Negative

Making a negative

1. Scan the print you placing it in centre of scanner

2. Use 300dpi which is usually the default setting

3. Select colour (you don’t want colour as it’s black and white image but it gives a better quality print)

4. Save as a jpg

5. Highlight file and right click

6. Open with Microsoft office picture manager

7. Edit pictures

8. Brightness and contrast (on right hand side of screen)

9. Mid tones – use to darken (might need to save and then do again to make darker)

10. Save as 2nd image eg Sid2

11. Highlight and right click again

12. Select paint

13. Select rectangle and outline = ‘none’ – fill with solid colour (and this should be white)

14. Use rectangle to fill found image with white (this is because outside of the image you want to make a negative of will be discoloured and you don’t want any colour as this will affect the quality of the negative)

15. To help clean up image increase the magnification and use rubber to remove any smudges

16. Select drop down menu and right click on image invert – this is what gets you the negative type image

17. Open a Word document – insert – picture – select your image

Tip – check you page setting is 100% (this means what you see will be what prints out)

18. With your inserted image reduce image size down (use the cutter you have selected to make sure you get it the correct size)

19. Crop image so you don’t waste any black ink

20. Copy and paste so that you have two copies

21. Make sure you have the correct acetate for your printer. If it’s an inkjet printer the acetate has a rough side for the ink

22. Print image onto the acetate; make sure you select best quality

Tip – put white paper on back of acetate (rough side up), cut off bit you’ve used. White paper on the back sometimes helps the printer recognise there is something there

Tip – don’t change colour of background of image as this affects negative

23. Cut negatives out of acetate. Tip – don’t cut black edges because these help you line up the two images (you need two negatives to make it blacker/darker) and then selotape the images together

My reason to breathe.

Standing at a bus stop with my eight week old baby daughter strapped to me in a baby harness.

I turned to see an old lady gazing at my baby.

She spoke quietly as if she might wake her

Precious beautiful baby, she is an empty vessel be careful what the world puts into her. She pushed fifty pence piece against her tiny hand.

Custom to gift a new baby a silver coin. I thanked her and smiled. It was 1983 I was just eighteen and that was the first bit of wise advise I was given as a new young mum.

I don’t think any of us realise just how fast our children will grow. I know I didn’t.

I lived alone in a tiny bedsit. It was far from ideal but I’d wanted my baby and I was doing the best I knew how. With very little help. I never left her. Ever.

Well not until she was three years old. Time for nursery Not even when my second child was born I had him at home because I couldn’t leave my daughter.

There isn’t a guide book is there. A what to do when you’ve fed, changed, winded and they are still crying, or a number for Mary Poppins when your bedsit is on the ground floor and toilet is upstairs and the baby is asleep. Or your I’ll or you and kids both have a bug and there is no one to help.

Or there is too much week at the end of your money.

I remember sometimes thinking it will be easier when they are older.

It’s never easier as a parent you just worry about different things

If your getting it right.

I think everyone wings it occasionally. I know I did.

I look back now they are all grown up and I’m so proud of them all.

Every new grand child brings joy more love and reminders of my babies and the old lady at the bus stop.

She was so right precious and beautiful and so important what we allow the world to put into them.

Even more so now. Social media and mobile phones technology.

Milestones flashing by, rolling over, sitting up, swimming under water, sleeping all night.

I remember that joy of more than a few hours sleep.

It was hard work being a single mum.

But the best thing I ever chose to do.

My only complaint is it went far too fast.

I still worry about them now they are grown with children of their own.

But I’d do it all again in a heart beat.

All the colours of a rainbow.

I cannot remember my hair’s natural colour. Some non descript brown.

My sister eighteen years older than I and a want to be hairdresser cut it permed it platted back combed generally practicing on me and her three girls.

I remember my dad cutting it when I was at junior school with Mam’s pinking shears there is a horendous school photo taken the day after fringe like a ski slope and one pony tail longer than the other. I looked a right state.

The day after my sister came over and cut it short it did look better but I was heart broken I couldn’t tie it up anymore.

That was it I was like her hairdressing dummy she cut it regularly after that perms became fashionable do she practiced that too.

