. (I think it may have put the girl off a bit, as she could see me silently mouthing the words with her.) We got Cordelia’s big speech from Lear, Richard III’s “Now is the winter..” and a very nice sonnet that I hadn’t heard before, so I was very happy. They were good.
And then there was the gift shop. Well, let’s move on, shall we?
And then, on Saturday morning, I went to the RST to see Margaret Atwood in conversation about her new book. But I’ll tell you ALL about that another time.
And then, no doubt, it will be Diva Day and time for the next Challenge. Until then, world, be happy and be good -ish.
So today’s Challenge is:
Weekly Challenge #290 “Duotangle: ‘NZeppel vs Flux”
A Duotangle is a term coined here at Casa Diva for a tile or piece using ONLY TWO tangles (and/or their variations). Sometimes it’s tricky to limit yourself to only two, and then you must think of new and interesting ways those two tangles could “Go” together!!
So – this week’s challenge uses ‘NZeppel – which i love, and FLUX – which i also love. AND these two tangles also have two different official variations.
And I love both patterns, so I used a REAL Zentangle tile in honour of the fact that I love both patterns. It was drawn with the usual Micron 01 and shaded with Koi water colour pens.
And that’s it for now. Have a great week, world, and be good – ish.