Monday, December 21, 2009

though always I was home in time

Tagged by the nomadic Silent Storyteller, Prince's dance partner and creator of beautiful garments, I merely remark that I've told everyone all about myself in the past while they sat impatiently rattling their ice-cubes.


As it's the done thing to parade the inner self hereabouts, I'll add that this poem by John Engels hangs accusingly and companionably by my desk, reminding me of my abiding character flaw.

That's enough of the inner self. I'm to tag some more people for them to dish out a few facts, so over to you at your leisure Devon, Jaboopee, Flora May and Julian Barnes, who is, I assume, a constant reader. Who have I forgotten? Don't worry if you've done one of these before, just do it again in January with the same plot and a different villain.


Happy Christmas to all the wonderfully wise and giddy commentators.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

knitted nativity


Pink Daughter has her school play tonight so we're launching this year's festive season of hot port, Dr Hook's Greatest Hits and decorated mayhem here. My mother knitted this wonderful nativity scene for us. No bloggers are allowed in my house all through Christmas in case they steal it.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

with my compliments

I'd like to have some genuinely complimentary compliment slips. Those I receive always state baldly that they are 'with compliments', but that's no good to me; bring on the actual fulsome compliments. Serena Cowdy, are you out there? Or all the other creative crafters among you? How about compliment slips that say such things as:

I'd wear those earrings myself.

The design aesthetic of your sofa is impeccable.

Wherever did you get that darling dress? Is it cut on the bias?

All of us here think you are ace.

And I also need compliment slips that do the complimenting equivalent of damning with faint praise:

Your attempt at patience in sorting out my affairs has been noted.

I wish I were as good as you at correct desk posture.

And, dear reader, while I'm at it, you look especially radiant today and I love your blog. That last post of yours was ever so entertaining and incisive.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

the sidebar does not lie

Just look at that sidebar and its soundless indictment of my life: shopping (25), books (7).


Had anyone asked, I'd have said that I was a reader rather than a shopper. Online shopping disturbs me: I keep googling obsessively for the perfect duvet cover because the one I've found has stripes that are a quarter of a millimeter too close together. An hour later, I'm checking whether it's possible to import one from Australia and I give up the whole thing with a sigh. Non-virtual shops are no better. Impatient with age, I'm disinclined to queue so I end up in the sort of tranquil establishment where they tell you that this neckline really becomes you, Madam, but take All Your Money.

(By the way, has anyone noticed that if you buy anything from Monsoon, they tell you as you pay that it's lovely and that you've made a great choice? I'm all for this. They'd have a good sideline as blog commentators.)

So shopping shouldn't be permitted to define me. But reading: that I've always done. Perhaps less so since the children were born, as they grab my book to cut up the dénouement for artificial snow, but I still get through a novel and last month's newspapers when I set my mind to it. What's to read, though? My strict rule in a bookshop is never to buy anything that's confiding, hilarious or contains raw emotion. Raw emotion is what youngsters get up to on creative writing courses, and I like mine lightly cooked. Perhaps not always as boiled as Wodehouse, but edging in that direction. That doesn't leave much. Please tell me your recommendations for what to read this Christmas holiday. Meantime, this post will bump the books category up to 8. A good day's work.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

floral vase: yes or no?

An unexpected number of comments appeared in response to the last post. Only one from a man, it seems, so the five year plan for our lawn will remain forever unpublished, but I've entered you all into Blogosphere's Got Talent for your funny remarks.

It reminds me, to digress considerably, of when I spotted a giveaway for a cup and saucer over on Yvestown, but when I went to enter, as one does, I saw that around 300 commentators had already replied to the post. That somehow discouraged me, and I felt that their need for a cup and saucer might be greater than mine. I guess they didn't really want the cup and saucer though, but rather the lovely Yvestown lifestyle.

But that's not why we're here. We're turning our minds to pricey fripperies on Budget Day in Ireland to determine whether this floral vase from the Conran Shop is a must-have or not.

I like it a lot for the soft spring colours and its aura of belonging to a great-aunt who was once a society belle, but would I still like it in a month?

Monday, December 7, 2009

amongst women

Almost everyone in the followers' box over there on the right is a woman. Judging by the comments, most of the anonymous RSS subscribers are as well, although one should allow for the possible silence of the men among you.

