Monday, 30 October 2017

Monthly Log: By Jeeves, Beatrix Potter and a Postcard from Home!

Hello everyone! I thought a nice type of post for the blog would be a monthly summary of interests, activities and photos, so that I can keep track of where my mind was on this month, and what caught my attention. I don't want to bore you too much, so I'll try to keep it light (try is the key word)!

Peter cards and rose tea!

For my birthday I was lucky enough to travel to the Lake District to see a musical - one which I have had on DVD for four years now! It was "By Jeeves!" at the Old Laundry Theatre in Windermere, and situated in the same building as the World of Beatrix Potter, which came as a surprise!
Unfortunately I was too excited to take any photos of the area (and photos of the show were prohibited for obvious reasons), but I did get two miniature cards of Peter Rabbit as keepsakes of the day.
I'm rather fond of Peter Rabbit, and Beatrix Potter in general, as my family has a lop-eared rabbit who I called Peter, due to his striking blue eyes and similar colouration to Peter (well, he is my brother's rabbit, but seeing as my brother - who is nearly eight - keeps changing the poor thing's name, I decided to just call him Peter in my own head, for my sanity). Of course, it's been a while since I read Beatrix Potter's books, but she was a Victorian woman that wrote stories about anthropomorphic animals and made beautiful water colour illustrations; what isn't to like? Not only that, but I watched a programme which explained her very important work as a conservationist for the National Trust. I was very pleased to learn that!

But as for the show... I loved it so much that I grinned for the entire afternoon matinee and evening, and will continue to do so for quite possibly the rest of the year. My jaw hurt from laughing and smiling the whole time! It was really a dream come true, as I wasn't sure if it would come to the stage again anytime soon. That was a few years ago, and of course I was delighted to be proven wrong!
It was so charming to see Bertie, Jeeves, and the usual suspects on stage (and so close to the stage too - the people in the row in front were being sung to, and handed flowers and business cards as a part of the entertainment!)
The one girl that was sung to by Bertie, I wasn't sure how she kept a relatively-sane expression on her face... I would have turned into a helplessly sobbing-with-laughter puddle - but this is coming from me, the one that burst out giggling and dancing on the spot when happening upon an actor portraying Henry VIII in a nearly-deserted corridor at Hampton Court (if he happened to actually be a ghost rather than an actor, I think he may need to work on his haunting technique). So, I was better off for not being interacted with, as I would never be taken out to a show by my parents again, for fear of mortifying them. ;)

Art by Ellie Morris, water colour and ink

This month I also had a visit from a friend living near Manchester. We dressed up together in Angelic Pretty and Baby the Stars Shine Bright styles (I was the latter, by the way, wearing BtSSB's Shirring Princess JSK - now one of my 'new' old favourite dresses, seeing as I've lost enough weight for it to suit me again). I had a lot of fun, and it was almost like acting as a tourist in my own town!
For lunch we had afternoon tea at a tearoom, and visited some antique book stores filled with musty tomes from the olden days, seashells, age-worn stamps, and semi-precious stones. One store had many floors and creaking steps, with bookcases towering well above my head to the extended ceilings, ladders, and smaller turrets of books in piles around the room. I even found some Ladies' guides from the mid 1860's, complete with coloured fashion plates! The second store was a Waterstones, but the architecture outside makes it special in my opinion.
We also went to a Victorian glass shopping arcade and sat at a balcony eating hard sweets from the old-fashioned sweet store below. As well as that, we visited the local art gallery and library, where there was an exhibition based around the British Victorian's views of Ancient Egypt, through travel, art, antiques, artifacts, and letters. A few weeks beforehand, I had visited the same exhibition for a history lecture on the same subject, which was very interesting.
I had an excellent time with her, wandering around my hometown and seeing the history still remaining. I'm there so often that I often overlook how pretty it really is, so I'm glad to live where I do.

Collage by Ellie Morris, using postcard from antique store.

However, it's unfortunately common to be harassed by strangers (men, namely) for wearing Japanese street fashion, which usually makes me very flighty and stressed, but this time I could just laugh at them and move on without paying them much attention, which shows my current balanced mindset, I think! Still, some of that negative attention gave me some ideas for my upcoming story.
Weird how the mind works, right? A lot of the things swirling around in my grey matter tend to all come together and form a story for future use, no matter how irrelevant they seem paired with other ideas, until it turns into something else that actually seems feasible. Shows how much I feel connected to my characters, maybe!

I'm still working through my workbook for my story to be written in November, and I've very, very excited to be working on it!! - however I think that I'll step back from the social network/website side of NaNoWriMo, and just focus on getting it down in my computer rather than turning it into a big thing in my own head. I don't know... something about joining the website and filling in the daily challenge word count things and connecting with other writers, just makes me nervous. There's also the fact that I can be unpredictable with hobbies and goals, as every day the amount I can do is different, due to health issues. Some days I might not do anything at all (aside from binge-watching Allo Allo), but on others I can spend nearly nine hours straight on one thing, uninterrupted, as I get so engaged. (The x-hours straight thing can also apply to staring into space or falling asleep in the day, so it's a bit of a mixed bag of productivity when one has brain problems).
That aside, I think it's more the social/networking side of things that fills me with some hesitation, as I'm very socially withdrawn at the moment (aside from what I mentioned above) and don't feel like I can communicate well with other people. Writing a story is fine, I can get emotional for my characters, but if it comes to having a written or verbal conversation with a real person, I feel like a very blank slate, or a tall and heavy brick wall that nobody can go over or around. Not sure if it's an energy thing or not, but I feel a bit like a solitary ghost-like being at the moment, faint, sickly, sleepy, and quieter than usual, or as though I'm sleepwalking through a lot of daily life. I'd like to talk to and see people more often, as I am actually a very sociable person with the people I know well and like, but tiredness, constant illness/infection/chronic pain, and feeling like I'm not a very interesting conversationalist (or an awkward one that keeps falling asleep mid-sentence and losing the train of thought as soon as it leaves the station) keeps me from being as active and joyful enough to engage with friends as I'd like. I'm not feeling depressed or negative at all, just quiet, like a mouse burrowed in its nest.
Rather like this, I suppose! - But instead of peas, I would be surrounded by cheese and crackers, like the true mouse I am. :)

Johnny Town-Mouse by Beatrix Potter (image from Gutenberg and edited a bit by me)

With that sweet image, I shall sign off this post!


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