Saturday, April 2, 2016

Still waiting for the cakes

We are still here on our lengthy vigil for the cakes that have yet to reach us. Meanwhile, struggling on, we make our own, wonky though they may be.

The above is a 9th birthday nest, but I should have made it in the shape of a lone frail tree, faltering in the forest.  Why?, you politely ask. It is because I sense that the dear old amateur lifestyle blogging community is losing its fizz.

No one, now, proudly shows off their low-carbohydrate courgette spaghetti. Chairs sit round, un-reupholstered. Nothing is painted a milky shade of grey. Everyone is too busy following their desk exercise regime to note that they saw a sparrow in the east this morning, and liken it to Jesus.

People have decamped to other rides in the great social media funfair, rides that are faster and shinier and where there is a promise of coins, or at least a fake watch or a small teddy.  A stern, chill wind blows across our collective refurbished verandah.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

down these green streets a woman must go who is not herself green

Thanks to a flat tyre
I went to no St. Patrick's Day parade
Drank nothing green
Stood in no chill breeze
Took no photos
(Here are no photos)
Hid from no hearty people
Queued in no queues
Passed no remarks on how fine the fiddles are,
and your hair, my dear, and coat.

But, rather, stayed at home,
muttering to myself in my minority language
as I transplanted a rose,
curmudgeonly as I pleased.
O joy, O joy, O joy.
O flat tyre of perpetual joy.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

we dare not entertain

The done thing in rural Gloucestershire, where Scottish Husband had settled down before he moved to Ireland, is to have one's friends and neighbours around for Christmas or New Year. Drinks 6-8 is the formula for the invitation: a restrained occasion involving delicate canap├ęs and mutual admiration of lawns and distant royal connections.

[Jane Ray, from the Guardian]

He asks me whether we should host the same sort of event here in the Pretty Far West. Unhesitatingly, I shoot the idea down. Our friends and neighbours would have no truck with Drinks 6-8. They would arrive whenever it suited them, leave in February, if then, and wonder why we were being so glaringly parsimonious as to limit drinks to only 6 to 8 per person.  

Sunday, October 25, 2015

where is the hill?

Looking up from their pot noodles, my daughters engage one another in a sudden burst of dinner-table conversation on whether their mother is over the hill.  

“Where is the hill?” the younger one asks.  

[the flowers are lasting mightily well this autumn]

Buoyed by my application of a free sample of face cream that will re-activate my youth and regenerate my radiance, I place the hill firmly and confidently at 90, aeons away from me.  “The race is not to the quick, nor the so forth to the so forth,” I tell them, “but it is up that hill.“

In the excitement of the pot noodles moving on to instant jelly, the topic is abandoned.  Later, struggling with my entry in the best Lego ninja turbo-destroyer contest, I wonder whether the face cream might have been a placebo, yielding only imagined radiance.

[experimenting with homemade chocolates]
I ask Google where the hill is.  Google is usually so definite, so helpful: Banjarmasin is the second largest city in Borneo, coconut oil is the answer to climate change, slight backache is a sure sign of smallpox. Information at our fingertips, Power to the People. But Google is not sure. 

And so I ask you: where is the hill?

Friday, September 18, 2015

Now that this is Heaven (op. 351)

Pink Daughter has gleaned notions of Heaven from her reading.  She asks me whether it is possible that we are all dead and that this is Heaven.

[We dry the lavender over the range]

This thought has never occurred to me before so I give it some consideration and reply that yes, it is highly likely.

[When we tire of the lavender fluttering down into our pans of goulash and risotto, we dry the lavender elsewhere.]

As this is now Heaven, it is important to make it seem thus. We order a four-tier box of chocolates, the fancy sort with drawers and gilding on the coffee creams, and send the rest of our money to ease poverty in Uganda.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

National Geographic (op. 350)

"Everything I know, I learned from the National Geographic magazine," I told my distant neighbour, Mary Assumpta.