So I thought I'd follow my benevolent mention of torque in the previous post by going round the house, pointing the camera at things other than the soft furnishings.


Isn't there a striking lack of pink in these images? Men readers, all three of you, I hope this suits. If it proves to be a runaway success (i.e. it elicits three comments) I'll be delighted to continue the series with a photo of the beautifully made mechanical elements of the Kitchen-Aid mixer, or perhaps our five year plan for the lawn.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

I want it to be black

Scottish Husband lost his car in the floods between Dublin and Galway two weeks ago. Later, amid much rain, a bevy of kind truck-drivers and insurers recovered it, towed it away and wrote it off. Our only copy of U2's 'All That You Can't Bear To Listen To Again' was salvaged. Since then, my less fancy car has been getting some respect and we've curtailed our hectic imaginary calendar of charity balls and ambassadors' dinners so that we have time to sit around the fire choosing a new car online. One of us does the actual choosing, the other occasionally looks up from her busy money-laundering and distractedly says, "yes, torque is surely so important."

The make and model are a done deal and the big question is whether to be landed gentry or actors in The Godfather. In other words, agricultural green or shiny black. I'm willing to take a minor interest in colour, even for vehicles, and I vote for shiny black, as agriculture is insistently insidious and will certainly ultimately prevail, just like erosion and lower standards in public office. Also I have new sunglasses that'll complete the look.


As for the irrelevant images, Humel sent me a lovely prize package from a giveaway I never even knew I was entering. Bless her generous & creative nature and her understanding of the importance of jelly beans in a balanced diet. The homemade xmas tree decorations are meagre evidence that I'm a good mother (Humel, you'll recognise that ribbon). And the sunny day was a joy.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

serious about Sindy

I must have been a serious child. My duty of care toward my Sindys was self-imposed and considerable, and I saved my pocket money for years to provide for them. If other Sindys had button-upholstered armchairs in tasteful cream, so would mine, even if I had to do without pick & mix to afford them. I blended eyeshadow for them from paint and talcum powder, and made sure they had privileges I didn't have myself: ballet costumes, heated rollers, a pizza-cutter.

One of my sisters had Barbie and her gear, another Mary Quant's Daisy and hers, and we all ran rival establishments. Mine was the biggest and the best. My Sindys had the shower than worked (a miserable trickle that used up the big expensive batteries faster than I could pay for them) and a bedside lamp that switched on and off. I crocheted rugs for them and cut up a Sindy catalogue to make them a photo album so that they'd have a sense of extended family. My mother knitted them beautiful little Aran jumpers. When my brother's Action Man (the one with moving eyes) left them threatening notes, they sat at their desk and wrote back.

After many years in attics and removal vans, they've reappeared, still in their dated glamour. I admire their plastic patience and am pleased that my daughters can play with them, but they'll have to fend for themselves now. Somewhere along the way I stopped being quite so serious.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

not here but there: English Mum

I'm still not here, but scoring retro points over at English Mum by making Coconut Ice.


A letter came home with Pink Daughter lately telling me that her school would be closed for a day for health and safety reasons. This appears to be the new way of saying 'because of civil service strike action'. I'm delighted with this original method of expression, and think it could be quite widely applicable. I shan't be able to attend christenings or pay taxes in future for health and safety reasons. You may feel you can't comment on the Coconut Ice for health and safety reasons. That's ok. Our health and safety is paramount.

Friday, November 27, 2009

not here but there: From the Right Bank

I'm at From the Right Bank today, while the charming and inscrutable Ally moves house, and I'm talking about interiors within interiors. Do come over and say hello.
[Images: From the Right Bank]

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

character and ingredient envy

I looked at this book with some doubt when Scottish Husband brought it back from Atlanta lately. It took me a while to get over the hairstyle, the exclamation mark, and the general air of being pleased just to be among friends.


By the time I'd flicked through to the fried peanut butter and banana sandwich under a silver dome plate cover, I was quite a fan. I'd like to be an American too. I'd like to forge sincerely ahead, bring my family values to cooking, celebrate Elvis's birthday and live on oyster-stuffed quail instead of boring old toast. I'd like to have tremendous confidence, chat-show genes, charming openness and a larger washing-machine.

And I'd like to have the phone number of whichever US department is in charge of Foreign Aid as I urgently need these ingredients: grits, graham crackers, jack cheese, refrigerator biscuits and vanilla wafers.

