Monday, 1 August 2016

Morning thoughts from the funny farm

This morning started with a trip to the toilet.  While I sat there being watched by two chickens and a bunny plus my dog leaning against my knees waiting for a rump pat, I got to thinking about the past. I transferred myself into the shower, with the new shower curtain which isn't quite long enough so tries but fails to keep the water in., I thought about my mother and her telling me one day that she had spent the morning working out how many dinners she had cooked in her lifetime.  This to me was proposterous and why would anyone want to know that.  Back in the day when I was optimistic, motivated and young, I neither had the time or the inclination to be pondering on pointless facts which didn't enhance my working life.  Now however, I have reached the age when I do wonder how many showers I have taken, how many times have I done the routine of soaping my face, ears and neck, then scrubbing my body with shower gel.

I then got to thinking about how many mornings I had got up at 5.30am, showered, had breakfast, got the children up, driven them to their drop of place, then driven to work. How many times had I answered the phone saying "Good morning Bishop's Heather speaking"?  Our lives are full of repartition, there are only a handful of people who can say their days are never the same with no repartition at all from one day to the next.

My days are now full of a different kind of reparation.  I get up let the cats out, put rabbit out, let the goats out, let the chickens out, let the geese out, let the dog out, feed one chicken oregano oil, clean another with disinfectant, wash kittens eyes, feed and clean out kitten nursery ,  feed quails, feed various birds in various places, fill up many water buckets, sweep floor, make bread, clean kitchen, vacuum , spray cupboard for ants, spray door with fly repelant  put washing on, search for missing kitten who escaped and finally have a coffee and get dressed.

I am adding to my list of 'to do's' , sorting donations for my imminent sale.  This sale is to raise money for the kittens I have taken on. Abandoned kittens who every year struggle and often die if it wasn't for kind people taking them in and getting them sterilised so the population doesn't explode any more than it already does.

Anyway my rough calculation of how many showers/baths I've had in my life time comes to around 20,000. I am starting to appreciate the pondering of pointless facts and the shock of the enormity of the figures arrived at.  I leave my pondering there as I totally refuse to calculate how many poos I have collected on the farm, or how many feeds I have given, or how many kittens I have bottle fed and going back to the past, how many clients I have cared for, how many job sheets I have created, how many lines of washing I've hung up or even how many shoes I've put on.  These facts and figures can wait until I am a bit older.

I think we all have a inbuilt optimism and motivation, some more than others.  This enables us to do the same things day in day out for years and years without even questioning it.

So next time you are sitting on the toilet patting a dogs bottom with a chicken staring at you, give a thought to how many times you have done just that (if ever) and do you want to change things a bit, make life a bit more random and interesting. Take yourself on an adventure of the unknown with no routine, nothing expected and anything goes.  Wear odd socks, go without a bra, change your morning routine, make time to see the world, have unforgettable experiences and most of all don't count how many times you've done something.



Go mix it up a bit
Peace and love from the funny farm X



Friday, 15 July 2016

The dying planet

Bio/organic are labels to make a product sound special so you have to pay more for it. The sickening part about this is, this bio food is what we used to eat many years ago before the food you eat got covered in a variety of chemicals to guarantee large yields and vast profits. It is reported that 90% of the population if tested has chemicals in their blood stream due to the food they eat. We wonder where all these diseases come from well here is your answer.

It's mans greed for on demand food and manufacturers need for vast profits. In the past everything had seasons, out of season fruit and vegetables didn't exist. We are now horrified if we cannot find a blueberry in winter. The animals are fed on unnatural products and hormones to produce the best weight and price. Any correlation between the farmer and it actually being a living animal have long since gone.

There is an almond farm in California which produces most of the worlds almonds. It ships in millions of bees every year to pollinate the trees. Many of these bees die due to ingesting the poisons sprayed on the trees. They are considered and a cog in the wheel of their production nothing more.

