Everything’s gonna be real fine

Another Monday, another bit of punk rock for you… Ramones, with Oh Oh I Love Her So

I did have a mini-Ramones obsession when I was about 18. Funny, actually, since yesterday I put on this old checked fleece I got when I was about that age from the Army Surplus Stores. It’s still in good shape. That’s how clothing should be. Dirt cheap and will last you a good twenty five years or more. None of this stuff that falls apart. I bought some new socks last week and one has already got a hole in it. What’s that even about??! A week!!

I got some really good stuff at that Army surplus store, including a canvas rucksack and a pair of combat boots that lasted me a good four or five years. The Army surplus stores are like a survivalists’ paradise but the younger me did love a bit of military surplus gear. Those combat boots were a quarter of the price of Doc Martens. I did a lot of walking when I was at university – I got a bus pass that lasted a month and then figured I could save myself the fiver it cost me by walking everywhere. I think it was usually a forty-minute walk to the campus. In the winter, I’d quite often wear that red check lumberjack fleece with a patchwork skirt and my combat boots. No sense of coordination at all, the teenage me. You can still buy those kit bags for a tenner. Even my North Face rucksack has wear and tear. Those canvas things last forever.

I still love walking everywhere. Yesterday, I took the dogs for an epic forest jaunt before the cold weather gets here and I try and spend as little time outside as I can. The forest was busy yesterday, as it gets. We saw a good few people out picking mushrooms, and loads of cyclists. Great to see how much progress Heston has made with other dogs – there were at least five or six dogs off lead whose owners should have known better than to let them off lead. They’d all come up for a sniff. We’ve been working on “sit” and “eyes” when other animals are near. It’s not easy when a Jack Russell is ferreting around, let me tell you. Not one bark though or over-reaction.

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Most of the forest is pretty flat – it’s not easy to get a sense of where you are if you are lost (it’s been years since I was lost here though, even though I used to worry about it all the time and draw scrappy paper maps to keep in my pocket!) But today I got a rare view from the top of one of the hills – we walked from the lightest blue bit. It’s a circuit of about 11km. I love this forest.

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Most of the time, you don’t see anyone here at all. There are many days when I don’t see a single soul. Better than the fields where I normally go, since there were about five million hunters out this morning with their various setters and spaniels.

After lunch, I did a bit of a crafty afternoon and put together a patchwork curtain for under the sink. I’ll show you the ‘before’ and ‘after’ photos and you’ll see why I have taken to decorating this foul little corner of my house. I was very slapdash in the actual patchwork bit; let’s just say the patchwork queens will be choking on their coffee, but it’s only to go under the sink so I don’t care much. It doesn’t even go with the blue spotty curtains I made for the kitchen window. Like I care about things like that!! As my lumberjack shirt, combat boots and patchwork skirt à la Kate Bush would go to show, I don’t care much for matching things up. I used to be so well-matched at work. It was not really the authentic me, I think.

Next Sunday will be the last day I have without other obligations for a while. The week after, it’s the refuge open day and it’s all hands on deck. I’m also trying to put together the refuge calendar as well. Cross your fingers that it doesn’t look bad! The week after that is the Hope booksale. That is sure to be a busy one. Then it’s half term, when I have to get my act together for my classes leading up to Christmas. So next Sunday, I’m back with my paintbrush and drill and I’m going to put up all the things that need putting up, and paint the things that need painting. I still can’t decide if the former owner painted them cream or if they started white. I suspect the latter.

Anyhow, now that my (almost) internet-free Sunday is over I better pick up the pieces!

Have a good week!

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