Saturday, 9 February 2019

So it's done!

With boldness I share with you my first vlog. 
Much improvement needs to be made, but first steps, that is what this video reflects.

The video is unscripted, because that is what it had to be. To have scripted it would have made it too wooden in texture. I was nervous enough as it was, so it was better to have wandered my way through the video rather than followed a proper trail!

Bye for now

Saturday, 2 February 2019

Do I? Will I?

Lester was in bed for a much needed Saturday afternoon  nap after having worked long hours all week and I was at my computer not doing anything in particular, just messing about. But no, I was not going to waste my time any more, so I thought a little nap for myself would not be amiss, after all, we are going out this evening to a Chasse 'do', the Chasse being the local hunting fraternity, and Lester had remarked that he wouldn't mind joining the Chasse  although it was difficult to join. Off to the settee I went, but I had a sudden and enormous urge to take the opportunity to make my first podcast. So I did

For days I had been making notes about how to introduce myself, and had decided that I would  concentrate on fibre craft (sewing, knitting, etc) and keeping things simple for the time being while I find my feet with podcasting.

Earlier on we had been out in the field getting some hay for the cows and sheep from off the hay bales stored there. We also put some planks on the ground in front of the sheep barn, so the lambs and their mums could walk into the barn without sinking knee deep in mud.  It was very windy, and wet, and I got windblown, and my face got all red and wintery looking. I did not look my best. It was not the time to do a podcast, plus I had not made a list of subjects to speak about, plus I had not made a tidy 'studio' looking space to film. I did not have a tripod, ....actually I did have one, but I could not seem to fit the camera on to it. I did not have the words formed in my head as to what I was going to say, I was wearing my cold weather gear of scarf and shawl so was not dressed up as a lot of podcasters are, short, this was not the time to do a podcast, but when greater forces are at work in my life I move, so I did, and I made a podcast, just a short one of less than twenty minutes, but I did.

And looking at that person in the camera, I wondered who she was. One thing, though, was that she made me laugh. Maybe the podcast was too short, as most that are fibre related are nearly an hour long, and I did not mention my wool arts, just the fabric, and I thought about doing it again but I am thinking that it might seem too stiff if I were to do so. I also did not mention any subjects which I would like to include in the future, thinking that this would be too much. So, I kept the podcast short, slightly scatty, but it was all of me and not some manufactured person who bears no resemblance to the real me. This is who I am, and I feel blessed that I do not feel the need to change myself in any way. I suppose that I am happy in my skin. And may I say that it has taken a long time to get to that state of being.

To post that podcast up feels scary, so I am sitting on it at the moment. It needs editing anyway. But I have been working on certain aspects of YouTube, and am taking down all the videos that I put on there during the earlier years of the blog. For some reason they feel inappropriate.


I am going along to a rehearsal with the little Marciac choir next week, and have been asked if I would take the accordion with me. I have accepted the position of chef d'orchestre, which is a grand name for conductor, but it seems they would like me to play as well. Maybe I will, maybe I won't. The accordion is not an easy instrument to play and if I lose concentration and disconnect as to where my hands are on the keyboard and chord buttons, and worse still, if I forget to pump the bellows up so there is no air in the instrument, then discord will happen, which I quite assure you happens frequently. Ah well, not to worry, I can always focus on playing the tambourine!


The lambs are popping out now, with the weather being  the most wetest and windyest it could be. But they are sturdy little beings, but it would be nice to have a sunny patch of weather for them to enjoy. Sun is not something they are familiar with yet. They are themselves though, and are frisking about as young lambs do. 


And the menu for tonight:

Bouillon de poule aux perles
Terrine d'esturgeon
Civet de sanglier pomme boulangère
Poule farcie et ses légumes
Fromage du pays
Baba a l'armagnac
Café - Digestif
Vin compris

That is a lot of food to get through, and it will take many hours to do so. The French sure do know how to put on a good spread of food! And all for 16 euros each. And all the wine for free, with Lester taking along a portion of twenty year old Armagnac in his hip flask just in case he and the friends we are going with would like a tot of the hard stuff during the evening! 

Off to change, but we do not dress up here in France, we are country folk and so remain fairly countrified when out socially, which means I shall keep my thermals on. We shall also be mud splattered by the time we cross the courtyard and gate entrance to get to the car out on the drive because the rain is in persistent mode at the moment and mud is in abundance. 

