Monday, 26 October 2015

The moon, a dog, a coat and animal attraction

They've brought in the maize harvest now, the contractors working into the evening darkness to reveal a stubby, brown field by morning.

What was once tall and serene and crying out to be photographed has now disappeared before I even had a chance to get out my camera.

There'll be a Hunter's Moon in the sky tonight and it's full of foreboding. It means that my dog, Artemis, will go a little bit crazy for a while, as befits her name, which was the one the ancient Greeks gave to the goddess of hunting. Artemis was Apollo's twin sister and also a goddess of the moon.
The moon seems to have an effect on my Arty, for sure. She'll be particularly disobedient for a day or two, resisting all calls to 'come back here' after a week of being a good girl. This morning, she tears off into the copse and comes back five minutes later with a sheep's skull in her mouth. She, rather kindly, drops it at my feet.

A full moon is long thought to have had an effect on our moods. Well, if the Moon (along with the gravitational pull of the Sun and the rotation of the Earth) can affect the tide, then I have no problem in believing it has an influence on humans and animals too, especially as we are made up of about sixty per cent water.

Which is my excuse for buying yet another coat at the weekend to add to my collection. Who could resist its soft loveliness, its animal magnetism? I swear it jumped off the rail in TK Maxx and wrapped its faux fur leopard skin around me all by itself. Why else would I have bought it?

I put it back once and walked around a bit but then it leaped out at me again as I was leaving the store. I stopped to try it on, hanging it on the end of a rail as I took my jacket off in front of a mirror.

A young boy aged about seven walked past and stroked the coat while it was still on the hanger.

'Oooh, look mum,' he said, turning back to his beige-encrusted mother, who had highlighted hair and a complexion by Farrow and Ball, with a designer-etched frown on her face.

'No darling,' she said. 'You know I don't like things like that.'

Quick as you like, I said: 'Well, that's just as well, because I'm buying it.'

A look of embarrassment shot across her face. Embarrassment that anyone else could have such poor taste, I think.

'You should get that,' another woman said after the frowning mother went by. 'It suits you.'

And the young man on the till, well, he loved it.

'I so envy you being able to wear something like this,' he said, rubbing the fabric between his fingers. 'It's so soft.'

And, at that point, I didn't care that I might look like a complete tit in an oversized, animal print coat. At least I'd be warm.

But now it's in the cupboard, whipped from the bag before Mr Grigg's had a chance to go off on one ('how many coats and jackets do you need?).  You can see it's doing its best to blend in.
But I shall use this week to decide if it should stay or go.
And I shall be keeping it away from the dog. I've a feeling that in the mood she's in at the moment, she'd probably like to wear it.

That's about it.

Love Maddie x

Keeping it in the family

Like Laurie Lee, I was the baby in a big family, living on the land in a rural village. It was an idyllic upbringing and I have much to be thankful for. I was the youngest of five, brought up on dairy farm down a country lane edged with campions and gypsy lace, on the edge of a golden-stoned village in Somerset.

I've been writing about family life over on The Lady Shed website. I'd love to hear your stories.
That's about it.

Love Maddie x

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Blogging: where do I go from here?

Please forgive me. I haven't blogged in over a month and it's all my fault. I can't see the wood for the trees.

I've reached a bit of a crossroads with The World from my Window and I'm not sure which direction to take.

I'm back from Corfu now, having been in Dorset for a few weeks and hurtling headlong into work and Lush Places life. I have to go up to the village hall in a minute to warm up some pizzas for the cast of The Ballad of Martha Brown before going up again later on to take the money on the door.

I'm way behind on updating the village website, I've got a TEFL course to finish before the end of February and I'm looking for a publisher for Good Morning Corfu: A Year on a Greek Island.

I also need to think about completing my Masters' dissertation next year. Stupidly, I've registered for NaNoWriMo again this year, about which I'll be writing on The Lady Shed website next week.

So, what with that and the day job, I've got lots to be getting on with. And that's my choice. I just need to sit down and think where I go from here.

Part of what I do (it doesn't seem like a job, exactly, as I enjoy it too much) is a weekly column for The People's Friend magazine. And it's here that I relate a lot of tales of everyday life, which used to feature on this blog and formed the basis for my novella, A Year in Lush Places.

Now I realise a lot of my blog readers don't necessarily read The People's Friend but I don't want to repeat myself. I'm also one of three writers for The Lady Shed website and my posts can be about whatever grabs me that week, apart from when all three of us write once a month on the same topic.

So what to write about on The World from my Window? At the moment, I'm thinking of anything about Dorset or any part of the country or world where I might be looking out of the window. Or should I just close the window altogether?

Any ideas? Your thoughts - if I still have any blog readers left - would be most welcome.

That's about it.

Love Maddie x

A horror film for Halloween

On Halloween, I head out under the cover of darkness, a tub of sweets by the front door for young trick or treaters on the prowl with their ...