Watching the Detective

I never knew it was possible to hold my breath for an hour but that’s what it seems when I’m watching the new series of Line of Duty currently airing on BBC2. Keeley Hawes, Martin Compston, Vicky McClure and Adrian Dunbar are the main actors.
keeley hawes In short the plot involves the not very popular DI Lindsay Denton (Keeley Hawes) who is charged with murder following the murders of a protected witness and three police officers.
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She tries to persuade her colleagues investigating the case that she has been set up by someone within the force and despite being badly beaten on remand by two prison warders who make Bond villains look like pussycats she persists and at the end of the last episode she appears to be getting through to one colleague DS Steve Arnott (Martin Compston).
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I love how the writer Jed Mercurio gives us glimpses of the characters’ personal lives. How even a police officer can be frustrated by noisy neighbours and who hasn’t wished they could go round and deal with them as DI Denton did. We also get to see a softer side of her with her love of playing the piano and her cat (I’m glad there is a cat!).
We also see Kate Fleming (Vicky McClure) who only sees the world in black and white, utterly convinced at the beginning of DI Denton’s guilt, gradually and very subtly beginning to question her original decision.
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When I watch her I have this insane wish that someone would just tickle her or tell a funny joke just to see if she’s physically capable of having a good laugh.
Jed Mercurio has put his characters through some very harrowing scenes – the boiling water on the hands, 2 of them set on fire, an officer’s head pushed down the toilet. Not a programme to watch if you are in to fluffy bunnies but definitely one to watch if you want to be thrilled, angry, frustrated at unfair treatment or you just want to watch a damned good story!
I sincerely hope that in the next round of TV Awards Joe Mercurio and Keeley Hawes are remembered for this wonderful series.

Slainte

Linda xx

Whovian, Me?

We Doctor Who fans are called Whovians. Well that’s what they say on the Facebook Group I’m a member of.
I’ve been a bit lapsed recently on my Whovian posts as I’m still trying to get my head around Peter Capaldi as the new Doctor. Apparently Peter Capaldi’s agent told him he’d got the part of the 12th Doctor by phoning him and saying “Hello Doctor”
I have to say so far that David Tennant still remains my favourite Doctor. I love this You Tube clip of him with Catherine Tate

The Doctor’s greatest foe is not The Master but Lauren Cooper!

Peter Capaldi wasn’t my first choice for the 12th Doctor, I was hoping for Richard Armitage or Benedict Cumberbatch but I suppose after the success of The Hobbit films and Sherlock the BBC couldn’t afford them. I love these connections –Peter Capaldi has appeared in the Doctor Who spin off Torchwood and with David Tennant in the Doctor Who episode ‘The Fires of Pompeii’. Steven Moffat currently writes for Doctor Who and with Mark Gatiss writes Sherlock which stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman who also star in The Hobbit. I’m sure if Steven Moffat had had the time he could have whipped up a quick screenplay for The Hobbit. That man is such a talented writer that even his autograph would be a bestseller!

Slainte

Linda xx

An Indie Christmas

This year I’ve resolved to stay away from the High Street and not do any Christmas shopping in big name stores like M&S, Debenhams etc. Instead all my Chrissie pressies will either be handmade by me or bought from independent craft artists and sellers. I’d rather support a small business where the goods are well made and unique in style. For instance I’ve just bought something via a fellow Brit crafter – (can’t say at the moment what it is as the recipient of the pressie reads this blog and it’ll spoil the surprise). It arrived beautifully wrapped with a lovely little card. A small business owner who obviously takes pride in her work. Beats the pants off a cardboard box and miles of paper stuffed inside from Amazon, who I am sure will be sending me a get well card this year as I haven’t spent a single penny with them.

 

seawall knitters

 

As a recipient of handmade gifts I love that the maker has thought enough of me to make something that he or she knows I will like. You can’t get that on the High Street. Actually you can’t even get parking on the High Street these days. My local council’s parking charges are so ridiculously high that they are doing real damage to small trader businesses.

 

shop

So many family owned shops have disappeared over the last year. All those unusual quirky little shops gone for good and what we have left are the stores selling uniformity. Yuck, what a nightmare! As Ray Davies once sang “Here come the people in grey”

 

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From the film “Metropolis – 1927”

So why give your local little one man or woman band business a try this Christmas and support someone’s dream. It’ll be a much more rewarding experience than filling the coffers of the Fat Cat Factory owners who don’t give a damn about products or people.

 

Slainte

 

Linda xxx

Inertia

The dictionary definition of Inertia is “the tendency of a body at rest to remain at rest”. Just substitute the word ‘blog’ for ‘body’ and you have the previous state of this blog!