Monday, November 23, 2009

a good and kind thing

Comrades, gather round. Look what postie brought today:


Isn't that lovely? It's hanging now on my kitchen wall, and is a perfect addition to my preponderance of pink, though I might dignify this one by calling it burgundy.

And there was more, lots more. All this came from Jaboopee, the preparation of whose tax return you'll see in the top right hand corner of the above image. That's deliberately fuzzy so that you won't print it out (I know your sort). It's print 1 of 1, and mine. In years to come, people will etc. etc., and she paused her typing for another sip of the celebratory fizzy.

Now wasn't that a good and kind thing to do after hearing me go On and On about my impossible giveaway dreams? Why can't you all be more like Jaboopee?

Friday, November 20, 2009

unrequited love and a train accident

After my bout of creative muttering and sprucing up the juvenilia, I decided the best approach to this Christmas Poem contest was to ignore most of the suggested topics, even the elf, and go straight for that old reliable theme, unrequited love, with a train accident thrown in for Christmas cheer.



A Suitor Finds His Love No Longer Suits

Yes, I know I said I'd dance you
To land's end and on;
Your shoulders reflected candlelight
As we spun to Gershwin songs.
I recall how the walls slipped moorings
With your lowered eyelids;
We dwelt in sheets and scented suds,
High on dalliance stilts.
Yes, I made you all those promises
And vowed I'd hold them fast;
I knew not then their fragility,
Their shelf-life now long past.
I loved you for your two fair legs,
Till the fall that befell you
For since that train mowed you down,
You're half yourself, and blue.
Yes, I gave you gems, my legless dear,
And every cliché I know;
I thorned my thoughts with yearnings
To pluck your red, red rose.
But I'm downing rose, and cannot stand
By all we said we'd do,
For if, my love, you cannot stand,
Then why should I stand you?

I'm not very confident of winning but the unsuccessful giveaway entries have taught me acceptance and stoicism.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

angst & this & that



Whenever I have a go at anything that could be considered craft, such as yesterday's exercise in footstool millinery, I think of e.e. cummings' lines about the Cambridge ladies who live in furnished souls:
they believe in Christ and Longfellow, both dead,
are invariably interested in so many things-
at the present writing one still finds
delighted fingers knitting for the is it Poles?
perhaps...
and they give me pause. I mention this because a friend tells me that there is insufficient angst and introspection in my blog. She's right. I've tended to channel the angst into my imaginary violin-playing, but from now on I'll ensure that it gets recorded right here.

Thank you all for your encouraging remarks, and the fabric, Jane, is from KA International.

Moving on, here are some of the lovely cards I bought from the Copper Swallow this week. Could everyone to whom I intend to send them please look away now? Thanks.

They're made by Serena with an old typewriter, stamps and imaginative flair.

And Pursued by a Bear points out Some Blind Alley's poem contest, a route to incredible fame. "Hmm, abab, cdcd, efef", I mutter creatively to myself.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

a hat for a stool

One of Habitat's Ingvar stools has been floating around my house for ages. Inspired by all the busy creativity that goes on around here, I thought I'd make a soft seat for it. So I added a round feather cushion and topped it off by making a loose cover to match one of the sofas.


I'm pretty proud of this, so don't you go saying anything disparaging about it in the comments. I think I'll paint the stool itself white, just like everything else.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Hilary Mantel, drives superb

This is Hilary Mantel, author of the bleak and beautifully observed An Experiment in Love and the less portable Wolf Hall, on reading newspapers:
I understand the despondency and lassitude that overtake the reader at the repetitious parade of human folly, and the evidence, reinforced on a daily basis, of nature's malignity and the indifference of the gods; but me, I just like the small ads.
And this is the whole article, from the Guardian (with thanks to our Nottingham reader for the link). It speaks of how writers get their inspiration, but also, along the way, of bridesmaids' dresses, dodgy car dealers, royal engagements and old school reunions. To borrow her own term, it drives superb.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

giveaway tips

I know I go on about giveaways a bit, but they are a complex and little understood area of considerable sociological significance. As a veteran of many, many giveaways and winner of one, I feel that my expertise may help the next generation of bloggers and I'd like to share with you some tips I've gleaned along my journey.


