Janine Partington is a very very talented enamel artist! (You can visit her website here). I bought a medium sized one of these for Tom as a thank you for letting me stay with him when I was studying. It's arrived and it's absolutely gorgeous and I really really want one!!
I have about a zillion things I need to do so what am I doing? I am sitting here contemplating my navel....soooo.....I've decided to do something useful and compile a list of things I could do for my future career... So far I have
A Lipstick Namer Can you imagine how cool that would be!! I think I would be fantastic.........you could have things like Purink (which is a combination of purple and pink obviously) or Zombie Blue or Road Kill Red!! (See, told you I'd be great!!)
I could be a Fashion Detective!! (or maybe constable??) I could arrest people for having incredibly stupid hair (there seems to be a lot of that about at the moment - I saw a girl today that was obviously trying out two different styles on either side of her head), I could insist that teenage boys go wild and actually buy trousers that fit and I could ban shell suits for life!! (I think the world would be a better place without shell suits!!)
A Hairdresser Torturer Not all hairdressers just the ones that wash your hair. They always seems to manage to spray the water down both your front and back before then going on to try and give you a frontal lobotomy whilst pretending to give you a scalp massage!! (and I'm not even going to get into the scalding hot vs freezing cold water thing)
A Singer I'll follow people, whom I find mildly irritating, around all day singing annoying little ditties that they can't then get out of their head for weeks and weeks (Like Wigfield's Saturday Night or The Chicken song) or maybe I could just be a Fairy Princess......what do you think? (Can you tell it's been a LONG day!!!)
Bloody New Year! This year I am completely stumped for ideas on what to do. Every year (well, apart from the ones in Thailand) Tom, Chris and I get together and do something...
The first year we decided to go to Wales. None of us had ever been and, since we are all fans of the (original) TV show 'The Prisoner' we settled on Portmeirion. We booked a cottage in a neighbouring village and lunch on New Years day at the Portmeirion Hotel. The holiday itself was wonderful - walks on the beach, good food, stunning countryside and Portmeirion was amazing (even in the pissing rain!). The journey to get there however was...erm...eventful! I shall explain....
We left Manchester quite early and without breakfast figuring that we would stop somewhere that looked interesting on the way. We crossed through Snowdonia National Park and, I can't remember who started it, but someone starting singing the banjo duel tune from the film Deliverance and we all got the giggles (Now, before anyone gets upset and thinks I'm making nasty comments about the Welsh...I'm not. We have sung that tune in Scotland, England, France, Thailand and Cambodia...we always sing it when we are miles from anywhere!). Anyway, a little while later we drove through this tiny villiage and, as we came out the other side, we spotted a hotel perched on the top of a hill in the distance. We all agreed that it looked like a good place to stop! Oh if only we had known...
We turned off the main road, went across a bridge and followed a very steep single track road up to the hotel. Chris pulled up, parked the car and we all got out...the two boys stretched their legs and talked about how nice it was to be out the car...I was looking at the hotel. To say it was run down would be an understatement...the courtyard was covered in weeds, the windows filty and the curtains surrounding them were thin and ragged. It was at that point I spotted a creepy wee man staring/peering at us out one of the downstairs windows. He was thin, pale to the point that he was more blue than white (and I thought Chris was bad!) and had a shock of bright orange hair on the top of his head...he was also not blinking! All I could see was this pale, unfriendly, floating face staring at us through the window (It was dark behind him so I couldn't see the rest of him). Now, I don't know about you but I have watched many a horror movie in my time and this would be the point when I would be shouting at the TV 'Don't be so bloody stupid...get back into the car and drive!' so I was about to suggest that we do just that when a huge bearded bloke opened the front door. He looked at us and we looked at him...then he grunted (seriously, no hi or smile or anything...just a grunt!) and went back in the hotel. We, and I am ashamed to admit this, then did a very British thing...he had acknowledged that we were there so it would have been rude (!!) of us to just leave. We walked up to the front door, pausing only to note that the welcome mat was a piece of astroturf (I am not making this up!), and entered the darkest, dingiest, dampest corridor that I have ever been in in my life! It also absolutely stunk of wet dog...which, when it appeared, was huge, matted and the friendliest thing we encountered! As we entered the corridor we saw the bearded man go through a door at the end of it so we followed him (Sheep? Us? I don't know what your talking about!). Chris was leading, I was in the middle and Tom was bringing up the rear. The wee creepy man had now appeared to the left of us and was just standing in the doorway...still staring...still not blinking and I was thinking 'This is it! We are going to be chopped up into little pieces and our car will be dumped with 'the others' in a ditch somewhere'. As we walked down the corridor we could hear faint music playing from somewhere and it got louder the further down we went.
Now, those of you that know Tom will know that he is not subtle at the best of times...you will also know that he can't whisper. What he does is holler what he wants to say out the side of his mouth in the mistaken belief that if he does it out the corner of his mouth he is being quiet...let me categorically state that he is NOT being quiet!...Chris was now in the room that beardy bloke went into, I had just turned the corner when Tom hollered 'I can hear banjos' and then preceded to piss himself laughing...to be fair it was banjo music that was playing and in any other circumstances I would have seen the funny side but...what he hadn't seen yet and I, to my horror had, was the life size skeleton that was standing just inside the doorway! The life size skeleton that was dressed as a bride...veil and everything! Now if you are a local I am sure there is a completely harmless hilarious story attached to the bride skeleton but let me tell you...at that moment it wasn't remotely funny and I did not want to do anything to piss these people off!! Tom got an elbow in the ribs to which he responded 'What' loudly out of the corner of his mouth (he stopped laughing quite abruptly when he saw the skeleton!). Beardy bloke had now opened some of the curtains in the room we had followed him into and the weak afternoon sunlight that managed to make it through the grubby windows revealed a small, shabby bar. Beardy bloke then went behind the bar, turned and said 'What can I do for you?' in a manner that implied that he didn't want to do anything for us. Chris replied 'Erm, we were looking for somewhere that did food'. I don't mind saying that I was on the verge of turning vegan at that point...there was no way I was going to eat anything that had been prepared in that place and I was pretty certain that they wouldn't have anything suitable for a vegan! It was to our delight that the guy then replied 'We're not doing food today'. Let me tell you that, had you been watching, you would never have seen three people bolt out of somewhere so fast in your life!! We were down the corridor, out the door and in the car faster that you could say winkie! Once we were in the car Tom started roaring with laughter...to which Chris responded 'We're not clear yet. We still have to get down that slippy road and across the bridge...we can laugh about it then because if we don't make it we will have to go back in there'. I have never been so relieved to be back on a main road in my life!! We then all relaxed and started laughing (slightly hysterically!). Told you the journey had been eventful!
Anyway, what to do for New Year...which was actually the point of this post...two years ago we went to Cornwall (it was mostly shut!) and last year, because of the weather, we got together here...we picked a course each (with wines chosen to completment of course) and cooked a huge, utterly fab, meal. This year I have no idea what to do...any suggestions would be gratefully recieved...
You are now entering the weird and wonderful world of Carol Burns where flights take you into outer space, DNA floats above your head and people talk in colours.
Carol is an artist and illustrator well known for her slightly strange line drawings, her acrylic paintings using gold/silver/copper leaf and her Illustrated Family Tree/Family Home pieces.