Much of a muchness

Things that make you go 'hmm'…

Tag Archives: Wimbledon

Heidi goes to Glastonbury…

You’ll have to excuse my absence. I have been suffering from ‘not enough news’ syndrome and then it has been followed by ‘too much news’ syndrome. I shall gloss over the writers’ block period and rush straight to the ‘Oh my God, I love my life’ bit.

I had a week in Zurich staying with my friends who live in Schindellegi. I visited them in February when everything was covered in a thick layer of snow and Lake Zurich was covered in a thick layer of mist. What a difference 4 months makes. The sun shone, the lake re-appeared and the beautiful mountain scenery was revealed – gorgeous. Heidi country. Think cows with jangling bells around their necks, mountain chalets and impossibly green fields, pine forests and wild flowers, Julie Andrews spinning on a mountain top. Here are some winter/summer images, taken in Rapperswill.

This weekend, I have been at the Glastonbury Festival. My muddy adventures at the usual rain-sodden festival are well documented here. This year was the 40th anniversary of the first festival back in 1970 and for once the weather fairy had waved her magic wand and the sun shone. It was fabulous. The best ever. Lolling about (or dancing away) under clear blue, cloudless skies, glass of wine in hand, singing along to as diverse a set of performers as you will ever come across, people watching, chatting to complete strangers and re-uniting with old friends who I mostly only see once a year at Glastonbury, made for an amazing weekend.

There is something about live music that means you can listen to music you wouldn’t dream of playing at home yet it provokes a response that has you singing and dancing along with complete joy. (Thank you Seasick Steve and even more bizarrely, Slash, from Guns n Roses). Highlights of the weekend are many. Jackson Browne, Scissor Sisters, Shakira, Pet Shop Boys, Ray Davies, Jack Johnson, Faithless and the inimitable Stevie Wonder, who closed the festival last night. The only downside is the number of people who were performing I didn’t get to see. (Click to enlarge!)

To make a change from the muddy Glastonbury photographs, here are a few sunny ones.

I recently heard the phrase an ‘ear worm’ (from the German ‘Ohrwurm’) used to describe a song that gets embedded in your head and replays on a loop constantly in your unconsciousness. This has happened to me with this song to the extent I wake up with it running through my head. It’s by a band called Primary 1 who were performing at Glastonbury but I sadly missed them. This is their new single released on July 5th. Be warned it is SO catchy, you might get ear wormed….

As for the rest of the weekend, Formula 1 -yay for Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button, less said about the football the better. At least I can concentrate on Wimbledon now, last week’s epic 11 hour match between Isner and Mahut was astonishing and a tribute to their mental toughness and physical strength. England football team, watch and learn and stop feeling hard done by for having to run about for 90 minutes while being paid a ridiculous amount of money. Dismal showing.

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I may have found my new career…

I’ve been occupied this week with making a gift for my sister to say ‘Thanks’ for my wonderful sailing holiday in Greece. Here’s a sneak preview of what I made for her. I was going to send her a CD with copies of all the photographs I took but I decided it might be nice to make an album of the highlights which would hold the CD. So here it is.

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I’m now going to make a birthday gift for a friend celebrating her 40th birthday on Saturday. She is the daughter of my very good friends, Mike and Julie, and it is very scary indeed to realise that my friends’ children are now reaching 40. How can this be? I am sure I’m not much older than that myself. Mind you I did start counting my birthdays backwards several years ago, so I might be mistaken….

As this is a return to my bookbinding posts, I want to tell you bookbinding folk of two discoveries I have made recently. One is Ratchfords who sell a full range of bookbinding materials from their web site  – not the best online shopping experience but they are extremely helpful and offer prompt delivery. My other discovery is a factory shop at Pittards. Pittards is  in Yeovil, where they make gloves (in fact the local football team, Yeovil Town,  is nicknamed The Glovers) but the factory shop has a HUGE range of all grades and colours of leather and leather working tools you can imagine – as well as gloves and handbags etc. I visited the other day and managed to take these photographs.

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Wow. Very inspiring and the prices weren’t too bad either.

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I watched the epic Men’s Final at Wimbledon on Sunday. What a match! I started out rooting for Roger Federer but by the end I was so impressed with Andy Roddick’s play, I didn’t want either man to lose. Poor Andy Roddick looks shell shocked in the photo above. What a marathon, one of the best matches I have ever watched. I’ve been feeling a bit bereft this week, no more Wimbledon for a year but all is not lost. I can now move seamlessly on to watching the cricket – The Ashes series started yesterday and promises to be as exciting as ever. By the time that finishes, the football season will be starting again, hey ho.

