Sunday, November 26, 2006

Sunday Scribblings - Nemesis

Your nemesis, or arch enemy, seems to change as you go through life, looking back at your ach enemy can be quite amusing, especially those from childhood. They are such insubstantial enemies, these enemies emerged out of small childhood trials which at the time, to your young mind, seemed to cast a shadow over the world.

My first nemesis, arrived in my life in my second year in school and was centred around the dressing-up box. At the time the most exciting children's programme for us was Robin Hood, and we would all gallop around the school playground singing the words of the signature tune, something along the lines of:-

Robin Hood, Robin Hood,
Riding through the Glen,
Robin Hood, Robin Hood,
With his band of men,
Feared by the bad,
Loved by the Good,
Robin Hood, Robin Hood'.

I could go on with the verses, but don't worry I will control myself. It was a boy, that always instigated the Robin Hood game, he was always Robin Hood and everyone else was one of the band of men, except for one girl, and there were only two of us girls who played the Robin Hood Game, who could be Maid Marion. To be Maid Marion, meant you had to get the green velvet cloak out of the dressing-up box and wear it. So every afternoon, it was just about a fight to the death between, lets call her Susan for the sake of the story, Susan and I. We never really fell out over it, we just got more and more wound up about getting to the clothes box first, and giving hateful looks to the one who achieved the cloak. I even tried to take the cloak out of the box at lunch time, one day to hide it so I could be Maid Marion, but was caught and made to return it. Neither of us ever thought of a sensible plan, such as, taking day and day about to be Marion, but the whole day was geared towards the holy grail of grabbing this cloak to wear, until after a few months, when everyone became fed up of the Robin Hood game.

My next nemesis, was when I was about ten years old, my next door neighbour had a new baby, about six months old, at the time and I loved to take her walks in the pram round the neighbourhood. Can you imagine a ten year old these days wandering round pushing a coachbuilt pram, what safe times those seem. There was a girl that lived over the road from me, Anne, we had fallen out over some childish argument, as girls do. That long summer we vied, in what seems like everyday, to be the first to get to the pram and take the baby out for a walk. The rules we played by were as soon as the pram with the baby in was parked in the fresh air of the front garden, we were allowed to go and knock and ask if we could walk the baby. Whoever got there first got the baby and the pram, and because we had fallen out the other could not interfere. Can you imagine the scene, two little girls their beady eyes watching for a pram emerging? If I was eating my breakfast and the pram emerged I was not allowed from the table and there was a chance that Anne would win that day. What small worries and incidents fill our minds in childhood.

Teenage years, usually bring a nemesis, because there is always a girl that is the most fashionable and coolest, that everyone wishes they were, she is usually the girl that goes after the boy you think is so cool. Were these girls as cool and confident as we thought or were they stuffed full of doubts, lack of confidence and rampart emotions as my friends and I all were. She is the girl that starts the trends that everyone follows, the wearing of your uniform a certain way. The latest fashions out of school.

My friends and I all had the same nemesis, a girl so cool that she could be naughty, yet pull the wool over teachers eyes, and also be brilliant academically. I thought I was coolish and I was a naughty girl, unfortunately, at that time in life, I didn't apply myself academically so I couldn't have the best of both worlds. This is the girl who is the first to smoke, the first to notice boys and make friends with them. Remember I went to a Convent School in my teenage years, and was known as a naughty girl, I never had the knack of knowing when to suck up to the nuns as Glenda, did so she got away with with her secret naughty side. Most probably I didn't care about pleasing the nuns, who I was constantly at war with over tights, length of skirt etc. [The nuns, one in particular, were another nemesis, but that's a story for another time]. Looking back now, I realise that my nemesis, Glenda, was only supremely confidant as she had an older sister in the school sixth form, and was really copying her.

Thereafter, through out life there is usually at each stage someone, who could be regarded as your nemesis, either an equal or in jobs sometimes a boss that can put pressure on, or in designing someone that tries to convince they can make as well as you can. I think you have to look at it this way. In all situations that are almost perfect, there is always ' a fly in the ointment', someone who stops things from being one hundred per cent perfect, in their attitude to you. I realise now, that that is life, to enjoy the almost perfect scenario you often have to put up with nemesis, that causes ripples, my advice, just accept they are part and parcel of the situation, and treat them like a rather annoying fly buzzing around. They are never usually as important as you think they are, when you look back with hindsight.