By 2050 half the flowers we love and know around the world will be gone forever if we do not stop and take a step back. We already know about global warming but too little is being done and possibly too late. The world of food is mainly carried out over the phone, by big businesses, with no thought to the production just the profit and quantity

 The label Bio/organic should really be labelled 'natural as it was before poisons' food. Many people do. To have the resources to purchase natural foods and are forced to by cheap items, these being the lowest grade of productions and containing all the additives and fillers to it.

If we go back in time you can see that food was very localised and people got what was produced in their area at the time.  Mass production and demand for everything across the world has exploded, creating a vast export import business, including live export of animals, many of which has been recently banned. We are not content with our trip to the supermarket having a few empty shelves. When there is even a hint of something not being available everyone panic buys and the shelves become empty in seconds. This greed and selfishness has played a part in this mass produced chemically laden industry which we consume everyday.

Wouldn't it be lovely to get back to the 'natural food and meat' with not chemicals or hormones.  Wouldn't it be good if the food with chemicals and hormones or not genetically modified where labelled unnatural production and sold at a higher cost.

One day we will wake up and realise all we did was mess about with Mother Nature and it's too late.


Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Voting time

Well I am sure you have all been cranked up into voting mode, that is if you are in the UK.  People around the world are watching on in anticipation of the outcome.  The lies, hogwash and desperation are flowing from every corner.

 However, I decided to add a different more vibrant, exciting and far more important vote into the mix.

Now I am sure you are thinking that this doesn't look much like Europe. You would be right.  It is a wonderful book called Swallows and Robins, written by the even more wonderful Susie Kelly and what makes it even better is that it had made it to the final.

Now I hear you thinking, what has that got to do with you, well we need your vote to make it win.  The finalist will be on the TV and it would make this lovely lady's day if she won.

http://www.peoplesbookprize.com/book.php?id=1355&nf=1

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Swallows-Robins-Laughs-Tears-Holiday/dp/0993307019/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1465287737&sr=8-1&keywords=swallows+and+robins+book


Anyway it takes all of a couple of minutes to click and vote and I would be so grateful if you could all take the time to make someones day and get this wonderful book to the top.

Here is the link to vote and hope you all get a chance to read it too, you will not be disappointed.

http://www.peoplesbookprize.com/finalist.php#nonfictionFinalists

Thank you everyone, one little act of kindness can change the world xx

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Bob Marley Portrait



Here is my latest commissioned portrait, another one of the great Bob Marley

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Fosse Septique and Poo Rings

Well after a couple of years with a blocked toilet, I finally found myself with enough money to have the fosse emptied.  This is an antiquated concrete hole behind the house, that drains out into the fields.  After the dreaded phone call using my best french and trying to use the correct terminology, I was confronted by a lovely french man who spoke perfect English. Appointment arranged, it was time to clear a path for the tank to get round the back of the house.  This was no mean feat, the pathway was an overgrown mess of bramble and ivy with various items blown in by the wind that were now wedged firmly in the tangled forest of the unknown.  We hacked and raked and finally found a way through to the little concrete slab where the excrement lurked.  We uncovered the back door by removing the duct taped insulation and spending half a day searching for the key then we sat back in the satisfaction that we were all set and ready for the Fosse man.

The day arrived and the biggest tanker you can imagine turned up on our court yard.  A lovely man jumped out all enthusiastically and proffered a hand to shake.  I was a bit reluctant knowing what sort of job he did but shook his hand anyway hoping that I might be his first appointment. Taking a look round the back of the house, following the little path we had uncovered, he announced that he would not be able to get his lorry through and could he put a long large pipe through a window.  The only possible option was through my daughters bedroom and out through the now freely opening back door.  Well the look of disgust and utter outrage that came from my daughters mouth at even the idea that a poo pipe would be dangling through her bedroom window and across her bed was beyond words.  'What if the connections burst open I do not want poo all over my bedroom thank you very much', this being the cleanest bits of her deluge of objections.

The Fosse man then said not to worry I shall go around the house.  This meant 10 pieces of pipe linked together to reach the dreaded hole. After he had squeezed himself into an all in one green plastic suit tied the hood tightly around his head, slipped his feet into long green wellies and place thick plastic gloves on, that covered most of his arms, he was ready to start.