And now, the job of a lifetime. It has come to my notice that Wookey Hole a complex of caves near Wells in Somerset and a famous tourist attraction is advertising a job vacancy. They are going to pay £50,000 a year to some one who is willing to live in the caves and be……a witch. Local legend says the original Wookey witch was turned to stone when a Catholic monk, sent by the Abbot of Glastonbury, splashed her with holy water. A large, vaguely witch-shaped stalagmite in one of the caves is said to be her petrified remains.

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Wookey Hole wants the appointee to go about her everyday business as a hag, so that people passing through the caves can get a sense of what the place was like in the Dark Ages. This was when an old woman lived in the caves with some goats and a dog, causing a variety of social ills including crop failures and disease. The job is straightforward: live in the cave, be a witch, and do the things witches do.”

The ad goes on

Wookey Hole is advertising nationally and hopes to attract a strong field of candidates, with the £50,000 salary serving as a major incentive. Ambitious witches, looking for a key career move, should turn up dressed for work and bring any essential witch accoutrements. A limited range of potion ingredients will be available. We are witchless at the moment so we need to get the role filled as soon as possible. The successful applicant will need to like dark, enclosed spaces, be good around a cauldron, enjoy the company of cats and have a good cackle. We are looking for someone who is friendly, a little mischievous and with lots of character.

Interestingly, there is also a paper mill at Wookey Hole and they make the most beautiful handmade paper which I have bought on many occasions. Perhaps I could be the Wookey Hole bookbinding witch….

PS Please check out the Social Vibe widget in my sidebar, if you click on it, TNT will make a donation to the ‘Fill the Cup’ campaign by the World Food Program. It’s free for you and it’s a very worthy cause. Better still, if you have a WordPress blog, put your own widget on your blog! You can choose from a selection of different charities and sponsors. Every little bit helps :-)

I’m off – again!

I am exhausted, a wreck, wrung out, I am drained. I have just finished watching the Wimbledon Men’s Final complete with rain breaks, several complete turnaround of fortunes, complaints from Texas about the organisation and weather (you know who you are) and finally a stunning victory by Rafael Nadal after an awesome and tightly contested match. A classic, classic match. I was torn as to who I wanted to win, I like them both so much but there was a wonderful winner in Rafael Nadal. Spain is on a roll this year…

And very gracious in defeat, he so nearly won – and he will be back, my hero, Roger Federer.

I must also mention, a young lady who won the Wimbledon Girls’ Singles title, Laura Robson – A BRIT!! Who would have thought. 14 years old and already carrying the hopes of an entire nation….poor thing!

So Wimbledon is over – what shall I do? Make some books maybe? I am dying to get back to doing something creative – at least until the Olympics start…. However, my #2 son graduates from university this week so we are off to Leeds for a few days. Before I go, I thought that I would post a few bits and pieces I have come across while roaming around the internet. This first, is a cool music video. Those of you who are Mac users will recognise the OS X desktop and marvel at how they did this…

I am desperate to see the movie WALL.E which doesn’t come out in the UK until 18th July but here is the trailer I found on Youtube.

and this is a preview of the Pixar short which precedes the film

and finally for the mathematically inclined, some pie charts…

This one is a depiction of things Rick Astley wouldn’t do…

Bye for now. I am off to be the proudest mum in the country. Expect much boasting and fab photos when I get back…

Storm clouds over Dorset….

I try not to use this blog too often as a personal forum for all my pet peeves, personal traumas and disasters however, every once in a while something happens and I just have to explode! Back in April, I thought I was being very clever and bought some garden furniture from an eBay shop. It was a very good price (but still quite expensive -£600 or so). I still haven’t received the furniture.

Here we are at the beginning of July and my garden is still bare. I am furious. Particularly as the company that sold it to me (Land of Sofas based in Poole – be warned!) are now no longer registered as an eBay seller and do not communicate with me at all, and all their contact details are no longer available on eBay.

I managed to track them down and have contacted them several times. The girl I spoke to (Gemma) is always very short with me and seemed irritated I am bothering her. She has given me several dates for delivery, which have passed with no apologies or explanations, so I opened a dispute with PayPal and they are investigating the situation but as time goes by and our very short summer whizzes past, I am still furniture-less. My lovely big sons keep offering to go round and sort her out, as Poole isn’t too far from where I live (she signed off with her home address when she initially contacted me after the sale) but I am resisting their offer and attempting to do things through proper channels but if all else fails, I may go round there myself (with sons and a couple of their taller, even more scary friends) to discuss my refund!

The annoying thing is that the seller does appear to have lots of positive feedback but on closer investigation, most of it is for selling some sports drink bottles. All the feedback for the garden furniture they have sold in the past, says how long they had to wait for delivery and a lot of those people demanded refunds. The lesson from all this is to read the feedback properly. Don’t just look at the high positive feedback score and assume all is well. That’s the end of the lesson, I’ll keep you posted with any developments.