Here is a little tale for you, it could be called in a joking way Am I never satisfied or maybe it is a deep insight into human nature? Once upon a time a lady called Daisy had to do all her creative work on a kitchen table, clearing it away as meals were needed to be eaten there. Then her daughter left home to live in the bright lights of London, and would only be needing her bedroom occasionally, so Daisy bought a lovely pine table for £10 in a second furniture shop. She moved this into her daughter's bedroom and she had a workspace that she never needed to clear. As time went by she enroached more and more upon the bedroom and it got to be that there always had to be a hurried tidying of the room when the daughter returned.

Inspiration struck, the spare bedroom that was rarily used could be turned into a proper artroom, if it was ever desperately needed, a bed could be made up in there. So Daisy's art work station became an art room and it was wonderful to have a chest of drawers to store art materials in, cute piles of boxes could be piled against the walls with containers with rolls of paper in. What space, what room, the pine table was in place, sewing machine always being pushed to the back of it to be pulled forward when used. The rest of the space covered in pens, glitter, current work in progress. The the bold Daisy thought, if only I had another table so I could move my sewing machine on that and store my boxes of material underneath, I would never need to clear this table to move my sewing machine forward to use it. It could be permanently ready, on this other table.

Well, Daisy belonged to a wonderful organisation called Freecycle, where people advertise, for free, stuff they don't want any more and if you want it you phone the person and agree to collect it, its yours for the taking. A bit like a garage sale without paying for items. There for the taking was a large table with drawer underneath that could be used as a desk, also for the taking was one of those cute wooden needlework boxes on legs that has trays that open out in tiers, ripe for renovating. Luckily Daisy's big strong son was paying a quick visit and a van was borrowed to bring the said furniture back to the cottage.

Daisy is over the moon, imagine having an artroom with a table for drawing and working on and a table for sewing on. Who could possibly need more than that?

The cake is made, the Christmas puddings are made, the mincemeat ingredients are waiting all together, to be mixed and bottled ready to fill the sweet mince pies nearer to Christmas. I have pinched some wonderful quick biscuit recipes off Pea's site and some homemade chocolate recipes, hazelnut clusters and chocolate covered marshmallows and cherries covered in chocolate. What a home made Christmas this is going to be, with home made cards, mostly as well. This to me is how Christmas should be, making as much ourselves as possible, it's not about spending vast amounts of money it's about the fun of making and sharing, as Kai, said on a comment she left on my site 'Christmas will be special, this year, because of the glitter'. I think that too.

The next stage is to finish off most my ornaments this week, then by next weekend start thoroughly cleaning each room and Christmas decorating it as I finish the cleaning, just about the only time of the year when I enjoy cleaning because apart from the reward of a lovely room there are the decorations, the lights, the scented candles, I am blissful just thinking about it.

Once again this posting is illustrated by photographs of my garden taken at the height of summer. This is the last of those photographs.

Don’t forget to join in Daisy Lupin's
Christmas Story or Memory Posting
Post a Christmas memory, story, even a ghost story
Or poem you would like to share,
More than one if you wish ,
Anytime between 17th and 24th December
Just let me know it is your contribution
I will transfer them to a temporary site
There they will remain for everyone to enjoy
Until the end of January.
Come on lets have a Giant Christmas Story Circle


Anonymous said...

I have had several nemisis over my lifetime and you're right....they really are mostly just as insecure as anyone else.

Yay! For Daisy getting a second work table in the art room. Fantastic. Double the fun now!!

Anonymous said...

Oh the sleep I would lose a as child, because of situations like this. I suppose it is character forming, but when we are younger these events are so important.
Great you got an extra work surface,elbow room is GOOD!
But rooms are like hand bags Daisy..the contents will increase to accomodate the available space....

lila said...

Sheila is right, the contents definitely increase! I am needing to compact my art projects in my studio as it also has a queen-size hide-a-bed sofa and will have to become a bedroom again around Christmas!
But I am so happy to hear about the wonderful table and needlework stand you were able to literally "pick-up" for your art room! We look forward to seeing the things you create there!

Tea & Margaritas in My Garden said...

