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Where Summers finds Black and White joy in life.

The Ynyslas Dunes.

This month is now 25 days old. So far? Much.

Recently purchased a jar of cheap instant coffee and two bags of washing soda. Today will look for Vitamin C powder on the Internet. Then hopefully, in the next few weeks, develop some old black and white film negatives with these alternative natural items. I have about 7 or 8 rolls taken about 6 or 7 years ago. May even be longer. The latent imagery sitting on each of those negative film 35 mm frames have been patient. They will be a different story completely when they come to life. Blinking their way into reality and looking battered but free. Like prisoners escaping forced isolation. They won’t look like this photograph above certainly.

Decorating the front room, which involves, as yesterday’s activity continued, to both stripping thick layered paint and old varnish off 1890s old Scandinavian pine alongside preparing the walls for chalk paint. The old plaster architrave being gently attended to to remove hideous apricot coloured gloss. Carpets of wool Berber bought. Wall and floor furniture and fittings internet inspiration sought. Colours choice for walls, now decided upon, caught. Now ambience intentions identified, no longer fraught. Still attempting skills, still to be self taught. Got into a groove there!

Looking after the grandchildren for a number of days over the last few weeks. Intentions to carry on with projects on those days grind to a halt. I find activities that they don’t want to partake in. My wife does it oh so much better. They bake a cake, Hoover the carpets with glee, load the dishwasher, Facetime their cousins, etc. With me? Can we watch the telly. ‘But I bought these new coloured pencils!’ I say. They look away. So we watch a glorious well chosen film. Chitter. Chatter. And we are all very happy.

Also. Been busy helping a friend to move plants from her garden because a move of premises from rural isolation to local town and increased socialisation is soon to be realised. There are very many plants to be considered. Probably upwards of a hundred in fact. Very many house items too. So in the next week, a helping hand to move will be an activity for a few days.

My wife’s shop is going from strength to strength. But she needs to slow down. But can’t. Wholefood orders alongside other orders to be made and once delivered to be put out; hundreds upon hundreds of different items in the shop. Also, having six staff to look after and support, meetings with reps, constant phone calls and everything else running a shop entails doesn’t do it all by itself. Not kidding when I say that she has a very busy and popular shop! The community really love it. It is a hub of activity and good vibes. She sat last night putting together a huge SUMA food and other products order at home because she accidentally hit the ‘Empty your basket’ button at work through tiredness.

What else this month? Oh! The interest in and seeking of fountain pens. Mending them. The visits to town and buying amazing vintage items from charity shops. Or books. The meeting of friends whilst there in town. The profoundly Deaf gentleman who I stand and sign with, the people I haven’t seen for months, and years even, who don’t recognise me because I now have a beard. Or that I am not in a nurse uniform. ‘Didn’t recognise you with your clothes on!’ Ho, ho, ho. Seriously I find that exhilarating because I actually feel that I am now recognised without the uniform and as an everyday guy who speaks a different conversation. Mind you they still talk of their illnesses or developed symptoms at times. I don’t mind one bit. Good that they can find an ear to talk to about how they feel. And interestingly, a telephone conversation with my old nurse colleagues who phoned me a couple of nights ago from their night shift during late evening. Speaker phone on, we exchanged a ten minute glorious update of how they, and myself, were faring. Still they are struggling. However. Nurse humour never dies. Inner spirit still soars. They are, simply put, champions!

And the blogs. Quite difficult to think up what to actually write about. Subjects to choose from? Got no idea. Ho, ho, ho.