Friday, December 24, 2010

what I own has changed

Ten years ago, I owned an inflatable armchair and a see-through handbag. Everyone had them. We used to sit around on the inflatable armchairs planning which arthouse film to see that evening and our handbags filled up visibly with the latest lipsticks and ticket-stubs.

Most people had a lava lamp as well. Through some cruel deprivation or disinterest, I didn't, but I proudly owned a pink Romeo & Juliet bag lamp. Does that count? They are all long gone anyhow, my Longchamps handbag so much so that I couldn't even find a picture of it on the great wide Internet, so substituted a Prada for your convenience. Did I give the armchair away? I forget. At any rate that decade of conspicuousness and portability passed.

Walking back to the house a few nights ago after venturing out to kick the bloody outdoor Xmas lights in the eucalpytus by the gate, I thought of Carol Anne Duffy's line, "How do you earn a life going on behind yellow windows?" and noted that what I own has changed. I have a big stout oak front door, a knitted nativity, a tree covered with 10 years of accumulated baubles people gave us (thank you, Lorna, for my lovely latest). I have out-buildings that need reroofing and two stockings waiting for Santa Claus. I have a corkscrew with a lifetime guarantee.

And looking at my own yellow windows, I wonder why such a life should be 'earned'? Surely its attainment is progression rather than progress, and a Blogtopian life as observed by others is a matter of priority, presentation and the luck of the draw. Kicking the outdoor lights had done no good; they were still broken.

Happy Christmas, everyone, and a big thank you to the commentators for entertaining and amusing me so well. I'll be busy turning 40 for a while now but will see you next year.


  1. The veg are prepped. The presents are wrapped. The ham is on. The children have not been able to escape from me 'singing' christmas songs. Time for all behind these yellow windows to boo and hiss at the pantomime. Unusually calm and coherent round these parts.
    Merry Christmas Mise, and all who sail with you

  2. Happy Christmas Mise to you and your family. Looking forward to the 2011 adeventures of Pretty Far West.


  3. I think the corkscrew with a lifetime guarantee is definitely the most important. I hope it helps you to have a most merry Christmas xx

  4. merriest of christmas wishes to you, mise.


  5. I have a lava lamp. It was a discard and about a quart low on mystery fluid (which turned out to be water.) I still delight in it. But if I had bought it when it was actually popular, I probably would not.

  6. Happy 40th Christmas, Mise. Did you hear the one about the inflatable boy who goes to his inflatable school with a pin?

  7. I remember the inflatable chairs! Such a great idea - unless you had keys in your pocket ...

  8. 11:00pm your time, I'm just home from work and devouring news from around the world.

    Hope your days will be merry and bright even without the outside lights.

    Eucalyptus grows outside in Ireland?

    Merry, merry Mise.

    xo Jane

  9. Dear Mise
    Wishing you and your family a wonderful christmas filled with love and joy and a happy happy 40th also!!

    thanks for all your kindness and friendship this year... hope next year brings you much happiness and permanent fixtures.. I look forward to more of your sunshine coming our way.. xxx Julie

  10. there's no doubt about it, , you have it all girl , you have it ALL ....
    and happy everything to you and all around you

    Much fondness and awkard hugging ....
    ( still trying to work out "I wish I had room for another sofa." (5 euros)

  11. A knitted Nativity!!! Who knew such a thing existed? I'm smiling from ear to ear :) See? More like giggling somewhere at my innermost core...
    Loved this hilarious post...I had to get up at 5 a.m. to read it because it's the only spot of peace and quiet around here for the last few days...I'm sipping "Winter Spice"...tea, that is.
    Thanks for all the laughs this year, Mise...looking forward to more...

  12. Fashion and trends come and go. Often our selections are chosen by our tastes, some temporary some not; and as you mentioned life styles can dictate what we deem as necessary and practical. Your decorations may change for Christmas, or you might choose not to have any at all.
    Sometimes I think we put too much preparation into it, and perhaps we should just let it happen and enjoy it for what it really is. However, one of my fondest planned Christmas memories, is getting out the ladder, and watching my husband help our little boy climb to the top to put hay on the roof for the reindeer. I also got a kick out of watching my husband get up early in the morning before sun up and retrieve most of the hay and spread a little out, because we know that reindeer are a little messy.

  13. Merry Christmas Mise. I hope you had a lovely day with your family and friends. And you must show us images of any inflatables you receive for your 40th when you return from your celebrations. xx

  14. Happy Christmas Mise and have the happiest of 40th you are young! Warmest wishes to you and your family in 2011!

  15. Belated Merry Christmas. Advance Happy Birthday.

    Hope you and the brood have had / are having a right old time.

    See you in the New Year xx

  16. What a lovely post. I hope you and your family had a wonderful Christmas and I wish you all the best for 2011

    All things nice...

  17. Wonderful post. Your writing inspires me. I am new to your blog and have really enjoyed it.

    Happy Belated Christmas

  18. Briliant post, dearie, as always!

    I hope you had a wonderful Christmas, and my warmest wishes to you and yours for a magical New Year, and BIRTHDAY!!

    Welcome to your 40's :-) Only just scootched in the door myself, as you know, and so far, I think I'm going to love it!
    C x

  19. 40 what Mise? years, followers, posts? Sat down with my daughter (turning 34 this year) and realized life is an open book. Stupid is not a narrowing triangle, but a blossoming flower. Don't get tangled up in those un-performing lights. We are more than the sum of the stuff we once owned.

  20. Happy 40th Mise, hope your birthday celebrations gel well with the Christmas ones :-)

  21. Happy Birthday and Christmas and New Year Mise!

  22. huh... i was busy turning 49 but im back now.
    happy 40th
    im actually quite taken by the concept of portability in furniture.
    this last move was horrendous. there must be a better way
    cheers to you !!
    ~laura xx

  23. I so wanted a lava lamp. To me, it epitomised all things groovy and grown up. But sadly, along with bean bags and Mr Frostie, it never happened. Now, when I am in the position to acquire a lava lamp, bean bag, and Mr Frostie, I'd rather a Tiffany lamp, armchair, and sophisticated cupcake making machine. Before I start pondering whether the latter exists, let me wish you and yours a very Happy New Year, and for you a very Happy Birthday!

  24. Christmas—with all its vagrant decorations, visitors, and dramas—really is the perfect time to stop and note what we really own. Congratulations on owning your belongings (and clearing out the unnecessary see-through and hot-air stuff!) on your fortieth. Many Happy Returns!

  25. 10 years ago, I did not have an inflatable arm chair or a see-through bag. Where the hell was I? You've made me realize I missed out. I did, however, have a lava lamp at some point. I think I prefer your knitted nativity scene to any of the above!
    Happy New Year Mise!

  26. Happy New Year mise, best wishes for 2011 to you and the Daughters Blue and Pink and Scottish Husband.

    But now that they're phasing out incandescent bulbs, I wonder if the yellow windows will be replaced by a sickly, unflattering harsh blue glare. Heavens.

  27. I had the lava lamp but not the see-through bag and inflatable chair... not for want of wanting though ;)

    Yes what I own too has changed – but for the most part in a good/happy way. (Actually when I think about it, I'm quite glad I no longer own those wine bottle candle holders and empty alco-pop bottles as vases!!)

    Hope you had a super lovely Christmas – and have a great 2011 x


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