Friday, 31 October 2014

The Fanny Club



When not composing her much loved symphony in D minor, which she did often and wisely, Fanny Mountjoy-Williams could be found picking up stray boys lost on the streets of downtown Dungeness. Her mission was to round them up and escort them to school, thus ensuring that they received an education of sorts. Some people mistook Fanny’s activities as being purely altruistic, but Fanny had an ulterior motive for her kind deeds. Few people knew it, but during the early sixties Fanny was recruited as the international, global, and universal ambassador for Persil soap powder. Fanny took her promotional duties very seriously and was not adverse to mischievous tinkering.

In her role as ambassador, Fanny would locate a random urchin, preferably grubby from playing on the bombsites, give him a good scrubbing with carbolic soap, and then clothe him in a shirt that had been soaked overnight in a solution of 5 parts hydrogen peroxide, 7 parts ammonia, 4 parts baking soda, 9 parts arsenic, and a pinch of plutonium [do not try this at home]. This recipe would guarantee that the shirt would radiate a blinding white. To emphasise this unnatural whiteness Fanny would dunk the urchin in a vat of homebrewed ale to give his skin a hint of a healthy tan before dressing him.

As we are all aware, Fanny Mountjoy-Williams was a formidable woman; by the age of twelve she had already written a groundbreaking thesis on high wire acrobatics and aerial fire eating, which in turn led to her being nominated for a Nobel prize in chemistry, so it is of no surprise that other women were easily impressed by her lofty demeanour and the luminous urchin that accompanied her - who could blame them for peeking into her wicker basket and, on seeing the box of Persil, jumping to the wrong conclusions. Boxes of Persil flew off the supermarket shelves, but buyers were disappointed.... their children were still dismal dull and slightly grey in comparison to Fanny’s.

Not a woman to miss an opportunity, Fanny realised that she could make a pretty penny at the school gates by selling her secret recipe; eventually, due to demand, she formed The Fanny Club, collectively known as The Fannies. They were a large group of discerning women who would meet every other Tuesday for Fanny workshops to discuss amongst other things, laundry; folding techniques; and what to do with two large sheets in a high wind. Not only did club members have a secret sneer to greet each other with, but they also had a nod and a wink. The club motto, which they would recite at the start of all club meetings in reverence to Fanny Mountjoy-Williams, was as follows:- Persil washes whiter and it shows, but add a touch of Fanny and then it really glows.

In 1975 the Fannies were disbanded after a member complained of breaking out in an unsightly rash after using the secret recipe. Overuse of baking soda was thought to be the cause.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Cold Up North



As I was saying, before I was so rudely interrupted....




....it's cold up north. Especially near Spitzbergen. [1996]

Sadly, I have lost the other 4,685 photographs that I had scanned and uploaded for your perusal. I know you will be beyond yourselves with grief to read this.
Meanwhile, to finish, this photo survived the process and didn't get lost on a forgettable file somewhere near the recycle bin....



Yes, this is me, looking like my normal scruffy, not at all glamorous self... and I am in conversation with a strawberry blonde pony... somewhere in Norway. [1996]

I will be back next Wednesday with more photos from my past.....

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Plans....

Last week I decided that I would go with plan A. I would go with it hammer and tong... I just needed to get a few other people on board and then all would be well. If all went to plan A then I would commit myself; I would work hard; I would be focused, and diligent. But, whilst I was waiting for the few other people to make their minds up, I started to think about plan B.
Plan B started as a tiny seed in my head, not as full on as plan A, but it definitely had its attractions... indeed, it grew to be so attractive that it made plan A look positively dowdy by comparison. So when the few other people decided not to jump on board with me, I wasn't bothered. I had the glorious plan B to fall back on. I began to move forward with plan B with a smile on my face and a jaunty sway on my hips. And then I had doubts. The seed began to shrivel. Plan B was boring.
This led me to creating plan C, which, to be honest, was originally plan A from several years ago. I thought about plan C, and my heart began to flutter... YES, plan C would be the new plan A. I was thrilled with this new concept. I began on this new old project. Files and papers sat on my desk waiting to be worked on. I was ready. But then plan R turned up from nowhere... intriguing plan R... which was more of a temporary interruption to plan C [now to be known as plan A], but meant the postponement of plan A [previously plan C]....
Anyhow, I have now finished plan R.... but during the process of completing it, I started thinking, and I now have a plan P, plan S and a plan D to consider.

I suppose it is a good thing to have plans?