I`ve also has these in childhhood times. Two were boys that sat in front of us on the school bus. I was about 8 and they would turn around and punch my friend and my arms and call us farmers. They punched very hard LOL
Another male was the boyfriend of a friend in grade school who always called me rat tails. My hair was horribly unmanagable. I hated him!


Anonymous said...

yep, we all have our nemisis!! OHHH, another table in the art room? COOL!!!! Love the flower pics too.

paris parfait said...

Daisy, you just knock me out with your entertaining stories and your seemingly endless creative projects! You are an inspiration! And your art room sounds wonderful. I tried to take over my daughter's room (she's now at university) as an office/writing room, but we have so many guests, we have to keep the bed. And of course we need a place for my daughter to sleep when she comes home to visit. And since it's a small room, the bed takes up the bulk of the space, so it's still a guest room. Sigh. Someday, I'll have a bigger place! :)

PEA said...

As I was reading your post, I was reminded of the childhood fights I had and the teenage ones...gosh, they seem so inconsequential now! lol As for changing your daughter's room into an art room, I did the same thing when my oldest son moved out except I made his bedroom into my computer room! hehe xox

Terri /Tinker said...

Yes, our archnemesis, whoever they may be at the time, really aren't so different from ourselves, are they? I can remember some similar scenarios growing up. Excellent writing, Daisy.

As for your little true-life fable - I'm so glad you've got another table! Now you can enjoy creating and not have to move anything if you don't want to - wonderful!

Anonymous said...

Daisy - I love reading your stories - it is like reading about myself sometimes. love your words about 'the fly in the ointment' words I need to be taking on board right now. *sigh*
oh and me is wondering whether your desk is a little like a handbag - the bigger it gets, the more you can fit on it! hee, hee - twins I tell ya! - I am wondering also whether or not you will be joining in my glitter swap next year ? I read somewhere that you had enough glitter to be lasting you years (hee, hee) xo
love ya daisy xoxo

Anonymous said...

ooops, just as I posted - I noticed that Sheila mentioned the handbag thing too. :)

Anonymous said...

Daisy truer words have never been spoken.
I have had my share of fallouts with young friends over silly things. Everyone has!
I was NEVER the cool girl in school.
It was a long time later that I became cool, LOL.
However you were right, and your recollections made me smile as ahhh! I am not the only one who has had this happen.
Glad to hear about your freecycle find, how cool is that?
Thinking about what to do for the story circle....
Loved your photos too!

tlc illustration said...

My current nemesis is the big, black, burly next-door neighbor with anger-management issues (and a boundary dispute. What fun...)

I'm amazed at your list of fabulous sounding homemade Christmas goodies. I'm going to be lucky if I get *any* done this year with my crazy deadlines... Which is sad, because I have a long list that I'd love to tackle.. Ah well - I guess there is always next year...

VintagePretty said...

Your nemesis post was really interesting, I think we've all had those, its how we deal with them that matters. Sometimes we are our own worst enemy...

Your xmas preparations sound fantastic ~ just the puds to go now, and the mince pies! And less than a month to go! Exciting!

Lisa said...

ooooh I want to play with Daisy in her awesome artroom!!! I can certainly understand why you would be over the moon. It sounds heavenly.

I hadn't read that comment by Kai. I'm so glad you repeated it or I would have missed a magical moment. Christmas really will be special this year because of the glitter. Wow.

I am not even going to get started on my nemesis. I spend enough time whining about that. lol I'm going to let the magic of glitter float me along. :)

Anonymous said...

Daisy....Wonderful to get your art room more you won't have glitter all over your fabrics...kidding I know you will
:-) Once I spilled some glitter in my bed....

Anonymous said...

So true, and so profound.

I have many memories of my childhood friendships...and understanding the importance of self-reliance. This is so true now, especially with creative projects.

Lovely post!


Beth said...

I loved your stories, so delightful. I espiecally love the making up of your art room. Sounds like a great place to do your magic! I hope you had a great week-end. Jane from our group is visiting with Mom and I this week, we are having a fun time with her. I will post pics on my blog sometime this week.

Pretty Lady said...

what can I say about my own nemesis, I have battled with the childhood one and as an adult it is there because other people insecurities or ignorance about someone like me but I don't worry that much. I have a different background and language but I still breath the same air as they do. So I guess I am their nemesis. LOL

Pretty Lady said...

It does make me sad sometimes, though.
I am happy you got more room for your beautiful art. Yipppee!!!