Monday, 20 May 2013

Trans-seasonal dressing, Lifelong Learning, trugs...and fungus

Should Battleaxe be a fashion blogger?  No time really. Too busy with the WI, Writers' Group, having friends to stay....

     Of all the posts I've written on my other blog, Bombastic Battleaxe, by far the most popular has been the post on buying clothes for stylish Battleaxes. Trouble is, fashion bloggers just seem to hang round cat walk shows looking demented. I don't mind doing
Fashion blogger Tavi - too demented
demented some of the time but not for every day.....
      This week, on a shopping outing to Tunbridge Wells, I scoured Fenwicks, my favourite store. Trouble is, like many women I guess, I have loads of summer clothes which I wear so little each year that they could last for ever.
     Of course, I could sell the lot and start again, but what an effort...      We need clothes that can be worn for more than one season - spring, summer and autumn too, and maybe even winter. I'll do a piece on Bombastic about buying 'trans-seasonal' clothes for Stylish Battleaxes.... Another post will cover the other major annual horror - buying shoes and worse still, sandals that are comfortable enough to walk around in without socks or tights.
     Battleaxe has had a busy week - Writers' Group on Monday.  Contributions for our new anthology are coming in well now - I am leading the editorial group.  The agreed theme is animals, with some of the profits going to Hastings RSPCA Bluebell Ridge and some to PAWS: Dogs for the Disabled.
Some of my colleagues saying they don't 'do' writing about animals - they don' t like them, or they don't know enough about them or whatever. Surely, being a creative writer involves paying attention to anything and everything? I have learned much about the human world by looking at animals and their behaviour. 
     Anyway, enough people are producing contributions after application of flattery, gentle persuasion or low-key coercion. Working with Creatives is yet another new learning experience for the Battleaxe.
     Now there's another mystery.  When I was at work someone was always banging on about 'Learning Cultures', 'Lifelong Learning', and even 'The Learning Organisation', as if learning was some radical new concept that nobody had ever thought of. Management consultants made millions from flogging this guff to their gullible clients. I admit, I flogged a fair amount myself.  Trouble was, I never made millions - customers could tell from my ill-concealed cynical smirks that the product I was selling wasn't quite going to have the transformative effect on their organisations that they yearned for.
     Aren't us humans programmed to learn all the time anyway? Work-wise, the problem is that people only want to learn about things that interest them. You can bang on about 'service excellence' and not a word sinks in, but put a rumour on the office grape-vine and everyone knows it in five minutes flat.
     I am contributing my story 'The Kitten Vanishes' to the HWG anthology. It won the crime story competition a few weeks back. It is not strictly an animal story but has enough cat material in it to qualify.
Sarah page makes a trug in her workshop
      We also had a Women's Institute meeting this week.  The theme of the meeting was 'The Sussex Trug' which sounds dull but wasn't. Sarah Page, an interesting woman trug maker from  The Truggery in Herstmonceux gave a talk - she comes from a family who have been making trugs from local chestnut and willow for hundreds of years. I can see myself strolling round my garden in a floral 50s dress with a trug, dead-heading roses. They are expensive now - over £50 for a decent size one - trugs, not dresses.  Come to think if it, a decent size 50s dress, i.e with a waist bigger than 24 inches, would cost more than £50. At the WI meeting, there were also plants on sale. I bought several. My flower garden, and Philosopher's vegetables, are beginning to look good...
     This weekend had old friends Jenny and Shaun McKenna down from the Midlands to stay.  Shaun has agreed to judge the Writers' Group playwriting competition later in the year.  We went for Sunday lunch at the Ship in Winchelsea Beach. Had really excellent roast dinners and I had creme brulee with a good hard crunchy top. The pub garden is starting to look lovely.We walked round Winchelsea after lunch - it is prettifying itself in preparation for the Open Gardens day in a couple of weeks time. We went to see the gardens last year - they were fabulous.
Winchelsea churchyard

Really creepy fungus in the churchyard...