Saturday and Sunday. The Weeked. “Le Weekend” – if you are French, “Friday to Monday” if you are frightfully “U” and called Mitford. 2 days in which to do enjoyable things that you don’t do during the week. William Brown was absolutely right here – they are not long enough.
Saturday was spent in the lovely little West Lothian town of Linlithgow. How did I manage to miss this place? Old buildings with crow-step gables, council plantings of “3 varieties of cereal crops, interspersed with bee-friendly plants” – no serried ranks of red-geranium-white-allysum-blue-lobelia in a predictable Union Flaggish design. A vintage Fishvan – glass-sided old style ‘bus and a counter covered in cracked ice and a lovely variety of fisheses both with and without scale, precious. Smily men – 2 in boaters and clean white coats, collars and ties and no fishy aromas wafting around the streets. Either very fresh (hooray) or very ummmm.
And three craft shops. Three! Patchwork, knitting and general haberdashery (there is a 4th- beading supplies, but I did not get that far) each recommended the other and I wallowed, drunk with joy in fat quarters, double knitting and buttons and interlining. Just so you understand, there is no John Lewis near chez moi. 66 miles to Edinburgh, 65 to Glasgow or 56 (really? just looked that up, I am surprised) to Aberdeen. So this plethora of haberdashery in one street is a Utopia. Sigh…
A lampshade frame was not to be had, but the Patchwork lady suggested a wee keek in the charity shops. And so I did, CR-UK got it in one. I trundled out with £2.50’s worth of lampshade. Covered in the most deeply unattractive maroon shiny fabric. Resembling a ripe, thrombosed haemorrhoid. Hideous. But it can be up-cycled, I believe, firmly, with a following wind, some spare fabric from the horde (blue gingham – I have in mind). And it will not cost £76.50 which a certain indulgent magazine was advertising, only this month. It may resemble a dejected J-cloth, with undertones of piles, if the whole thing does a wheels-up. We live in hope, however, and it will be “Better Than Nothing” (maternal quoting).
Onwards to the great ambition to fit into That Dress. I found a new and exciting way of measuring my risk of something cardiac-diabetic-joint-failure nasty. BMI (which suggest normal, healthy) is OUT and height/waist measurement ratio is IN. A bit of optimistic tugging on the tape measure did not avail, difficult to cheat when you cannot see over your buxom parts. So a blind-faith and follow the instructions measurement was duly entered along with the height (I am the Tallest of my Line – this measurement is non-negociable, 5’3″, mother is 5″1 (and an half)” and wee grandad was 4’10”) Nice design – a little turny-round thing until you got “your” numbers in. Then the moment of calculation (cue blue chasing its’ own tail icon) and “Consider Action”. That was it, no buttering of parsnips, leading up the garden path or breaking bad news, sensitively. Straight between the blubber rolls, off your tail-feather and Do Something. So Sunday – all aboard the velocipedes and Off on a Family Bike Ride. In the local countryside. Swoon now, Boris – this is how we do it outwith the metropolis. 5 miles later I returned, having realised that the bicycle saddle was the Thing of Satan and had to walk the last 500 yards for fear that my bones upon which I sit were about to erode through my gluteus maximuses (maximi?). Later piteous noises on social networking suggests that I need to either have something called a “Manta” – I like this image broad and floaty, sting in the tail, or something whose name might be “wiggle”. I will have to go back and verify.
Other than the discomfort in the hindquarters, which was mild, it was a successful bike ride. A yellowhammer was mistaken for an escaped budgie, someone’s perfectly laid out kitchen garden (Monty Don’s corduroy trouser and potager effect has made it north) ogled at, over the manicured hedge, a Welsh collie who came out to say “hello” was returned through his garden. The Labrador and Alsation bayed over the un-jumpable fence, clearly enraged by the Welsh chutzpah. Soup lunch at the local bistro, jolly scrummy.