Anyway, rant over. A nice thing this week, has been reading the new ‘Top 101 Artists’ Blogs’ list over at Kim’s blog. Kim very deservedly (especially since her blog redesign) is at number 1, Emila’s lovely blog is at number 2 and guess who is number 3? Yes, moi! It’s such a phenomenal amount of work to update this list every month (particularly given the vagaries of Technorati) so I do recommend you head over there to check out some great art blogs. Kim was also sweet enough to pass on to me one of the many awards she has received recently – the Friendly Blogger award – well I try to be! Thanks Kim!

I’m going to pass this on to a couple of new commentators here at ‘Much of a muchness’ , 70’s teen and Daddy Papersurfer. If you read their blogs you will see why I enjoy reading them so much. And they are indeed, very friendly bloggers :-)

As I write this, there are gale force winds and rain sodden grey skies above, but does this stop #2 son from lighting the barbecue and cooking the ribs he so lovingly prepared last night? Indeed it does not. He is outside wearing shorts, a jacket and a woolly hat, cooking our lunch before we settle down to watch the tennis at Wimbledon (ladies final – the Williams sisters – should be a good one).

After the tennis, #2 son is going out (to play golf would you believe!) and I am settling in to watch Doctor Who – series finale, cliffhanger ending last week, Martha, Rose, Donna, Daleks, Davros  and all the Torchwood team, especially lovely John Barrowman aka Captain Jack – I can barely wait – 5 hours 20 minutes to go……

I was supposed to be going to a picnic at Mapperton listening to Cuban Salsa music tonight but that is looking like a non-starter so more TV it is….and then tomorrow, the Men’s Final, Roger Federer versus Rafael Nadal, the dream final! Woo hoo!

Couch potato? Moi?

I’m back!

It was a wonderful weekend. On Friday, I went to Wimbledon with my friend Amanda and we managed to cadge a lift from a friend, John, who was driving up, instead of having to catch the train, so that was a great start to the day. When we arrived, there were security checks and my tiny Swiss Army penknife which is attached to my keyring was confiscated from my handbag. This was so irritating as they only seemed to be searching bags so if the keys had been in my coat pocket, they would not have been noticed. Some security. Note to would-be trouble makers – carry your machete in your coat pocket….

It started to rain just as we arrived but play was only delayed for 90 minutes so we did not have long to wait before watching Roger Federer walk onto a sunny Centre Court. He won his match against the French player, Marc Gicquel, in straight sets, 6-3, 6-3, 6-1. We then watched Serena Williams and Amelie Mauresmo play a thrilling first set which Serena narrowly won but in the second set, Amelie seemed to be carrying an injury and played below par and so Serena won easily. So all in all, a very bad day for French tennis players.

We managed to slip out between matches for a little refreshment  – my summer favourite, a glass of Pimms!

After an afternoon of tennis, we met up with John and Bob for a Wimbledon tradition, strawberries and cream – caused me no end of problems as I have an aversion to licking wet wood and the strawberries came with a wooden spoon! Still, undaunted, I ate the strawberries with my fingers and drank the cream from the bowl – not very ladylike but needs must… and of course, we had a glass or two of champagne.

The next day, I had to be up early as I was going to Glastonbury Festival with some other friends. #2 son had gone on ahead as he was camping and he sent a message that it had rained on Friday night so not good news. He said that he and his friends had put 10 tents in a circle with a tarpaulin on the floor, a gazebo on top of that and then covered the whole assembly with another tarpaulin so their encampment was snug and watertight! He learned his lesson after last year when they got soaked and never really dried out plus, it was so muddy, they had nowhere to sit down for 4 days.

By the time I arrived on Saturday, the sun had come out and the weather was warm and sunny all day – such a treat. Highlights of the day were Seasick Steve, Crowded House, James Blunt, Manu Chao, The Raconteurs  and a shambolic Amy Winehouse who manged to get into a fight with some of her fans….

This is my favourite bit – Crowded House singing ‘Weather with You’ and the wave at the end was fantastic! Did you spot me? In the middle, towards the back :-)

The next day, we saw John Mayer and bizarrely, Neil Diamond, who seemed to struggle to get the crowd going until he sang ‘I’m a Believer’ and then of course ‘Sweet Caroline’ which brought the house down. He should have just come on and sang ‘Sweet Caroline’ half a dozen times and everyone would have been happy. I love the way everyone sang the backing vocals as well as the main tune…

The weather stayed dry all the time I was there so I must thank you for all your kind comments and wishes – they worked! here is a small slide show of photographs from Wimbledon and Glastonbury.