Meanwhile, all this talk from Pat and Mitzi regarding cruises has stirred my memory. Way back in 1996 I also went on a cruise and the other week I sifted through my photographs... it was the best holiday I've ever had. So far, I have only scanned this one....


It is the only photograph I have of myself that makes me look vaguely glamorous. I am wearing a cocktail frock and an old Barbour jacket. It's flipping cold up north; in my next post I will show you exactly how cold it is.

I will be off to the scanner then.....

Friday, 30 May 2014

My May Post....

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On Monday 2nd June 2008 I published my very first Scarlet Blue post, it consisted of a title and five words. I started as I meant to go on. It is HERE. My first posts veered towards the fictional... but they were unselfconscious because I didn't expect anyone to ever read them. I was just messing around. The internet was a little bit smaller; Facebook and Twitter were places I had no intention of visiting; Tumblr wasn't on my radar; MySpace was messy; Wordpress was complicated, and Google+,Pinterest, Instagram, didn't even exist. In June 2008 Blogspot was where everyone was at... a bit like a very popular pub.
I remember the day I wrote that first post, it was sunny and I was up in the attic where the computer was based... and I thought to myself - this is going to be my thing, a secret place where I will write silly made up stuff and I will never tell anyone about it, not ever [that thought lasted about an hour]. It felt safe... but a little bit daring.. and fresh... and strangely private. How things change!!!? I miss the early excitement I had about Blogger... and it was exciting when I started interacting with other bloggers, I don't think we ever get that type of initial excited feeling back - it is a one time only feeling. I'm glad I had the experience.
In comparison with 2008, 2014 feels like a social networking bog... over crowded and sucking me down, sometimes I think I join new places just to see if I can get the buzz that I originally got from Blogger, from here. I never do.

Here is a tune to help me celebrate my upcoming bloggy birthday.



The lyrics say it all. And sheep and German Shepherd Dogs have loomed large in my life.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Should I Stay or Should I Go Now?



Firstly, apologies. I wrote a 4,000 word post whereby I poured my heart out to all my blogging buddies explaining what I had been doing over the last four years... it included the dramatic sinking of a barge on a canal somewhere near Stratford-upon-Avon; the hideous chicken incident in Kent, and the uncensored version of what really happened on 12th February 2013.
All of this led to me having to make a huge, life changing decision... unfortunately whilst trying to embed a YouTube on my iPad I lost 4,000 incisive words. I am so sorry to deprive you of the unabridged version of this tale, but the conclusion is as follows:-

I feel much better now, I have a new mattress - memory foam! We got the goat to the vet in time, she recovered and is now living comfortably in a field opposite the cricket club house.
And after all of that, I decided that I may as well stay.

Monday, 17 March 2014

It Stopped.

It stopped! In time for my birthday! I have never gone to the coast and eaten an ice cream on my birthday ever before... nor has my birthday ever been described as the hottest day of the year. I went to Padstow - see below.


Meanwhile, I am not feeling very well. Too much ice-cream? Too much sun?? Or maybe it's the realisation that I am now a lady of a certain age???? And that next year it will be a very BIG birthday.

In recent times I appear to have fallen off the internet; I still lurk to see what my old blogging buddies and Facebook friends are doing, but I feel quiet and haven't got a lot to say for myself. I don't even feel the desire to slap up any posts on my calligraphy blog even though I have been busy working on stuff for a friend... maybe this is the problem - my brain has been engaged with work... crikey... after years of being a lazy baggage I have finally hit upon the joys of work. And in the evenings, I am tired. I stop. And sometimes I look at my old Blogrol and this advert springs to mind....



I hope this is the right advert, as I haven't got any sound on my PC...

Anyhow, for the time being, I feel buggy and I feel odd. And, if anyone wants to know - I haven't seen any stray aeroplanes... and no, I don't know what's going to happen in Crimea, but it's all very worrying.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

MAKE IT STOP!!!!!

....I am referring to the weather. It is getting a bit silly now, and not only in the UK. It is silly in parts of Europe and very silly in the US - so I've been reliably informed. Enough is enough!! I am very distracted by the weather at the minute and have become slightly obsessed.

Meanwhile, here is the promised view of Dartmoor from my dining room/studio:-



Click to make big! This was taken a couple of weeks ago in a rare sunny minute. Dartmoor is actually quite a way away to the south... I am lucky to be high up and away from the flood waters... although there is localised flooding.