I could see her taking that on board. She nodded respectfully, clearly understanding at once that here was a force to be reckoned with, a font of information, someone whom she should invite to be on her team at the next table quiz held by the Ladies of the Parish as part of their ongoing fundraising for the flat earth hypothesis.  She patted my arm and asked me to tea. Mary Assumpta is a good baker. I accepted.

A tribeswoman of the Western Atlantic Seaboard poses by her scant crop of sunflowers and cornflowers. Her land has been hit by the rains this summer and her south lawn is impassable. 

What Mary Assumpta didn't realise is that I meant just one issue of the National Geographic magazine.  Last month's, to be precise. If you want to know about the Jade Sea, Laos, taxidermy or Pope Francis, I am your woman.  Anything else: no.

Thank you all for your lovely comments on my last post. It is a matter of honour with me to reply effusively and individually to all commentators (or acerbically to the meanies) but occasionally my honour lets me down.



Monday, August 31, 2015

Quickly before it's September (Op. 349)

It will be time tomorrow morning to start once more on my winning ways with bread and cheese in school lunches. So this post is a marker to say that I am just about still here

as are my Nutella scones 

and my dainty pink bucket such as is suitable for a harvest of fuchsia flowers picked by small visitors -- there is no need to write censoriously in; we left thousands for the bees, who like it here where no one turns on the radio to disturb their hum with running jumps at the human condition

and my pretty bunches of flowers from the garden, emblematic of an imagined utopia in which there is no impending tax return.

Those were three (3) things. To recap: scones, fuchsia, bunches of flowers. Now that Bloglovin' is bombarding me with its top posts, I note that they are all counted items. Seven ways to exercise at your desk. Six second chances at life. Ten steps to a better you. A better me!  Four super Scandi suppers. This is my 349th post. Opus 349 if you will. Containing three things.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

after the beach

Summer in the west, sand on the floor. I watch the restful Zara Home Autumn/Winter 2015 Campaign Film; it gives a sense that everyone will be home any minute now, and that they will all be fine.

Friday, June 12, 2015

back where they belong

Lately I have gained an additional 4 letters after my name, bringing the total to 11, of which 10 are in upper case and 1 in lower case.  This excludes bracketed descriptive elements such as "(Hons)" and "(No, Really)".

Despite which, my overriding purpose and quest in life, the force that drives me and the focus of my considerable zeal, is to Put Things Back Where they Belong.

First in the room in which they belong, and then, at a finer level of detail, in the place where they belong.  Folded correctly and facing the right way.  With the blue next to the pink if they are cushions.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Hope is a Strategy

We are back from our motor-tour of the East Coast of Scotland, which included a pilgrimage to the printing works of DC Thomson, publishers of The Beano. A great cry of joy rose from the back seat at the first glimpse of Bananaman, the Man of Peel, on the wall above the famous sign.  

[The Beano, Blue Daughter's Top Favourite]

The statues of Desperate Dan and Minnie the Minx were duly viewed as well, and so the Culture & Heritage box received its tick.

My iPhone is like a great big hat I wear over my head when travelling: I hold it up in front of me and browse your blog and other, lesser pages (a careful comma) in the hope that people will leave me alone so that my Thoughts will catch up with me.  Not that I actually have Thoughts as such, but what I do have, in splendid abundance, is Half-Formed Reflections, that swirl about in my head and demand tranquillity so as not to churn abominably before they morph into Sensibilities.  

When I was young, the Reflections turned into Opinions, but I have conquered that now. May God stand full square between Me and the Opinions of Others.

[Wax and Wire by Loch Lomond]

I like to think that my Sensibilities, if I choose just the right set of blogs to follow and Twitter feeds to read and scholarly, percipient essays to skim hurriedly through on too small a screen, will become exquisitely honed and get me through life with no further input from the Non-Sensibilities aspect of myself.  That is my Hope for a Better Life.  

Scottish Husband tells me that Hope is Not A Strategy, but I give the matter some consideration as we drive through Fife, past the yellow fields of daffodils, back home towards our troubles and the bay window that is collapsing, and I say that It Very Certainly Is.
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