Tag Archives: fun

It is fun to have fun, but you have to know how

Things have been getting a little serious, so here’s something I made earlier. These trainers were abandoned in the park for about a week – they were moved onto a wall, and a bench, by somebody, presumably to aid their original owner in spotting and reclaiming them. No sneaker-thieves round here, no sir. But nobody did, so one morning I did this with them:

Rhododendron with two shoes poking out, so it looks like somebody is asleep (or worse) under the bush

They were gone the next day.

For Better Or Wurst

Life has been a bit of a drama recently, and I’ve not really talked to many people about it, so I thought I would write a few things down for your delectation and delight.  I suspect you may read this post with the same horrified fascination with which the Romans used to watch the latest Lions vs. Christians Smackdown, but maybe you’ll enjoy it and get some good thought-food out of it.

I’ll give you some bullet points as a primer, then some more detail.  Are you ready? You don’t have to take notes, it’s OK.

  • Came out as queer
  • Partner retaliated by also coming out as queer (but not as queer as me, ha. I win)
  • Decide to open our marriage to waifs and strays
  • Spend so much time talking and loving and talking we end up with serious sleep deprivation
  • Invoices go unpaid so we have to raid savings to cover bills
  • Have to cancel planned festival holiday because we now have no money
  • Black depression and bitter disappointment in one party, and not just from the holiday cancellation
  • Other party cancels fun plans to look after aforementioned party
  • Shower breaks, but too soon after other major plumbing work to comfortably ask landlord to fix it
  • Shit just goes wrong, OK?
  • Shit goes right, depression banished, invoices start getting paid
  • One party has massive meltdown as relief sets in
  • Open relationship going even better than expected
Mellorware teapot

You can take a tea break now, if you like.

So, early in April, I came to the scary realisation that I am bisexual.  I’m not a teenager, just starting to explore my emotions, and worrying what my parents might think, I am a grown woman, emotionally mature (quiet, you), married for nearly 15 years, thinking Why Now? and WTF? and worrying what my children might think.

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A Most Delicious, Gluten-and-dairy-free, Chocolate Cake

[Insert long boring preamble here]  Various circumstances have come together and inspired me to, finally, share something people have been begging me (begging me) to share for a very long time: my very special chocolate cake recipe.  I only make this cake for birthdays and special occasions, and the best bit about it is it is both gluten and dairy free, so can be eaten by many people who would otherwise be left chewing sadly on a dry flapjack.  This recipe is not entirely my own – all the best recipes are shared and adapted, after all – it was given to me many years ago by a professional cake maker called Grace, who in turn adapted it from somewhere else. I have since added my own variations, but we still call it Grace’s Chocolate Cake in this house. As you are not in this house, you can call it what you like.

This is a great cake for birthdays, as it comes out fairly flat, so is easy to decorate.
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How very uncivilised

Uncivilisation. A weekend of exploring “cultural engagement which is rooted in place, time and nature”. A weekend of people, music, story, song, fire and playfulness. A weekend where I learned so damn much about the world around me, and about myself. And apart from the bit about “I can’t use Google-maps on my phone to navigate my way out of a paper bag” (sorry Jon – it was an adventure!), I liked what I learned!

I was there primarily to share my experiences of The Telling, and encourage others to make a new home for Uncivilisation in the places and communities where they are. And also to build a tree for a midnight Dark Mountain ritual – where a woven willow tree, decorated with dreams and thoughts from whoever wanted to contribute, would be ceremonially burned, to symbolise, I dunno… something. Something unsettling (would you set fire to a tree?), to shake people from their comfort, and release the wild, and the dreams.

[Photo: Bridget McKenzie]

[Photo: Bridget McKenzie]

In honesty though, I can’t really tell you much about what Uncivilisation 2013 was like, because I missed most of it, but I can tell you that “missing most of it” didn’t really matter. Continue reading

Your summer craft mission

Dear reader, would you like to help change the world (for the better, she adds, hastily)?

Image: Craftivist Collective

Image: Craftivist Collective

There are lots of ways to affect change, there are lots of things you can do, and here’s just one for starters:  This summer the Craftivist Collective is teaming up with War On Want to add their crafty shoulders to the “Love Fashion Hate Sweatshops” campaign. I’m joining in too, and together we’re asking people to take up craftivism – stitching in support of the stitchers, as it were.  How?  By stitching mini protest banners, and hanging them where people will see them. Mini whuh? How? Well OK, I’ll let Sarah (founder of Craftivist Collective) explain how: Continue reading

Pride: It’s about equality, stupid

I think I’ve been bitten by the showing-off-bug, and it feels just a little bit fabulous.  Having spent the winter, and it felt like a very long winter, keeping quiet, and trying not to get involved with things that might tip my fragile self into darkness and despair (overly dramatic much?), I got out a book I’d bought and then never read (because my 11yr old got to it first and then left it at Grandma and Grandad’s house – damn these kids who read things) – Small Acts of Resistance. Which is about, er, well, small acts of resistance.

 “Dress conservatively” was the instruction from Burma’s military junta to those celebrating the country’s traditional water festival in 2009. This was the result. Credit: Khin Maung Win/AP

“Dress conservatively” was the instruction from Burma’s military junta to those celebrating the country’s traditional water festival in 2009. This was the result.
Credit: Khin Maung Win/AP (from ‘Small Acts of Resistance’)

If you haven’t read it, do. It’s brilliant, and inspiring, and it shows you what can be achieved by ordinary people doing seemingly tiny things. Anyway, it inspired me. And then I re-read one of my favourite books (Evangelisation Mode: ENGAGED), Half The Sky by NY Times journalist Nick Kristof and his wife Sheryl Wu Dunn, which takes what you think “inspiring” means, and blows it right out of the water.  If you’re reading this and you haven’t read Half The Sky, I will find out, and I will come for you, and I will make you read it.  Do it now.

And anyway, shortly after that, there was an attempt by a fascist group to march through my home city, and I got all fired up and despite having spent most of my life believing I ‘wasn’t really a protest march kind of person’ (I’ll unpack that later, if I remember), what I had read made me think differently, and I took me to the streets to protest.  And it felt good.  And then a few weeks later, Pride came along 🙂

The most wonderful Tilda Swinton, in Moscow risking arrest by waving a pride flag in violation of Russia’s new homosexual propaganda bill.

The most wonderful Tilda Swinton, risking arrest in Moscow by waving a pride flag in violation of Russia’s new homosexual propaganda bill.

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Imagination vs. Internet

My 8yr old’s been watching a lot of internet videos lately, nearly all about Lego building. I’ve allowed this because he displays the most awesome ingenuity with his Lego building (and also because I’m a bit lazy, I’ll fess up to that). He used his saved pocket money to buy a Superman Lego set last week, and within two days had built it (twice) and then used the bits to create several new spaceships, a hover house, a dragon, and a mining truck with a drill on the front (driven by Lois Lane). Yeah, really.

Two spaceships, one with an extendible mining platform. So I'm told.

Two spaceships, one with an extendible mining platform. So I’m told.

Anyway, Continue reading