  • Only comment on a giveaway post if you want the giveaway prize. This seems quite fundamental, but we're all overcome by our competitive streak at times and I know people who lost the run of themselves when commenting and are plagued by felted elves and inspirational pincushions underfoot.
  • Before you comment on any post at all, ever, make sure that it isn't a furtive giveaway. This means you can't merely look at images, you have to read the text. The blogger may have slipped in a low key giveaway to clear out the unwanted coasters from her Aunt Hilda.
  • Bloggers often claim that their winners are drawn at random, but participants, quite rightly, pay little heed to this and add ingratiating comments to their entry in the hope of improving their chances of winning. You must do so too. If the giveaway organiser is a woman, try a pleasant comment such as 'I like your hair'. For a man, 'how was your meeting?'
  • Giveaway organisers sometimes require that entrants must sign up to join their followers to be eligible for the competition. This is a deplorable practice, a throwback to our playground days of winning friends with penny sweets, and one that I certainly intend to implement one proud day when I hold my very own giveaway.
  • Giveaway winners tend to announce their triumph on their own blogs. It's sometimes a fine line between courteous acknowledgement of your win and shameless gloating. Don't worry if you cross this line.

Friday, November 13, 2009

banana and walnut bread

The lifestyle bus keeps trundling on and if you're not on it baking cupcakes and sewing aprons, you're no one. So I thought I'd better bestir myself from the cheap seats at the back and make something. Today banana bread, tomorrow my own channel on American TV. I'm worried about how the children will take to fame.



You need:
75g butter, 75g sugar, 2 eggs, 2 bananas, 250g flour, 100g chopped walnuts, 3tsp baking powder, 3 tsp ground nutmeg

To do:
  1. Melt the butter.
  2. In an electric mixer, mix together the butter, sugar, eggs and bananas.
  3. Add everything else and mix again
  4. Lined loaf tin
  5. Oven, 190C, 45 min
For a healthier version, instead of the flour use half flour and half oatmeal, which is equally delicious.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Liquorice Allsorts and Wodehouse

In the latest issue of The Gloss, Polly Devlin has a round-up of coping strategies used by people in stressful or anxious circumstances. My favourite method mentioned is that given by the actress Frances Tomelty: a bag of Liquorice Allsorts, a few chapters of 'Just William' or a dip into Wodehouse.



I've turned to Wodehouse (or O. Henry or Saki, others of his ilk) in the past for that same purpose, and although I've abandoned Liquorice Allsorts since I had the misfortune one day to catch a glimpse of their calorie-count and salt-content, 70% chocolate has an inexplicable allure after a day of work, housework and playing with Pink & Blue Daughters, so that I frequently find myself in front of the baking ingredient cupboard on the way to the wine rack, even though it's not on the way to the wine rack.

Not that I drink, or eat anything with sugar in it.

And then there is blog-reading, of course. The breathless excitement of the giveaways isn't good for my weak heart, but, those aside, the waves of images and opinions and fascinations wash over me like a soothing sea. It's a wonder Polly Devlin didn't ring me and I'd have told her that.

Monday, November 9, 2009

personal art

Some of my favourite pieces of art in the house are those of personal relevance.



Such as the giant wall-hanging in the playroom of Pink Daughter as a small, sleepy baby, created by my sister.

Or the oils of flowers and trees painted by Scottish Grandma, which hang in the sitting room.

Friday, November 6, 2009

homework & this & that

Pink Daughter had her first homework assignment this week. My childhood evenings were plagued with essays and fractions when I could have been reading Jackie and Just Seventeen, so I'm going to do hers until she goes to a Swiss finishing school and studies deportment and etiquette. I'm never sure how to address a Marchioness and can't help her with that.



If you'll forgive my boasting, I can do homework a bit faster than she can. I've already written some beautifully curved letters C and coloured in a cup, a cat and a candle.

Also this week I laughed at jaboopee in her dressing gown and rollers in the beautifully overwrought room above, purchased An Education so as to appear to be keeping up with popular culture, and was captivated by Vilhelm Hammershøi's interiors, presented by Silent Storyteller. You're all probably sitting round wondering what to give me for Christmas. A framed print of this, or indeed an original, would do nicely. Failing that, pearls please or some fancy cheese.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

occasional Swedish whims

I believe this may be what they call an occasional chair, so I only sit on it occasionally. Better safe than sorry. Much though I love its vivid stripes, I sometimes think I'd like a Swedish slipcover and a whole new look.