I should say she wasn’t at anytime at college. Then when I was thirteen she asked if I wanted it dyed? Before I knew it my head was over the kitchen sink plastic shower stuck onto the taps Luke warm water dripping down my front.

Then sitting with itchy burning mixture on my head fidgiting and complaining keep still she scalded it’s bleach it’s only been on for ten minutes!

BLEACH!

she babbled how it had to be bleached first before it could be dyed red.

Mam is going to kill me wailed she laughed and pushed my head back over the sink.

Back onto the hard kitchen chair and slopped red coloured dye onto my sore head.

Wrapped it in a kwik save carrier bag and started to warm it with a hair dryer holding dryer with one hand and a fag in the other.

Shouting all the while at the kids running in and out the kitchen and the dog for chasing the cat.

If there is a Hairdressing for dummies manual she hadn’t read it but we we’re in the 1970s.

She washed it off and gave me a cracked bathroom mirror to hold. You know the ones that swivel and make everything look 12 times bigger?

Jesus Mary and Joseph I heard myself say in a whisper.

“I’m dead”

Red it was luminous bright pink.

To make things worse I was wearing orange t shirt.

My sister screwed up her eyes.

It’s not too bad.

She said brushing it as she dryed it.

“Wash it out” I begged.

“Er it’s permanent”

I could feel my heart beating in my head I grabbed my coat as her husband walked in.

“Fucking hell lizard” he laughed “your Mam’s gonna kill you. ”

I banged the door behind me the glass rattled in the door.

I walked across the estate home thinking of a way to get out of my latest mess but apart from leaving home, buying a hat and refusing to remove it the fact was I was dead!

I sneaked in the back door and ran upstairs.

Just as the bathroom door opened and mam stood there in her yellow dressing gown.

We stood on opposite sides of the landing clashing and staring.

What the bloody hells fire have you done she gasped?

It wasn’t me it was my sister I stammered I always stammered when I was nervous which was most of the time.

Get in that bloody bathroom and wash it out!

But it won’t wash out I tried to explain as she clipped me around my head screaming at me and launching a bottle of head and shoulders.

“but Mam” I wailed.

“don’t come down until it’s out!”

Needless to say I was up there awhile

It didn’t come out if anything it seemed to get brighter.

I looked like a match stick!

I was suspended from school and grounded.

But after a week I got to like it.

It was different. Definitely different.

So there it started accidentally my life long love affair with dying my hair.

It’s been punk, red, blue, green, black, blonde purple but never dull!

I’m fifty three now and last week I dyed it brown.

I looked in the mirror and reminded myself of my sister years ago unsure if I liked it I thought I’d leave it for a week or two.

Until my grand daughter arrived.

“Nan” she shreeked what’s happening with your hair?”

You don’t look like you Nan it’s too ….. Normal!

She really didn’t like it and to be fair neither did I.

So few hours later it’s bright pillar box red .

That’s better she said I couldn’t have gone out with you with brown hair.

So I guess why change the habit of a life time.

Rebel grand mother it is.

Last goodbye. (soulmidwife)

Last Goodbye
Cancer was the catalyst that founded our friendship
Without it we wouldn’t have met.
A soul midwife I expected someone nursey maybe serious.
That Joolz is exactly what I didn’t get.
You came into my room like morning sunlight.
Bringing me life’s energy love and fun.
We made plans for things I’d like to do exactly my way.
Talked of my life and all that I’ve done.
I’ve shed a few tears, but we’ve laughed so much.
If it needs saying I know I can say anything to you.
Complete unconditional acceptance it’s not just a ‘job’ to you.
You’ve walked along a path I found scary
Gone before me with what to expect.
Taken worry from myself and my family.
Always treated us with love and respect.
You have a way of just fitting into families.
Into a Joolz shaped space we weren’t aware was there.
To make plans to reassure, take me to magical planes
I’d never even dreamt of before
Now when sleeping I dream of new adventures.
The wonderful places and things I haven’t yet seen.
You’ve given me the courage to go further explore without feeling frightened.
My eternal friend
Soul midwife Earth angel who needs no wings.
I know that as I leave you will be there waving and cheering me on to adventures new.
As you go on in life as a soul midwife to others know I’ll be around to cheer you on too.
Thank you.
Xx Ian.

