Sunday, October 31, 2010

winter, for Tom

Everyone knows that a blogger traditionally marks the changing of the seasons with a wishy-washy Book of Hours post. This, my second blogging year, brings more of the same old icumen in, same old hope and expectancy, same old make-your-own-bag kit that came with Cath Kidston's SEW! this time last year and lies neglected still. Is there anyone else out there who hasn't made their bag yet either? May we meet?

So, winter.

The robin hops outside the window.

The friendly robin hops outside the window.

The friendly robin hippety-hops outside the window as the days shorten in the shadows of the slanting sun, awakening the soul's ancient yearning for cashmere socks and a knitted hot water bottle cover. We walk down these quiet country lanes, mute disintegration surrounding us in the smell of ruined houses, nettles and damp, the abandoned illegally imported cars rusting on the bog. The yellow-lit windows are private worlds, taxed families drawn together to mutter about the banks and the public service pensions and agree that they could have managed the country better themselves for God's sake. Frightening frost covers our car window. We can't see. Sidney? Sidney? Are you there? Sidney?

The well-dressed homme sports a cable knit, the femme a camel coat. Jaded by the lettuce leaf, we move on to undepicted casseroles and warming pies. Australia stirs and bounds about, mentioning its spring tulips. We mutter enviously to ourselves and delete its blogs from our reader.

Not really, Australia.

Please don't judge me, people. This post is for Tom Stephenson, a gentleman of Bath.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Friday, October 22, 2010

bring on the winter

After we had made do with a bunch of non heat-emitting lilies (non-heat emitting lilies? heat non-emitting lilies? where's Stan when you need him?) for a long time, the ivory stove appeared.

[schoolgirl preparing to reveal new stove]

[a hot brandy, anyone?]

Sunday, October 17, 2010

back on the bus

I haven't been current since 2005, when the first child was born. Colleagues around the wine-cooler ask me what I think of the latest bands, and I smoothly change the subject to how best to store ginger (in the freezer, and grate it from frozen) while resolving to listen to Pearl more often. I'm still reading last month's newspapers. Recent authors of gritty novels have wasted their time; it'll be a year before I get round to them, no matter what awards they've won.

[currently reading]

I'm not even current with my blog reading, except of course yours. I rush to check out your latest post every morning, before breakfast. It gives me a little hop in my step. When you haven't posted, the day is a grey swirl, hour heaped upon dismal worrying hour as I wonder why you haven't rearranged a room or bought new earrings or had a go making your own bagels. Should I phone...?

... and then the huge relief and an organic ginger biscuit as you appear in my rss reader.

Sometimes I'm briefly current with the chores, and then a small figure covered in spaghetti and chocolate sauce (not that we serve these proletarian foods) looms out of the household mist, triumphantly saying, "it's your pretend birthday, Mama, and we've made you a cake out of everything in the cupboard."

[current husband]

It's not always that much of a hardship not being current. I've learnt to scan the news and ignore the spectator-sport of farflung human interest that makes up so much of what the media reports. I happily wear the wrong boots, thinking to myself as I walk down the street that those ankle-strap bootlets with high heels worn by the current people look so odd. They surely think the same of mine. My current model mobile phone has just been through the wash. Your text message, "a girl, Daisy Cheriebelle, 7 pounds 2 ounces" may never reach me.

[currently working on a very important guest post]

The question is, how does one get back on the bus ? Will there come a time when once again I can bandy immediacies at soirées or do mothers retreat forever into their own private time-capsule as the zeitgeist bolts heedlessly past?

I have a minor headache now. Stuck in 2005, with a minor headache.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

mirror, mirror

BEFORE: bathroom with gold mirror borrowed from living room

AFTER: bathroom with new ivory mirror from the marvellously helpful people at The Collection by Panfili

Journalists from reputable, slightly left-wing newspapers all over the world ring me up and ask whether I have nothing better to do than getting a mirror just so. "No," I tell them, "no."

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

the kindness of bloggers

An impromptu little package arrived today from Amanda of Small Acorns to delight us, a giveaway win of sorts. Someone else won, in fact, but Amanda's daughter decided that I should have a prize too. It's encouraging that young girls in faraway lands are being brought up with such a keen sense of justice.

And a fine prize it was. The lovely fabric teatime stickers already adorn the playroom and the charming purse will lurk in my handbag. Thank you, dear Amanda and Milly!

And you may want to rush along and get your name into Permanent Magenta's painting giveaway, which ends this Friday. It's mightily noble of me to mention it at all, as I have my eye on her Pink Eames Rocker and you're diluting my chances by entering.

So much for the survival of the fittest. Future sociological investigation will show that altruism peaked in Blogtopia in the early years of the twenty first century. Findings will be sensitively validated by peer review, presented in pink floral folders tied with pretty ribbon, and greeted with a flurry of admiring comments from the academic community. I guess we'll all have a small glass of sherry.

Friday, October 1, 2010

fireplace (does anyone know Bruce?)

For the kind commentators who took an interest in the fireplace, here it is. The vase of lilies is a feeble substitute for the long-awaited ivory stove (due next week, as usual). Would you rather spend a west of Ireland winter of lashing rain and gales sitting round a vase of lilies or an ivory stove alit with a blazing log fire? Yes, me too.

[If you peer closely at the left, there's a white-painted iron hook for a cauldron, so that people of yore could cook their potatoes and seaweed. I have no cauldron and people of yore might scoff at my pink casseroles, but we struggle on.]

Meanwhile, we've bought the Little House on the Prairie box set, season 1. It's the perfect thing for my elder daughter (aged 5-6), full of strung emotion and right & wrong. With the heightened cultural awareness of age, I keep expecting Bruce Springsteen to walk on set and belt out a bleak yet redemptive song, accompanied by Charles on the fiddle.

By the way, if anyone knows Bruce, would you ask him whether he'd write a guest post for me? Something keenly socially and politically aware that would help us rise above the wait for a stove.
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