These crisply striped covers, photographed by Martin Cederblad via Desire to Inspire, would be the very thing.


I still haven't managed to source anything like these, with their pretty practicality and echoes of nautical Victoriana. If I were the wonderful Yvonne of Yvestown, I'd make my own, but I think I'm just not up to it despite my valiant purchase of 'Sew'. Doesn't hers look cheerful and inviting?

[Image: Yvestown]

I've also dreamt of being crowned Miss Sweden ever since I started writing this post, but I guess I'm too old now, as well as not being Swedish. So that's it. No slipcover, no beauty queen title. A melancholy day here.

Monday, November 2, 2009

dancing in high heels

I'd sometimes like to be taller. At 5 feet 8 inches, I'm probably of average height but average is only average. At a lovely wedding in Killashee House this Halloween, the merry dancing continued into the night, and as the women spun on I watched many of them abandon their high heels and suddenly shrink. They turned from exotic creatures of grace and beauty into slightly shorter exotic creatures of grace and beauty. What a difference.

Here's the heel height I normally dance in.
[Image: Barefoot Tess]

And here's my planned acquisition, the heel height I can't dance in. Yes, I know, it's not a stiletto and you, dear reader, can do the moonwalk in four inch heels and stilts while balancing a giveaway win on your head, but I can't. I have other talents, but how insignificant they seem now.

So I'm going to practice dancing in high heels. Please stand back.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Mary Grant

Soft jersey, lace and floaty layers. A fitted swing and a flounce. How perfectly Mary Grant's designs lend themselves to an artistic and mildly eccentric image.

(images from http://www.marygrant.com)

I'd like all of these outfits, but most particularly that white dress and wrap with its charming sleeves. I can think of no more delightful way to mask my non-artistry and conventionality.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

utterly devoted to lifestyle

Let it not be said that I don't embrace this blogging pursuit wholeheartedly. In the past, I spent holiday weekends quelling the masses or sitting in my counting-house, counting out my money. Now, I devote myself to lifestyle. No moment of lifestyle passes in my household without everyone being instructed to Hold That Pose.

So we made bread, which mercifully rose, and Nigella Lawson's Ricarelli biscuits for Mamó's birthday party. Cheese scones and peanut cookies for visitors. You name it, we baked it.
When it rained, we damply appreciated nature, and we knitted a bedraggled scarf for dollie. But the coup de grâce was the purchase of Cath Kidston's Sew, the lifestyle blogger's passport.

It includes everything I need to make the charming bag depicted on the cover. Perhaps I'll even make it. I can imagine myself walking round the streets with it, meeting others proudly flourishing the same bag. A secret understanding would pass between us, the bond of women who would like to be creative but don't have time to cut our own fabric AND read all the blogs, goddammit.

So this post includes a helpful facility for all those people who career madly round the Internet, commenting on all the blogs. Today, you can just type A, B, C or D. No need to thank me.

A. My, what a charming LIFESTYLE that is you are depicting.
B. What? I don't understand. What?
C. Why won't you talk to me? (You never talk to me.)
D. My friend loves those curtains!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

thwarted

There was a time when I thought garlic bread was the height of sophistication, later supplanted by jars of breadsticks on gingham tablecloths in Italian restaurants, and for many years I gave no thought to my surroundings and lived with the landlord's choice of chintz. But now I own a house and I'm fussy, inconveniently so. Here are the things I can't find:
  • a large wooden round dining table with a central column;
  • an armless sofa bed that isn't brown or navy or leather or abominable;
  • an elegant floor lamp that doesn't have a tediously fashionable curve.


Look at this lamp that's much on my mind, depicted by Douglas Friedman Photography via Desire to Inspire. Perfect for operations, interrogations and theatre, and I dearly want it, but I don't know where to get it. Perhaps I should settle for mere light rather than a play with proportions, and have another breadstick.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

green and pink office wishes

Who remembers Ireland's old school desks? Made of iron and wood, with inkwells and pencil-slots and lids that lifted so that we could store our lunches and catapults. Small ones for the small children and big ones for the big children, functional and almost indestructible. I never appreciated their beauty during my long, long schooldays and etched my name into them along with everyone else, but now I'd love to have one.

And this, from Steuart Padwick, is what reminded me of those desks.

