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.
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