20.10.06

Mass Blog Entry

I managed to get my entry for the mass blog uploaded to the 'History Matters' website, with the aid of my boringly detailed diary. It's not too late to record what you were doing on the 17th October 2006, if you are resident in the UK. Here is my entry, a little less flowery than my normal blog entries.

Wake at 3.30 am to the sound of 5Live radio, which I always have playing quietly thoughout the night. As usual, lie awake worrying; when will we ever be able to afford our own house (never, the way the market is going) how the horrific rent rise of fifty pounds a month is going to effect us, whether our ghastly neighbours will be moving soon, taking their neglected and noisy dog with them, (please God!) and finally, will I get another decent illustration job in time for Christmas? After an hour chewing on these worrisome thoughts, fall back into an uneasy doze until 8.15. when I change radio stations for 'The Today' programme on Radio 4. Start the morning with a pot of tea and the Times, before finishing the painting of a Christmas card design for my fledgling card company, Red Flannel Elephant. I am promoting this mainly through my blog. I am excited to be part of a new wave of artisans who are taking their careers in their own hands, selling their creations directly to customers, rather than relying on the confines of commercial companies who tend to underpay and constrict creativity, not to mention a shocking wave of copyright grabbing which many publishers are attempting. Midmorning an official looking young man knocks on the door, asking for our awful neighbours, who aren't in. He has a yellow form resting on a small zip-up folder. Can't help hoping that whatever it is means they will have to move. At noon, my partner goes off for a driving lesson - after years of resisting we have finally decided to get a car, as we live in a rural area in West Oxfordshire with a useless bus service. He has been motorbiking for several years but his commute is long and hazardous in the winter. This year he has hit 2 deer, and enough was enough. I would love to be able to drive, as on my own I can only travel as far as my feet or pushbike will take me. Update my blog, with a description of my first attempt to pluck a pheasant we found, freshly knocked over in the road. We try to source our food locally and not be feeble about knowing where our meat comes from. Andy returns rather stressed, not had a very successful driving lesson. Prepare a cheap pork joint for tea, dressing it in chutney, rosemary and soy sauce, and begin making a bread dough, for rolls to go with it. We buy all our flour from a mill a mile down the road. Much of it is ground from local wheat. Now it is getting colder I have to keep our tiny kitchen very warm by having a hot plate on to help the dough rise. We don't have central heating, just a woodburner and a couple of inadequate storage heaters which eat up so much electricity we only use them when absolutely necessary. I receive a lovely e-mail from a blogging friend to whom I sent one of my own cards - I find more and more that I network through my blog, and often this leads to making real life friends. There was a misconception in the early days of the Internet that it would lead to social isolation, but I have found that the opposite is true and I am blessed with many wonderful friends round the world, with whom I have so much in common and who often support me when I'm down, as I do them. At 7pm I lie on the sofa with three dozing cats, listening to 'The Archers'. We don't have a television and I have never lived with one - on the rare occasions I do see one, I am thankful not to be part of its culture, which seems to be concentrated around money, greed and sex. Our evening finishes with a supper of pork and the herby bread rolls, which have risen nicely. We watch a DVD on our computer, the second season of 'The Wire' which is excellently written and superb drama. I wonder on the differences between our 21st century lives and the past dwellers in our 240 year old cottage. No doubt there has been the occasional pheasant hanging from the beams, and until recently they would have baked their own bread - but I think the internet would have astonished them.

14 comments:

Rosa said...

Your writing is done so well that I felt I was sitting next to you as you told me about your day. I hadn't noticed your link to your cards. I must take a peek! I do hope the driving comes better next time for your partner and your nasty neighbors are being served some summons for not paying rent or some such thing that makes them move! You'll be in my thoughts. xo

Daisy Lupin said...

Glad you took part in the 'One day in History' exercise, I did too, after reading about it on your site. I'm afraid mine turned into a damning rant about the ruin of the NHS, but people neeed to know for the future.

carolyn said...

I wonder what folks will make of your day in the future? I resisted driving for years and years but eventually circumstances forced me into the driving seat. I would not willingly be without a car now, that car key is my key to freedom.

Gail said...

A lovely post - very well written - not the same as your usual - but great no the less.

It says how I feel about the little community we've built for ourselves ... ;)

Stuntmother said...

I'm so glad you posted in that project. I heard about it on the BBC and thought immediately of you.

Lisa (oceandreamer) said...

I was really interested to read this, it's a real insight in to your life. I hope everything works out the very best for you....from getting the car to the annoying neighbors vacating. Now would it be alright if I had one of your herby rolls? They sound delicious!
XOXO

Calamity Tat said...

Your day sounds glorious... mine contains noise noise noise... so I swim for an hour twice a week just to clear my head, it's my space and time..I also think it's marvellous that you live without a tele, I tried for 8 months and it nearly drove me insane...i wouldn't say I was an addict but I shamelessly must like money, greed and sex hahahaha..... don't foget to post your swap photo by the way...

Donna said...

A lovely post, blissful. I lived without a tv for most of the 70's (in fact we had no electricity for a lot of it) so I have a huge gap in my cultural history. I pretended to the kids at school that I knew what they were talking about when they played tv related games but when we went to houses that had a tv I was glued to it. You had to prise my fingers from the arm of the sofa! hahahha

PG said...

Hey, thanks everyone, I think our neighbours will eventually reap the reward of their own awfulness, thankfully they aren't in much...it's just the bloody dog which is left in the garden all day every day. And their daughter, who is pure evil at the tender age of 18.

Tat, I'm still waiting for my Vintage Swap parcel, I think the air mail service is being very slow to the UK in general as I know a few people who have been waiting for stuff which was posted a while back.

tlawwife said...

I loved your post. I can't imagine not driving. We start driving here at 14 (well most kids actually drive around their farms earlier than that). I remember learning. My teacher told me to tell my parents that I needed to practice and my dad said that was the teachers job (he was afraid to ride with me). And I remember teaching my kids. Terry actually got out and kissed the ground once.

Anonymous said...

If I lived next to you, I would leave you surprise cheer-up cookies on your doorstep!

PG said...

Why thank you Spiny Urchin, I would swop you with the ghastlies at the drop of a hat, if I could!

I'm quite amazed at the low driving age Carol, although it's not that complicated to drive a car (I've been told!) so no reason why not...

Soozcat said...

In most parts of the U.S. you must be 16 to apply for a driver's license, although most states allow teens younger than that to drive with a learner's permit and a licensed driver in the car. And as Carol says, in areas with farms the kids learn to operate cars and farm machinery at a tender age. (If you stay on your own property, you don't need a license.)

I didn't get mine until I was 17. I aced the written test, but I failed the driving test THREE TIMES because I was so nervous with the instructor sitting beside me.

cotswoldgent said...

WOW PG your just amazing! Reading your post really got to me. Stick at it, one day soon your going to be a big hit!