I like its chic femininity and storage places and lack of business brawn, and only wish it had the built-in hinged wooden bench of the school desks.

And, from the same designer, a beautiful sideboard in which I can store my stationery along with all the magazines and chocolates and wine I need for when I storm grandly off into the home office, saying that I'm very busy and must not be disturbed. Aren't those chalky colours lovely?

[Images from Steuart Padwick]

Saturday, October 17, 2009

a date with my inner self

Small twin-engined Islander planes fly low over our house several times a day. We wave; they drop food-parcels. Well, they haven't yet, but we live in hope.

The planes are on their unhurried way across from the mainland to the Aran Islands, bringing visitors to Inis Meáin Restaurant and Suites, designed by de Blacam & Meagher and inspired by the landscape of the islands.


This place looks as though it's intended for people who'd like to commune with their inner selves. My inner self has sloped off in a huff for lack of communing ever since the children were born, but if it ever returns I'll have a date with it here in these elegantly sparse rooms. Their pace of life looks tranquil, their menu simple and good.

Reader, you'll exclaim in horror that there's no dusky pink in these photos, no chandeliers, no flocked wallpaper, no Eames chairs. I feel your pain. But wait, the island has a knitting company, the ultimate craft blogger's retreat. Your move.

[You must never, ever tell anyone this, but I don't really like Eames chairs. Except yours, of course, if you have one. Yours is special]

Thursday, October 15, 2009

warm arrivistes

Our new gates have been electrified so now we are arrivistes with remote controls. The cows in the field across the lane stare in bafflement at them as they open and close eerily through the mist.

Yes, the stonemasons ruined the drive, but you'll be wanting to remain glued to this channel as I'll be debating the merits of granite versus limestone gravel to sort it out. No? Ok then, be like that.
And my stance is that soft furnishings are much more interesting than insulation, but as I was overruled by Scottish Husband the house got insulated today.

Warm arrivistes: what a feeling.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

stuff

Stuff? Tick. I have stuff.

A surprising amount of stuff, as it's not that long since I owned no more than a suitcase and a bookcase and maximum luggage allowances were nothing to me.

But now that I have sofas and trees and jigsaws and platters and sheds and ribbons and warranties and pastry-brushes and high hopes that my daughters won't redistribute them too drastically while they play at being pirates, I have to find places to put them.This is Ella's Kitchen Company's Box For Stuff (also available from Garden Trading), and you can see why the name caught my eye.


Wooden, sturdy and variously painted, they look good to me. I'm planning one for herbs, one for toiletries, and one for my giveaway wins.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

partially why

This isn't really a post, but rather a comment to add to yours. Thank you very much for your many insights into blogging, and in particular design/lifestyle blogging; I was struck by the time and trouble you took.
You blog as a social activity, and in particular because it's an easier one than most to fit into busy days. It gives you a way of interacting with a world outside your own, a world which, as Heather initially pointed out, is unusual in its courtesy and its sense of welcome and inclusion. If you work from home (as I sometimes do too), blogging provides comradeship and a wider arena of engagement.
You blog as a creative outlet, because you like words and images. Because it's a constructive use of idle time.
You blog because it's fun and escapist and makes you smile. Because it gives you the adult equivalent of pen-pals. Because it's undemanding, in the sense that you can post and comment or not as you wish, with no sense of obligation.
You blog because there was a 'Create Blog' button.
You blog as a way to organize information and images, or as an adjunct to a business. To have something other than work into which you can channel a sense of enthusiasm and a work-ethic.
I had such a sense of recognition as I read all your responses. I blog out of megalomania, of course, but also for the sense it gives of community and of an external world. The craft/creative element of the blogs I read gives me a connection with the time before I was a gadabout or had children when I put into practice the knitting, sewing, and other skills my mother took the trouble to teach me, and encourages me to apply those skills and to be more creative myself.
Because blogging is slightly less real than reality, it gives me a sense of order. When Blue Daughter eats Pink Daughter's To Do list and mayhem ensues, I can escape to Google Reader, where no one must Stop That Right Now Or Else.
And it gives me a more personal sense of the world. We all see the daily international headlines about natural disasters, political crises and human drama, but blogging creates for me a parallel and no less valid world where Australia is reupholstering a chair, America is expecting a baby any day now, and Canada has a lovely pair of shoes with velvet ribbons.
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