I think it was the shock of having another birthday that rendered me immobile/unable to write/find Windows Live Writer on my laptop. On my birthday I sat in a lovely garden with the sun shining on my face and basically that’s the last thing I remember – all is a blur since then. But now back on track. The first thing I did was catch up with Mean Queen’s brilliant blog. If you ever want an example of how to get off your backside and live a full life then read her blog. I don’t know how she fits half of it in.

Re the Birthday Giveaway, Sue you are the winner! So if you’d like to email me with your details I’ll send the little Kitty clutch off to you xxx

Tabikat is still with me and is thriving. For a cat that lived on the streets during the early part of his life, he is extremely good mannered. He’ll sit and wait for permission to jump up on my lap and at feeding time he sits patiently for his food. My other three that I’ve had since kittens jump all over the place and will sit on me without a by your leave. Lily has taken to trying to sit on my hands whist I’m typing. She is currently sitting on my right wrist as I’m writing this.

So chuffed with finding a 1960’s dress pattern the other day in a charity shop. All parts are there plus the instructions. Cost 50p. Yippee.

 

Vintage-sheath-dress-pattern

 

I find it amazing that something so fragile as a tissue paper sewing pattern has survived for 50 odd years.

 

I’ve recently started to watch George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces on C4. Such a brilliant programme. It features people who have built or converted incredible places to live and work. It’s well worth a visit to C4 to catch up. My favourites are The Cube, The Hive Haus and The Owl Shelter (this one was on last night’s programme).

 

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Must dash now – just about to do something vaguely Steampunky!

 

Slainte

 

Linda xxx

My Birthday Giveaway!

It’s my –th birthday on 10th October and to celebrate (or commiserate) I’ll be giving away one of my  handmade silk clutch purses.

I’ve chosen the embroidered Playful Pussycat Purse.

Silk purse

I thoroughly enjoyed making her. She’s lined in a pale sea green silk, the outer layer is cream silk dupion.

So if you would like her please just leave a comment  below on why you like cats!!

I’ll make the draw on my birthday.

 

Slainte

 

Linda xx

Simply Red

I’ve been away for a few days concentrating on some aeronautical engineering and here is the result!

 

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Okay, he might not make it into the Red Arrows but I love him anyway! ‘Little Red’ is part of my “Complete All My UFO’s Before I Buy Any More Yarn”  project. He’s been languishing at the bottom of a bag in my wardrobe for yonks. I’m so pleased I’ve finished him as he makes me smile when I look at him.

 

More Red. I decided to treat myself to another of Button Meadows crochet hooks. This time I’ve gone for a nice red and white spotty one.

 

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Again, something to make me smile while I’m finishing another one of my projects.

 

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Not red, but just a pretty summer daisy chain. I enjoyed making it but I don’t think I’ll be doing another one – far too many ends to weave in!

 

Slainte

 

Linda xx

Experiences are Cooler than Stuff

I’m almost at the end of another de-cluttering session. When I say session I mean a period of about 4 or 5 days over the last month. Most of the things I’ve been getting rid of have generated thoughts like “What was I thinking?” or “WTF!”.

Then I got to thinking about those days spent moving my stuff around, the time spent deciding what to do with it, the petrol spent ferrying unwanted bags of it to charity shops and the totally knackered and unrecyclable to the dump. All that time and energy devoted to stuff. It wasn’t productive time or fun time, although there was the satisfaction of seeing a pristine empty space at the end of it all. But what if I didn’t have that stuff to begin with, what if the money I spent on it had bought experiences instead? £15 spent on a few magazines could have bought admission to a beautiful garden on a lovely day with enough left over for a coffee or two. Then I would have had the experience and memories of sniffing roses (I can’t keep my nose out of them – I see a rose, I’ve got to sniff it), chatting to fellow visitors, snapping away at a few favourites and getting inspiration for my own flower beds.  Instead my £15 bought me some shiny printed paper which is currently languishing at the bottom of my recycling bin.

Linda's first gliding lesson
Me after my first Gliding lesson

£30 for a glossy coffee table book on photography could have been put towards the petrol for a pre dawn trip to the Jurassic Coast to photograph Durdle Door at sunrise. You probably get where I’m going with this.  The money used to buy pointless stuff could have bought something much more precious instead – memories, a connection with people and nature. Where is the money now? On it’s way down the road in a huge refuse lorry.

