Annie, the Moneyless Man, Gormenghast and Easter Cakes



Aileen Quinn, the Annie of the original 1982 movie.


It’s been one of those weeks where I feel I’ve been chasing my tail. The girl was one of the orphans in her school’s rendition of the musical Annie. She was performing on Monday and Tuesday nights and Wednesday afternoon. She’s also been rehearsing for weeks with her schoolmates.

Anyway, we didn’t go and see the Monday night show, but we did see Tuesday’s. It was late nights for the girl both nights, but the performances were excellent especially young L who played the lead. She’s a friend of my daughter’s and was amazing. Well done young lady! The rest of the cast (kids from P6 and P7) were great too!  Beforehand P4 and 5 put on a school version of the Jungle Book and were also very good. Well done all of you.

I can’t believe we’re at Thursday already. This week has truly flown by. I know I say that nearly every week, but this week has been particularly quick.

What have I been doing? I’m nearly finished a little blanket I’ve been knitting for premature babies for the knitting group I’ve attended.

I’ve started (again) the first of Melvyn Peake’s Gormenghast books. It’s really very good. I was waylaid by re-reading Mark Boyle’s Moneyless Man, which is the tale of his going without money for a whole year, living off the land and swapping skills for food and other necessities. It’s really interesting. I find people like him fascinating and admire the fact that he’s really stuck to his principles. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t fancy living without money in a freezing cold caravan for a year, but I enjoyed reading about his adventures.

mary francis sewing book

The girl and I had a sewing afternoon last weekend. She was desperate to use her sewing machine and make her favourite teddy a dress. She chose her material and we made a simple dress from the Mary Frances Sewing Book which is a lovely book first published at the turn of the last century. It’s aim was to teach young girls to sew using a story. It’s lovely – the story is lovely and the images are gorgeous. The girl’s dress turned out really nice (I did help her with bits, but she did the main parts herself) and she’s really pleased with it.  Hopefully we will be able to do another over the Easter holidays.

Talking of Easter, the boy wanted to make cakes and sell them ‘for cancer’ so we’re doing a wee coffee morning next week in aid of Cancer Research. Of course I’ll be doing most of the work, but he’s happy he’s doing something. He’s been wanting to do something like that for a while having been impressed by a girl in his school doing something similar. He’s quite excited about it. The girl’s keen too. Wee souls.

Anyway, must get on. Only got a few hours before the kids stop for Easter, so am going to enjoy them. Am currently watching Dangerous Liaisons – an all time favourite of mine. So, I will say adieu and wish you a happy Easter. Enjoy the holidays, chocolate and decorating and rolling of your boiled eggs.

Dawn xxxx


My 100th post

From one of my first posts…she’s a Golden Eagle. What a beautiful bird!

I can’t believe I’ve written 99 posts already on this blog. It seems like yesterday that I decided to just go for it and write about stuff. You see I had a blog before and I thought because I am a writer that all I could write about was writing. I soon dried up because there’s only so many things you can say about writing before it all starts to get all very samey and boring. So I lost interest in the blog and I stopped writing it. Then I decided I wanted to change the look of the blog – it was grey and depressing (not my idea for the design) and I really didn’t like it. Unfortunately, I was unable to change the look and unable to get into the blog after a while. So that’s why when I decided to finally just write about anything that took my fancy I started up this blog.

This is him looking cute. I’ve chased him away from that patched hole about four times during the time I’ve been writing this. Wee besom!

Hold on…Sam the Guinnea Pig is chewing a hole in his playpen. That’s better. Have stopped him nibbling. He’s basically nibbling on the Duct tape I use to cover up the hole the bad rabbit Albert chewed in the playpen (which is one of those pop up ones) when he stayed here this year. The GPs have been doing  a bit of scrabbling under newspaper lately. They seem to love sitting under it and chewing on the pages. I use the newspaper on the bottom of their cage and the playpen…it makes cleaning up a bit easier. Often it looks like they have escaped as they have flattened themselves underneath a page.

Anyway, here I am on my hundredth blog with not much to tell you. I managed to finish the cardigan I was knitting and it actually fits and looks great on. I am really pleased with it, although I haven’t managed to take a pic of it  yet. Maybe I will wear it on Saturday on my first day on a mindfulness course I’m doing in Glasgow. Am really looking forward to it. I don’t really know what to expect, but I think I’ll enjoy it anyway. Am going with my friend Tracy so we’ll have a laugh if nothing else en route there and back! This is the first weekend of a four-weekend course.

Just finished Mark Boyle’s The Moneyless Man which I found really interesting. I agree with him on a lot of counts particularly when he talks about how  a lot of people are so caught up with being consumers and the dreadful waste there is in this world of things like food and clothing. Don’t get me wrong, we do buy new stuff, but only stuff we need. I have never been one to keep up with fashions, so buying the latest look never crosses my mind. I buy clothes I need and I keep them until I absolutely can’t wear them any more. Then they are cut up for toys or quilts or stuff for the kids, buttons are saved in my button jar or they are placed in the charity bins. It kills me to throw away clothes. It kills me to waste food and I do my utmost to not do this. Sometimes I have to chuck something out (like the soft cheese in my fridge today), but I do my absolute best not to. Anyway, while I don’t want to live without money, I think he has a point – as a race we need to stop being so wasteful and destructive…it’s unsustainable and we’re already ‘reaping the rewards’ of our total disregard for the Earth in the form of earthquakes, floods, drought and horrendous weather. And let’s not forget the mess the banking world has gotten us all into thanks to greed.

Anyway, I really hadn’t intended to use this 100th post as a rant and a rant it’s turned into. Sigh.

I also finished The Family Fang. I didn’t think it was hilarious and I kept waiting for it to become funny. There are some bits that are faintly amusing, but that’s all. I found it quite sad actually. I couldn’t believe parents could so totally disregard the feelings of their children in the way Camille and Caleb do. I feel about it the same as I do the book about Tracey Beaker…sad and disgusted about the neglect her mother  shows her. Am not sure I would read either again although I did find myself enjoying both books. Hmmm.

Am re-reading a biography of Charles Dickens again. Okay so he wasn’t perfect and he wasn’t always the jovial papa he’s made out to be, but he’s a fantastic writer and this book is really inspiring.

Anyway, enough of my ramblings about books…much as I love them…I will finish this with a quote Mark Boyle uses as inspiration (it’s from Ghandi) – Be the change you want to see.

Dawn xx

PS did anyone see Gary, Tank Commander the other night? Now that’s funny.