Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Leaflets and Letterboxes

The past couple of days I have been delivering leaflets door to door on a large housing estate in the next town. Well, not actually leaflets, they are money off vouchers for beauty treatments at my step-daughters beauty salon.

It may sound like a completely dead-end type of job (well, I didn't actually get paid) but approached with the right frame of mind it's actually OK.

Apart from the much needed exercise I find it quite interesting looking at the designs of people's front gardens and the variety of plants in them. I was also wondering how close the relationship between front gardens and the house interiors are.

Does a neat front garden relate to a neat interior? An untidy front garden full of weeds and litter might mean the living accomodation needs a little to be desired - lacking in housework? What about lots of flowers? Does this mean a fussy, romantic type of interior decor with lacy net curtains and flowery wallpaper? If there was just a patch of grass, perfectly manicured grass with two box topiaries in square silver pots - would this be a male household? It did give that feeling.

There is such a contrast though - some people just don't bother (or perhaps they don't have time, or don't care) and others have beautifully thought out designs requiring lots of care and attention. Different strokes for different folks - each to their own.

One thing's for certain - whoever thought of putting letterboxes at ground level had never worked as a postman.

Friday, 17 September 2010

Goodwood Revivial Meeting Sept 2010

A magical step back in time to the golden era of motor racing.

The cars and motorcycles making up each starting grid at the Goodwood Revival are carefully selected from the most authentic historic racers. Many will have raced at Goodwood in the past, and all capture the essence of bygone motor racing right down to the finest detail.

Each year, around 360 cars and motorcycles compete in 16 different races. Entry is by invitation only from the Earl of March. Not all of the races are staged each year and the eligibility for others may change in any given year, so the racing always promises something fresh. The race names have historical reference, matching those used when the circuit was previously used for competition.

The vast majority of Revival visitors dress in period style with many going to great lengths to achieve that authentic look. The resulting step-back-in-time spectacle plays a key role in making the Revival such a unique event.
While it's not compulsory to dress up, you’ll feel much more involved if you do.

Whether you go for the slick urban look, gentrified country style or chocks-away military look, it’s not difficult or costly to dress appropriately - just use your imagination.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

The Twisted Tooth (don't look if you're squeamish)

My daughter has a top front tooth that has gradually become more and more twisted over the past few years. We thought it might sort itself out when her "baby" teeth fell out and the permanent teeth came through.
The baby teeth have shown no sign of budging and so the orthodontist has made the decision that they have to be removed (all six of them!) so that when the permanent teeth come through then some sort of "metalwork" can be used to straighten the tooth, if necessary.
To minimise distress and make eating a little easier this has been done in two sessions at the dentist. The first three were taken out in the summer holidays and yesterday she had the second batch of three removed, after school.
Today, instead of her usual sandwich etc for lunch, she has taken some rice pudding and a milkshake - poor thing.

Monday, 13 September 2010

Reality Check

Recently, I have been thinking that it's increasingly difficult to separate fiction from reality. I don't mean fiction and non-fiction as in books but in actual, real (?) life. I find that life seems to be more and more subjective. Well, it probably always has been but perhaps I'm just noticing it more.

Everybody sees things differently - the same things are seen differently by everyone who sees them and this is partly due to our personality characteristics that make us see the world how WE are - through our own personal viewing lens.

I have particularly noticed this when people are recounting past events - nobody remembers the same things, in fact different people often remember the same event quite differently which is because they experienced the event in different ways. So, how does this affect word of mouth stories that are passed on down the generations? The final story may be nothing like how it started off so does this mean that a vast amount of history is untrue or unreal or imagined?

My husband was recently telling a friend how he remembered an event (about 20 years ago) very clearly "like it was yesterday". I didn't comment at the time as I couldn’t remember it as HE told it but later checked out the dates and it couldn't possibly have happened - he was confusing two different events at different times. He's also very good at exaggerating but then I suppose most men are.

These days there often seems to be some sort of deliberate deception going on.
There used to be a saying "the camera never lies" - it does now! Even the simplest computer software can radically alter photographs. Most of the photographs on magazine covers and in articles have been “doctored” in some way or other.
When studying, learning and education was confined to books, it was believed that books had been seriously researched and checked for accuracy and rarely was there any doubt that they were correct. The internet has now taken over that role from books to a large extent but there have been inaccuracies found in factual, encyclopedic sites such as Wikipedia which can be edited by almost anyone and in some cases particular pages have been deliberately sabotaged.

I no longer believe what I read in newspapers - actually I don't read them any more. Reporters seem to be able to say or imply whatever they want the reader to read and believe - after all, good or happy news doesn’t sell newspapers as well as upsetting, scandalous or tragic news. One week we are told that some particular activity or foodstuff is good for us and the next week we are told that it's not so good after all. Surveys only tell us what the company doing the survey wants us to be told - the figures can be manipulated to suit.

Adverts (particularly those on TV) are persuasive and misleading at the best and at the worst - a pack of lies although I have to admit that some are very clever which makes it understandable that the gullible are sucked in. Even so-called reality television isn’t REAL at all – it’s just entertainment.

How many emails do we get a day that aren't what they seem? Trying to get our banking details or passwords by pretending to be something they aren't. If we aren't careful with our internet security we can get rogue programmes telling us that our PC is infected so "download this infection remover tool now!"

It can be so difficult to know what is REAL any more – sometimes my dreams seem more real than reality….how does that work?

Monday, 6 September 2010

And so we move into September.

To me, September means....back to school, the beginning of Autumn (meteorogically), apples and blackberries, thinking about Christmas (sorry) and waiting to see the Christmas paraphernalia appearing in the shops, taking the summer shading off the mention just a few things.

Astrologically, most of September is in the sign of Virgo which also reminds me of school. I always started the school year with the best of intentions. I was going to work hard and study hard, do my homework and pay attention in lessons. This generally lasted no longer than a few weeks before I succumbed to laziness - well at least the intention was there.

I travelled down to Somerset a couple of days ago and the fields were noticeably empty having recently been harvested of their cereal crops and there was an abundance of lorries on the road piled high with straw bales. How they don't topple over going around corners I don't know.

In Latin, septem means "seven" and septimus means "seventh"; September was in fact the seventh month of the Roman calendar until 153 BC, when the first month changed from Kalendas Martius (1st March) to Kalendas Januarius (1st January) now you know, well you probably did already.

I also need to think about putting away my trusty Fit-Flops which I live in throughout the summer and getting out my boots, getting out my cardi's and coats and (dare I say it?) putting on the central heating.