|Marram blues©caroline fraser|
The new life is meant to have more time for photography and less for proper work, in order to engender feelings of calm such as allows me to create images of a happy and fluffy nature.
And so I set myself aside two days to prepare for the lovely and distracting Christmas Bizarre in Rye.
Where people chat, share ideas, buy Christmas presents, eat soup and generally feel good as well as raising money for charity and possibly even selling a few greeting cards.
I drove down to Camber late last night, having shared food with my other half and done a reasonable day's work.
When I arrived the house was icy cold and the boiler silent.
But there was no sign of the mouse in the cupboard under the sink, so at least I knew I would be able to sleep. I fiddled around with the Potterton boiler manual, and wished I had paid for emergency call out, for we are entering a cold snap, and there are flood warnings in action.
I left helpless messages on OH's phone; but he was not answering.
I pressed a few knobs, nothing happened. Then I found a page with taps and instructions, opened a few valves and hey presto; we had heat ( we being me).
Some hours later the house was a bit warm, and I tucked myself up in bed with a book.
Some more hours later I awoke, frozen to the core. I dived into a cupboard and fetched myself two more duvets.
Some even more hours later I woke again; it was 9.30, and the day was half gone.
I rushed off to set up my stall at The School Creative Centre in Rye. Lots to do. Labels to make, pictures to hang. There were plenty of distractions, not least a lovely young girl who wanted me to tell her how much each of her prints should sell for. Not easy. The only thing I could say was that the price depends on how much people love what they see, and who knows which punters will love what works, and that for every piece of work there is someone out there who loves it, but getting the work and the person together is the biggest challenge.
And how she should hang her Christmas lights? Also quite tricky. I suggested a few options and she listened with due attention. I have no Christmas lights, as I am currently very much in denial about the whole Christmas thing. Thank you, youngest child for telling me that you want a screwdriver for Christmas; I might just manage that.
Just when I thought I was getting somewhere I found out that my embarrassing diary clash had not been resolved, and I was committed to driving back to suburbia to do my proper job in the morning. So apologies to Paddy for not inspecting his wood pile. Paddy's wood pile
I pressed on, finally finding time to eat and drink at 4.30; a bacon sandwich at the farm shop with a nice cup of tea.
Back in the car; up the road to home.
No sign of other half.
Mother rang, distraught that her TV was broken. She rather depends on it to fill the evening hours.
Try looking for a knob on top that says 'on' say I hopefully.
Three minutes later she rings back, delighted to have fixed the problem. This just about made my day.
I ring other half ; after all he might be taking advantage of my absence, and that wouldn't do.......but he , poor man, is stuck on a train from Brighton, as there is bad weather , and the trains are not running to form.
'When you get home, lets go for a curry' say I.
'Ooh, that would be nice' says he.
So here I am, typing away frantically in the hope that I get these words down before he gets home.
Which I have.
See you tomorrow at the bizarre.