Culture club in Cardiff.

Should have been in Cardiff tonight. At culture club concert. Donna you had rang me in July so bloody exited your life long love affair with boy George at last you would get to see him.

Are you excited? You laughed dancing around my living room.

I’ve booked us a hotel we can make a weekend of it.

Wow bar and Christmas shopping!

I sat there I hadn’t answered the first question syou were so pleased I jokingly groaned you hit me with a pillow.

You positively glowed.

Posh hotel mind you carried on.

On the bay mind. You were in full Nessa flow now sing song Welsh

Remember last year you laughed. It was getting to be a bit of a ritual our Christmas shopping trips combined with your birthday.

Cocktails, dancing in wow bar, Chinese food you laughed and he would let us pay with a debit card insisted on us getting cash from the cash machine .

You sitting beside me now shaking belly laughing.

Ahhhh!! He told me he was keeping my bag until we came back with the money.

Do you remember?

Remember how could I forget, your shoes were in it old shoes you’d bought boots because it had rained and your shoe had split.

He was really rude. So you had marched off back to the hotel .

He can keep my bloody shoes!

The waking the next morning you’d looked at me panda eyed and groaned

Do you think we will be on crime watch?

That’s where we should be now walking back to our hotel.

Or standing looking out over Cardiff bay.

As I came out of spoken word Saturday this afternoon

A white feather caught on my black wrap.

I smiled and thought of you.

But that’s not unusual.

There isn’t a day since you left this earth plane that I haven’t thought of you.

Boy George in Cardiff doesn’t know what he missed.

I do.

I missed you today as everyday.

My random warrior friend.

I hope you were there beside him on stage as he sang.

♥️

Over active mind.

Inside my head is where they rush.

Demanding to know

What was the name of the hand cream used by my mam when I was a kid

In a green tub, remember it had a tight lid?

It smelled of earth and was greasy too.

And if penguins had feet not flippers would they need shoes?

What was the name of the lad at school?

42 years ago the one who.broke all off the rules

Do I have a pen? I forgot to write

The recipe for curry Mike asked me for it, you know mam the one that I like..

Did I turn off the light the one in the yard?

What was the name of the film. with bridges that Clint Eastwood stared?

Is there palm oil in the vegan buscuits I bought?

Is that the cat banging the flap with a mouse that she’s caught?

Did I remember to shut down the damper on the coal fire?

If this rain doesn’t stop soon the river will get higher.

My hubby can sleep on an old washing line.

I might as well get up it’s almost quarter to five!

I wish I could banish the thoughts in my head

Or leave them downstairs with the cat.

While I sneak off to bed.

Pagan Ways

Friday we drove over from neath valley south wales to Rose Theatre in Rougley Stoke.

To see Damh the Bard perform.

For those of you who don’t know who is is (shame on you😉) he’s a bardic singer song writer you can also find him on Druid cast .

So anyone that knows me would probably tell you I’m pretty much a chilled out person. I don’t take things for granted and I love my life, where we live I appreciate simple things walking on mountains and woodlands the old ways the wheel of the year.

Poetry magic and writing.

The last few months however have been hard and so a night out with like minded folk was just what I needed.

Dave sings tells stories of the mabinogion Welsh folklore of the old God’s of pagan ways of magic whenever he is playing at festivals or theatres if we can go we do.

Anyway last night a packed out theatre filled with Druids, witches pagans from every path I looked around at so many familiar faces dancing smiling and singing words to stories and songs that link us all together. Like a magical web of love.

All of us watching Dave an ordinary guy with an infectious laugh thanking us all for traveling to see him performing.

A story of him as a eight year old lad dreaming of performing on stage.

I’m sure everyone in the pagan community are glad that lad followed his dream his awen his muse.

These stories where meant to be passed on to be heard they teach they heal they remind us of who we are.

Now that is real honest magic.

Thank you all my friends ♥️