Wednesday, March 31, 2010

nearly one of the lads

This 'crack open a can' feeling is new to me. I've never liked beer or cider or even soft drinks, so drinking has involved fussing about with corks or swizzle sticks while trying not to trip over my chandelier earrings. But since I spotted Tinned Premixed Gin and Tonic in the local shop, I'm nearly one of the lads, able to grab a cold can and settle down, feet up, to dish out a compelling blend of opinion and dodgy facts along with the best of them.

Sure, it's not my beloved Bombay Gin, it lacks a slice of lime, and the tin is wimpishly small, but it's a first step toward being one of the casual, carefree people you read about in American novels who can leave a lit candle unattended even though the label says not to.

I also have four new goose-feather pillows. It's a wonder I'm here, typing this post, at all.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Happy birthday, Blue Daughter!

I'm still feeling a bit lightheaded from idly eating too much Dolly Mixture, that well-known aid to philosophical thought, at Blue Daughter's birthday party yesterday.

Since she could speak, Blue Daughter has sung "hee hee hee" merrily to herself as she plays, just like Billy Bunter. Pink Daughter seldom does this anymore. Somewhere between age three and age five, the "hee hee hee" receded.

[You must all be tired of my pink and white tablecloth by now.]

Pink Daughter was always a more anguished soul, taking after her dear Mamma, but she certainly used to giggle more when she was younger. Isn't socialisation a bother? I often think "hee hee hee" to myself as I write blog posts or make business phone calls, but I would certainly never admit to it, nor say it out loud. What would people think?

And the winner of the chocolate giveaway is Gigi - I'll be in touch.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

reluctantly resurging in yellow

Six months ago, we embraced purple and faux fur in seasonal transition. Now it's time to take that stuff to the charity shop and resurge in yellow for part two of the traditional Blogger's Year. Not being the resurgent type, the thought of it makes me long for the imaginary rest cure in the Swiss Alps that I'll take soon to mark a full year of blogging. But we struggle on.

Daffodils, tulips, intimations of optimism: tick, tick, tick.

The blogger's garden of low-maintenance gorse and heather. No maintenance, in fact. I sit here listening to the bees, ignoring the sounds from the west lawn where the rest of the household busily mows and tries to involve me in deciding where the new seedlings should go. Like Neville Chamberlain, I'm a pushover for Peace in Our Time, so I occasionally join them for a bit of light pointing at flowerbeds, but only when anyone is watching. Exertion doesn't really suit Neville and me.

There's a chocolate giveaway still on the go here, if that's any good to you. Don't tell anyone and you'll have more of a chance to win.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

a celebratory chocolate giveaway

How about a giveaway, my Mastermind subject, to celebrate being a finalist in the Irish blog awards?

Scottish Husband says the awards are just a bunch of techies having a day out, but hey, don't mind him: I'm proud of myself, and I'd like most particularly to thank the people who nominated me. Surely goodness and mercy will follow them all the days of their lives.

If this were fiction, a Baddie would jump out of a rusting submarine round about now, brandishing a bloodstained axe and an increase in the mortgage interest rate to puncture my self-satisfaction, but it's Lifestyle, dude, so it's all good. I'll arrange to send supplies of fancy Cocoa Bean chocolate to a random commentator on this post, anywhere in the world, in a week's time. No, they're not sponsoring me; I just like their wares.

Be realistic, people: it's only chocolate, there's no need to be conspicuously nice. Unless of course you're someone who has never commented before, in which case fulsomeness would not go amiss.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

we look out to sea

Spot the odd sea out. Three of these images are of Galway Bay (and Pink Daughter, Scottish Husband and Blue Daughter), one is of the Caribbean sea (and me). Our sea scores more points for glitter. A small nation squares its shoulders with pride.

And that's not all: our National Lottery has recently gone online. No one need ever be poor again.

[That was a short detour into Irish nationalism in response to the commentators on the last post. I return now to my regular schedule of loitering about, dishing out opinions and remarking benevolently on the first draft of your novel.]

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

40 shades of ennui

Here comes St Patrick's day, my least liked public holiday. I don't care for saints, parades, the collusion of the Irish in the depiction of themselves as being dysfunctionally cute, or commercial shades of green.

Rejecting any sense of occasion, I'll hide under my bed making more cushions from tea towels. If the blogging world is out there busily turning things into other things, so must I. There's even a good parenting imperative behind my tea towel to cushion compulsion now, as the rowdies have remarked that they need more cushions on which to bounce.

But for you, dear foreign reader, so that I don't come across as churlish or dismissive of the great international shamrock, here's a lesson in elementary Irish for the comment box:

Another cushion? How charmingly repetitive of you, my dear.
Ná habair go bhfuil tú fós ag déanamh cúisíní!

Those pastel colours are perhaps a bit passé.
Níl na dathanna báiteacha sin sa bhfaisean níos mó.

Please keep the blog posts a bit shorter.
Ná bíodh an oiread le rá agat.

If anyone has any spare fancy tea towels, would you fax them to me, or hold an exclusive little giveaway open only to the very best people and me? I'm running low.

Friday, March 12, 2010

the mysterious appeal of pigeons and jellies

I thought I knew everything, but no. I don't like pigeons, and I don't like jellies, so I don't understand why this cushion from Thornback & Peel appeals to me, but it does.

And how about these napkins as wall-hangings? I think they'd look great in a row in my kitchen.

[All images: Thornback & Peel]

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

instead of flowers

Rather than buy winter flowers, I've taken to displaying lemons about the house.

They last longer, transport more readily, damage less easily and look fresh and bright. The fridge is full of gin and delightfully canned tonics so that they don't go to waste.

For blogging purposes, I like to pretend that I grow the lemons myself. I grow them modestly, not complacently.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

a sunlit dress

Once the paint is dry, this picture will be mine.

Back in the old gallivanting days, I rented a house in Dublin with casapinka. She owned a huge cask of Toll House chips, so I liked her a lot. We dreamed of living in the Mexican Embassy across the lane, a beautiful house where gangsters in low-slung cars sought diplomatic immunity from the Irish rain. When she abandoned us to move back to the US, the replacement tenant had no Toll House chips. It wasn't the same.

Where were we? Casapinka, who sparked my interest in dresses on the wall years ago, now takes art classes from Permanent Magenta, who painted this dress. I like the persistence of the dress theme, and the sunlit simplicity of the painting.

In other important ephemera, this is the successful CV for the recently advertised senior sofa management position (non-stipendiary). Welcome to the team, Paula, who is also VP of Shelving and Storage. She joins myself, the offshore team of commentators, an imaginary assistant and a mascot in PFW HQ. Please ring bell for attention.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

in the bag

There's a what's in your handbag? theme running around the blogs, so I thought I'd pitch in. I'd rather be less trivial and show you marvellous things I've created to keep up with your one over in Dublin, but unfortunately I've made nothing today, progress least of all.

Money, keys, and a hard-won driving licence for practicality, lipstick and a perfume-tin for vanity, and a small torch and hair elastics for emergencies. A notebook for feigning deep thought.

How terribly bourgeoisie it all is. Would you lend me your pearl-handled revolver or some interestingly misshapen vegetables for added interest?
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