In other news, I was quite cheered up when I stumbled across this:- a nice bottle of perfume with a lovely label.
I am very chuffed by this! I was asked by a designer to write some words... and then the word 'Freesia' wot I wrote in calligraphy turned up here!!! Seriously chuffed... and all down to the power of blogging!! I think this bottle of perfume would make a lovely Valentine's present.

Admittedly, I have been spending more time perusing Facebook than blogs recently - shame on me - But, through the power of Facebook I have discovered the following things about myself:-

a) That I am middle-lower-middle class, like David Brent from The Office.

b) That if I were a sex toy then I would be a pair of handcuffs. (Should that be 'were' or 'was'?)

c) That if I were a 90's Alt-Rock Girl then I would be Kim Gordon from Sonic Youth.

d) That if I were in a musical then I would be in Cabaret.

e) That I belong in the 1920's.

f) That I'm not Scottish.

e) That I am as British as Stephen Fry walking a corgi outside Buckingham Palace.

f) That if I were in Friends, I would be part Rachel and part Monica.

g) That if I were a philosopher I would be Sartre/Camus.

h) That I am 36% POSH.

i) That I am 74% Essex.

j) That I am 5% Northern.

k) That I am hated by The Daily Mail.

l) That I have wasted a fair bit of time doing Facebook quizzes.

Of course, it's all startlingly true.



Sunday, 19 January 2014

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!

Yes, I am late with my happy wishes, and many of you have started the New Year without me, but I have only just found the cable to connect this PC to the internet. This is because I moved on the 19th December, in betwixt the rain and damnation. Christmas didn't happen. I ignored it. I bought only two presents. I didn't overeat, but I enjoyed the Christmas telly. Wonderful, I might ignore Christmas more often. Other joyous news is that one month on, as well as finding the connection cable I also found the kitchen scissors, and yesterday, I bought a cutlery organiser - finally, everything is right with the world. My spatula is no longer mingling with the knives and forks; my cookie cutters are no longer having a meaningful relationship with the bread knife and my potato peeler is no longer carrying on beneath the tea spoons; they now know their place.
After four years of renting I can now unpack stuff that has been stored away and I can now hammer nails into the walls and hang pictures. It is thrilling. AND, instead of buying a rickety old shed masquerading as a cutesy cottage in the overpopulated South East, I have finally bought a proper house in the underpopulated South West. There are windows that open properly, there is plumbing that works, there is double glazing!!!! There is enough space to swing all manner of things.... and there is this glorious floor in the hallway.... It may be grubby at the minute, but it is my floor, not a floor belonging to a landlord, and the only admonishments I have to worry about are the ones from Mr Files.


PLUS... I have almost cut my living costs in half by not having to pay bonkers rent. I am looking forward to decorating in the Spring [if we have one this year], although I like the decor here, it does need freshening up... and, well, it never feels quite like home until there have been a few Dulux mishaps..... and did I mention the far reaching views to the south featuring the Dartmoor tors and a few cows? I have tried to take a picture of the view but the sun is too bright this morning. I will try another day.

So far I like it here.

Monday, 9 December 2013

Christmas Postcard

Do you remember the postcard I sent you on 11th July 2009? In case it has slipped your memory here is a reminder:-


This fine fellow posed for me in St Ives, Cornwall, in 2009. I usually go to St Ives at least once a year and every year I have tried to return to the exact same spot to photograph the exact same seagull. I missed him in 2010, but here he is in 2011:-


And again in 2012:-


I did visit this exact same spot in 2013... but alas, Mr Seagull was nowhere to be seen... I was distraught, close to despair. To console myself I wandered into this shop and bought some fine wine to wash away my sorrows:-


Anyhow, I will try to locate Mr Seagull in 2014. So that I can send another postcard. I am sure he is fine... simply away somewhere feasting on chips and ketchup.


Meanwhile, this might be my last post before Christmas as I am packing up my house in preparation for moving on Thursday 19th December... because of this I am not yet really in the Christmas mood and haven't yet bought any Christmas cards... hence the genius idea of bunging up some old postcards.

Well, I am off then... closer to Cornwall... closer to Mr Seagull... see you on the other side of my move....

Oh! Before I go, Mr Beastie is also moving and packing up his house, but we are not moving in together.... no, seriously, WE ARE NOT moving in together. That would be silly. But it has been nice to have a moving buddy to chat with regarding all the highs and lows of the moving experience.

And lastly, my 2008 Visitors' Book is now complete. It contains a list of everyone who visited the Scarlet Blue archive blog in 2008 and their first ever comment. I will be starting on 2009 in the New Year.

Happy Christmas!!

Sxxxx