When the concrete slab was removed the aroma of raw sewage was so strong it made your eyes water.  The pipe was reluctant to enter the thick unyielding mass with a thick crust, the now green man looked up at me with a big smile and said 'I think it is blocked'.  In the words of my daughter I was tempted to say 'no shit Sherlock' but resisted and just smiled through running eyes and nose.  After some breaking of the crust he eventually managed to insert the grey pipe and smiled at me as he said the suction will begin.  It was at this point I began to wonder if I should have put my waterproof coat and wellies on, but instead I stood there with the wind whipping the smell directly at me while hoping the pipe stayed in the hole and didn't escape.

I heard the large tanker crank up a notch and the pipe wobbled and shook.  Eventually the thick mass began to make it way slowly up the grey pipe and travelling along the 100 metre pipe to the body of the tank.  This process took a long time and after much jetting with water and more sucking the hole became visible, a deep concrete well ready to accept another 5 years of waste.

I was and still am amazed by the happy smiley cheerful man who has such a terrible job to do everyday.  The smell alone would render me useless but there he was happy and cheerful, climbing out of his green moon suit and accepting a coffee.

We are now left with a toilet that flushes and you can even hear wherever you do dropping into the cavernous hole behind the house. The massive plunger that was used on a daily basis is now redundant and all that remains is for me to scrape the welded poo rings that remain under it.  The water level goes down and does not rise to the top and all is well on the funny farm.

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Friday, 29 May 2015

The case of the oily buttocks

So I am about to recount to you the sad/funny story of the day I trod in oil.  Before you all roll over laughing, let me tell you that it was no ordinary oil, it was thick, dirty, discussing, seen better days, engine oil that my son had drained from his car a week earlier.  

On my usual mission of the day I was charging around looking for things that, as usual, where not in the place they should be and having a bad foot at the moment wasn't making it an easy task.

I needed to get into the beginning of the long shed and spent some time looking for the key to it.  As usual the key had done a disappearing act and I decided to go into the front workshop via the next one which key was available.  This meant that I had to go through the middle double doors and by doing so I only had one back light available to put on when entering the front workshop.  

So there I was clambering around in the semi dark to get to the front of the building so that I could illuminate it properly and find the item I was looking for.  Hobbling on my bad foot stepping over things and round piles I saw a bowl of thick oil on the floor.  Shining in the semi dark in a rusty saucepan I made a conscious effort to step over it.  Unknown to me, there was another plastic pot of oil lurking in the shadow straight in front of it.  I did my biggest step over the saucepan only to step down hard completely on the front of the large plastic pot.  The pot did a flipping motion propelling the sticky black oil straight up the back of me.  I felt the oil reach the top of my bottom and could feel it oozing down my right leg. Unable to see what had happened properly I limped on my bad foot and tiptoeing on my oily foot over to the lights so I could thrust open the big double doors at the front to assess the situation, while leaving a trail of oily puddles with each step.

When the double doors opened and the light flooded into the room I could see the extent of the disaster. There was oil everywhere and I was covered right through to my skin.  I hobbled back to the house angry, upset, sniffing back tears of annoyance, while shouting to everyone what had happened.  No rushes of help or any kind of emergency was shown by the family.  All I could here was laughter and disbelief that I had done something so stupid.

I peeled off my clothes and put them into a plastic bin bag and tiptoed into the shower where I cried while I covered myself with bleach, Ajax, Flash, soap, shower gel and washing up liquid in an effort to remove the oil.  All I ended up with was a black oily right leg, a black oily right bum cheek and two black oily feet. Oh and I forgot to say The shower has been turned black and no amount of bleach can remove it so I am reminded every morning of this wonderful event when I take a shower. 

It has taken around three weeks for my skin to replace itself and the oil is still on the floor in the front workshop as I cannot bring myself to clean it up yet. I can see the funny side of it now by the way, which leads me to the moral of this story is, if you do an oil change do not leave the oil in the shed!! 

That's all for now from the sticky black Funny Farm.