My lovely blog friend Ilona of Mean Queen fame has the right idea. She regularly goes on what she calls a ‘Bimble’. She picks a location and either walks or drives to it and then has a bimble around looking at local landmarks, she chats to practically everyone she meets and records her experiences on her camera for her blog. She’s got hundreds of followers eager to read what she’s been up to. I don’t think any of us would read her blog if all she posted about was what she read in a magazine or how much stuff she bought last week (actually she’s far too canny to spend her money on rubbish). No, all we want to read about are her experiences, to feel that connection when she writes about somewhere we’ve been to as well.

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My first Bungee jump – backwards!
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Me hanging around in space

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Coming back down to earth and raring to do it again!

So why do we fill our lives with stuff? Have we been lazy and not worked out life for ourselves? Have we handed our decision making over to advertising companies who tell us our lives would be better if we bought x, y or z. I can tell you that x, y or z can’t give you a hug when you’re feeling down, selflessly leave you the last choccy biccie or leave a romantic post it on the fridge door. I’m now looking at my lovely empty spaces and I’m determined to fill them with laughter, clinking coffee cups and spontaneous ukulele lessons.

Slainte,

Linda xx

Thames River Trip

Totally unplanned trip on the Thames in London yesterday. I was going to do something else but it was such a beautiful day and the prospect of sitting on a boat in the sun on the Thames was too good to miss. So this is almost a wordless post!!

 

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The stunning Battle of Britain Memorial by Westminster Bridge. So clever and effective to model it on a ‘Scramble’

 

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Canary Wharf

 

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The Cutty Sark at Greenwich

 

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The London Eye

 

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The wonderful replica of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre

 

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The Shard – I adore this building

 

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The Tower of London

 

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The Trinity Hospital Almshouses – beautiful building

 

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Quantum Cloud Sculpture by Anthony Gormley. Can you see the shape of a man inside it?

 

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The Emirates Air Line Cable Cars over the Thames

 

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The O2 Centre

 

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Half a boat – don’t ask, I have no idea why anybody would want to slice a boat in half!

 

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The Thames Barrier

 

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Thames Barrier close-up.

 

Fantastic trip and thanks very much to my dear friends Graham and Jan who made it possible and always spoil me when I come up to London and who also let me hug their cats (lots!).

 

Slainte

 

Linda xxx

Sunday Visits

I always try and find time each Sunday to pay a visit to my local animal sanctuary PAWS to show my support and cuddle every thing I can get my hands on! They do coffee, tea and cake on a Sunday, so I’m usually to be found sitting on a bench in their garden putting away a cupcake (or two). A couple of the resident pussycats have cottoned on to this, so now I have to share my cake with Misty, Felix and Handsome. They like the sponge bit of the cakes.

This is Misty a one-eyed Tortie.

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I don’t know what her story is but she has been living there for some time. She gets a bit bad tempered sometimes but from observing her it seems to be when she can’t see anyone coming from her blind side. She tends to lash out if she’s taken by surprise and who can blame her. Now I only have to say “cake” to her and she follows me up the garden to get her reward. She’s quite a character.

 

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I’m not sure of the name of this absolutely huge fluffy black and white cat, but suffice to say he was taking up most of the bench I wanted to sit on and wasn’t moving for anyone. I squidged myself on to the end. Cat 90% of seat, human 10%.

 

Big-Fluffy-Cat

 

Another rose for you. It’s not one of my own, I snapped this in a garden centre. I was taken with how big it was and the two tone petals.

 

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It’s called Rosa “Silver Jubilee”. BTW this image is straight from the camera, no messing with the saturation in Photoshop. It’s like someone has been splodging the leaves with paint. It’s on my list for future acquisition!

 

As everybody else has been doing them I thought I’d have a go at making crochet owls. I finished a batch of them this afternoon and took them outside to photograph them. I’m sure the neighbours thought I’d lost it.

 

Crochet Owls18

I think they make a cute little family. They were certainly fun to make. I might even give them names – maybe I am losing it!!

 

Slainte

 

Linda xx

Dad

 

It’s Father’s Day today in the UK. This is my Dad who sadly passed away in ‘92.

 

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This lovely gentle man loved animals with a passion, wrote amazing poetry and supported all my crazy schemes with incredible enthusiasm.

 

Second to animals, surfing was the love of his life. He could be seen most days riding the waves down at Whitsand Bay in Cornwall or frequenting Bilbo’s Surf Shop in Newquay. He even gave his surfboards names, his favourite being his longboard Big Whitey.

 

I like to think there is a spot for him in heaven where he is paddling out from a silver sunlit beach into cool blue waters looking for the perfect wave.

 

Rest in Peace Dad xxx