once upon a time...

My photo
keswick, cumbria, United Kingdom
Once upon a time when no one was looking because dark glasses were in that autumn, and no one was listening because the popular music of the time was loud and brassy, the key to life was stolen by two no good good for nothing partners in crime who passed it on with sly winks and too much blusher to the only cat they knew who was up with the jive talk and down with the kids. if all goes to plan she’ll sling it to the back of her knicker drawer and it won’t see the disco lights again, until one day in the winter when the clouds fall like rain and the word on the streets is bring on the black hole, because as everybody knew all along this was only ever just a temporary measure...

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

i didn't mean to send the internet to coventry but i accidentally did...

is sending someone to coventry a liverpool thing? at my school if you really fell out with someone and you didn't want to speak to them then you said "i'm sending you to coventry" 

which is a very, very ridiculous thing for one small child to metaphorically send another small child to a different part of the country in order to express annoyance, but like shell suits and thundercats it made perfect sense at the time. it does make you wonder why coventry though? when they stop speaking to you in coventry do they send you to liverpool? the world is indeed full of mystery...
before i tell you something actually relevant bear with me while i just tell you this, that i was once sent to coventry by the whole school(...it was a small school). and it was because we were all having mushroom soup for lunch (it was a small school and an evil one) and i really HATE mushrooms. so i sensibly decided to use my childish wiles in order to remedy the awful situation by somehow managing to swindle a teacher, (the teachers were having tomato soup- oh it was an evil school) into swapping with me. i returned to my table feeling very proud of myself expecting the congratulations of my peers, who promptly sent me to coventry, including my own sister. human nature lesson number one, don't be a smug tomato soup bearing twat.
my point being and i do like to have a point sometimes, is that i apologize for our extremely rude internet silence. it has been for the very simple and unspectacular reason that is 'keswick in august'. keswick likes to make up for its antisocial winter behaviour by crowding all its socializing into one month during the summer. it is an endearing disagreeableness that they refer to around here as being 'seasonal'. 
our little temporary measure team is always a bit stretched at this time of year and we remember days off in the style of russian peasants remembering potatoes " do you remember that time when you had that day off...do you remember it? it was good wasn't it, that day off you had..."
we do have news though, starting with the most important first...
Elvis Shop Dog has been stripped.

oh yes the sprinkling of dog hair over unsuspecting customers is no more. elvis likes to spend his time in one of two bipolar versions of himself - the oh i am just so cute and sad and in need of your attention and you really must take a picture of me - version of himself spends his time on the balcony, attracting attention by various methods including sticking his head and/or legs through the bars in a variety of striking poses, persuasive whining, and subliminal messaging.
the second version is the Rabid Hell Hound that greets you if you happen to venture too far up the stairs, having boldly ignored the well meaning warning signs and the presence of a safety gate. he likes to be adored from afar. he does not like people who have the audacity to try and meet him in person, particularly large men in hats but also old ladies. and babies. 
what can i say, he is a prima donna. but now he is a neat and tidy prima donna who has had all his hair pulled out by an intimidatingly firm, farm dwelling cumbrian lady. he no longer leaves a trail behind him. and most importantly, in the greetings card department of the temporary measure emporium, people will no longer have to look up in the middle of a tricky greeting card decision, in order to wonder...what is that falling softly onto my head?..it feels like someone sprinkling hair...but who would sprinkle hair? and then look up to discover elvis, blinking slowly at them giving them the full on version one, and before they know it they are reaching for their cameras...suckers!  

and in other not quite so monumental news...bear books are At The Printers Now! three weeks is the delivery schedule and it is too scary. i am currently experiencing The Fear that goes by the name of 'Leaving Other People In Charge Of Important Stuff' what if they accidentally print it in shades of grey or in an early nineties pop art style? what if they remove all the vowels? what if they print the cover inside out? oh The Fear. three weeks is pretty soon though and after all the faffing and fiddling and ocd style tinkering it's about bloody time. so here is the official cover!

and finally as a way of apologizing for being a rubbish blogger and sending the internet to coventry, here is sunday evening over bass lake as a present just for you... 



  1. I think the depilated (not delapidated) look takes years off Elvis, he could pass for a young pup. Incidentally how do you know the dog lady was firm? Did you give her a surreptitious squeeze?
    Can't wait for the bear book, will do nicely for christmas presents...
    Love The Tricky Troggle xx

  2. He looks a lovely dog. Looking forward to the bear book

  3. I love your writing and the bear looks fantastic. I have been feeling sad longing for the Lakes this summer as all plans to visit kept being thwarted.There is talk of snow today... I hope you have a lovely winter! Write again soon. Kim x

  4. I don't know if you remember me I was in your lovely shop some years ago (3 is optimistic of my fading youth - 4 is more probable!)

    I was helping lead on a Duke of Edinburgh expedition and I bought the Big Sur coastal photo and the why dive in list (with some personal amends) both were presents for family and good friends who have shared experiences of both diving in and travelling the Californian coast. Maybe the white escort and woolly trunks ring a bell...

    We have just moved back to Manchester after a 9 year stint in Coventry and Warwick. See topical too, I just wanted to shed light on the mystery of the universe, the expression I am sending you to Coventry happened to me first hand when I came back from living in the States to moving to my now husbands place of birth. (the Big Sur photo was a present for my chief and only bridesmaid.

    The expression dates from English Civil War apparently (and I could be wrong, it is not unknown!)that's where the prisoners were sent as it was an established medieval town occupied by the parliamentarians. Hope that has helped with this strange childhood jibe.

    I am here all week so if you need any further useless knowledge let me know

    1. hello karen, that knowledge is far from useless! i feel very much wiser now and can cross the coventry question off my list of very important unanswered questions. so thank you. now you live up north again you shall have to visit more often than every four years! emma