And Yay!!!! I have made a podcast! Don't what to do next, but shall wait and see. As I said, I shall sit on the project for now. 

Bye for now

Sunday, 27 January 2019

My bowl of cornflakes.....

I was hungry, so I got myself out of bed to have a bowl of cornflakes and to have a chat with you at the same time. It is the middle of the night.

Do I, or do I not, get involved again with the little choir I conducted before Christmas, as I find myself getting tangled up with the making of music with them once more. And why is it that I have this drive to organize the choir folk so that they can get the best out of themselves, which they definitely did on the last concert just before Christmas. I was so proud of them. They shone, which sent a lot of light and happiness into the maison de retraite residents.

Anyway, the little group has got together again. I spent a bunch of hours yesterday searching for the relevant music on the web, then downloading it and re-writing what needs correcting. It is mostly French Pyrenees folk music, some of which sends shivers down my spine. I find it very seductive. I think it must be a past life connection I have to this area because I have a love of the Basque music.

But aren't I supposed to be getting myself sorted out with the art of podcasting, which seems to be taking an age. Such a lot to think about.

And then there is the general housewife stuff........ looking after the two of us takes up quite a chunk of head space, as does listening to the woes of my partner as he grapples with the complicated world of the virtual office. Bless him, he works hard for us.

The farm, that also needs some attention. The winter has not been cold enough to make the wild plants go to sleep, instead they doze, waking up frequently to put on another growth spurt. The brambles in particular are starting to romp away. If not cut down they will soon own the farm.
And then there is the chicken hut, which has started to have a worrying lean to its original upward stance. There are mounds around its feet, which might be either rat or mole tunnels. It is possible that the feet of the chicken hut are sliding into this newly made space in the earth.

Then there is me, and the need to give some time to my crafts, music, and everything else I do to keep in balance. I am out of balance at the moment, which is why I am awake at three o'clock in the morning writing to you. Oh dear!

Not to worry, life is good, and everything is as it should be. The owl that zig-zagged from side to side in front of the car I was a passenger in the other day said this was so. It was dusk. I had been to a choir meeting and was being taken home by a kind friend. The owl came then. It flew at shoulder height alongside the car, then flew from side to side in front of the car. For some distance it did this. The other passengers didn't take much notice, but I did, for whenever an owl comes into my space in an unexpected way, then I know that things are on the change for me, and that everything will be alright. They are one of the signposts that the Universe sends me to let me know that all is well.

But.....I have wandered off the I continue with the choir, or do I gently release myself from their project and focus on what I already need to do? Not sure. So perhaps to put the choir project  out of my mind for a day or two and see where my thoughts travel.

Meanwhile, I am back to Project Podcast. I am getting along with it, but slowly. I have had a few goes at speaking to front of camera, and am training myself not to use a silly voice, a voice which sometimes comes forth to overcome shyness. Looking at myself on screen, I am surprised that I do not look as I think I look. I have watched many podcasts within my genre, but prefer the presenters who do not posh themselves up with coiffured hairdo and painted faces. Therefore I shall be as nature intended, but dressed of course! And here again, I see that I look plumply round in body shape, larger than I thought I was, but I wouldn't be able to give someone the hug they badly needed if  I was stick thin. One must have a cushiony bosom to be able to hug someone properly, and that I have in abundance.

Crikey, it is now four o'clock in the morning, so I really ought to go to bed. I always write better during the hours of night. No distractions I suppose.

The cornflakes are now being recycled in my tummy, and I am starting to get a little chilled so off I must go to get warmed up again in bed.

Oh, must just say that one of the cows got out of their pen and decapitated the rest of the green vegetables which were growing in the raised beds in the courtyard, the same vegetables which were munched on when the sheep did a raid a while ago. The vegetables are now stumps of stalk so non retrievable. Not to worry. I shall continue on with the 'growing our own' project, which, to be quite honest, is definitely not happening at the moment, but is not absolutely dead despite the raids on the raised beds by cows, sheep, magpies, blackbirds, rats, mice, and everything else which is hungry.

And......we have two lambs born.

 ....bye for now, and thanks for keeping me company.