Thursday, April 29, 2010

the very thing

One of the following is usually The Very Thing, readjusting the disposition just so and requiring little effort:

  • a boiled egg with a slice of buttered toast
  • walnut bread and blue cheese
  • tomatoes, mozzarella and basil

  • bedtime tea with one drop of peppermint oil
  • 2 squares of chocolate
  • raspberries with vanilla yogurt

  • a piece of homemade fudge
  • pancakes with lemon juice and sugar
  • a glass of sparkling wine

All that other food in the processed food aisles is no good, except, of course, glacé cherries for stress and marzipan for major stress, consumed medicinally. Oh yes, Tunnock's teacakes to support the Scottish economy. See, once you falter all is lost.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

important housekeeping query

If a guest room contains fresh flowers for beauty, lavender for scent, and a grey convex mirror for pretentiousness, does that suffice as a bit of an effort or is it very, very important that the duvet cover should be ironed?

[unironed duvet cover, creases adding to crisp authenticity, no hatemail please]

Thursday, April 22, 2010

edgy on a velvet sofa

Ever since I was catapulted to fame by losing the Irish Blogging Awards, I've been waiting for the press to come round and take my photo. This yellow velvet sofa would make a good prop - I'd sit on it, dressed in an austere charcoal grey frock with a dusky pink fabric rose, clutching a mismatched china cup and saucer and some spare adjectives. Behind me, women would come and go, tweeting of Michelangelo.
[The lovely Oswald sofa from the Conran Shop]

These Converse trainers would be just the thing for looking edgy in the sofa shot. Edgy is so important when you're as famous as Gwen Stefani and me.


[Converse Low Tops, vintage shoes via Penny Lane]

How are you doing with being edgy yourself? It's tough going, isn't it? Boyfriend blazer, boyfriend jeans, boyfriend socks, boyfriend Amex card, especially when you'd really rather wear the vintage shoes on the right, and secretly aren't even that convinced about yellow.

Yeah, I look so confident in that imaginary photo, but inside I'm not that sure about yellow.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

ready-threaded needles and carrot soap

Lucky me. Lucky to return from Brussels last week hotly pursued by the cloud of volcanic ash. Lucky to not be stuck out there engaging in light international chitchat in the EU tower-blocks and moping disconsolately around the chocolate shops, missing the rowdies, the novelty of the hotel sewing-kit with Ready-Threaded Needles rapidly wearing thin.

[READY-THREADED NEEDLES - is this a new trend or have I led a sheltered life?]

And on to Dublin, to party and stock up in Avoca with all manner of things I nearly need. When next you visit, the guest bathroom will have carrot soap. And to meet many lovely friends (hello, lovely friends) and stroll around the handbag shops, a final fling at being a brand victim before I finish reading Deluxe: How Luxury Lost its Lustre. And to eye hotel interiors, but see no design that could hope to rival this for creative beauty.

[Clarence and Clarence in the Clarence Hotel]

And back to a country lane, where the butterflies scorn the no-fly order. Lucky, lucky me.

Flicking through the latest imaginary issue of Global Blogging News, I noticed that the done thing is to have one's blog on Facebook, so I did just that. I don't see the point of multiple façades, but the done thing must be done. I'd try Twitter next I only could summon the will.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

the bearable lightness of being

International Bonne Maman jam sales figures rocketed this weekend when one commentator went out and bought a jar (apricot) as a result of my latest post. Have you ever had that feeling that you've Made a Difference?


Here are your ideas for the jam jars:
  • Refill with jam (I really overlooked the obvious here)
  • Make candles (a good blogger would)
  • Hold a giveaway
  • Fill them with pearl buttons, rice, cotton wool balls and flour ONLY (if it's not white, it's not fabulous)
  • Mix and transport martinis (this is the suggestion that'll turn my life around)
  • Make ceiling-lights
  • Swop the red lids with Suzie for green lids
  • Store grandparents
  • Use as photo frames
  • Send them to Rachel Kay's mother
  • Use them as a metaphor for bewilderment
  • Store inferior brands of jam, stray socks, pets, etc.
  • Sell them to finance a blog party
  • Take up Nutella instead of jam
  • Use enigmatically as wedding décor
  • Shake salad dressing
  • Throw them away and sit around waiting for hate comments (you have to admire Meredith's strength of character)
  • Use as wine glasses (tick)
  • Read the entire back catalogue of Country Living for further suggestions.

Thank you. It's clear to me now that I must fully line a room in my house with shelves of jarred things and sit on a French sofa in the middle with my jar of Martini, hosting the blog party. Open-topped sports cars will fill the front yard and great Eurovision hits of the past will blast through the warm night air as the animated clinking of jars intensifies. Scottish Husband and I, the F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald of the metaphor for blogging bewilderment, will take your coats.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

womanly introspection

There are a few things that keep me awake at night as I approach a year in Blogtopia, and I'd be ever so grateful if you could help.


1) It's a well-known fact that all bona fide bloggers store things (or display flowers) in Bonne Maman jam jars, but what should I do now that I have more of them than I possibly need? Does this signify over-consumption of jam, or under-storage of things? Does anyone have a tutorial to turn them into something I've always wanted but never dared to hope for?

2) How long does it take for a blogger who no longer blogs to cease to exist? Is there forever a small trickle of visitors who type 'cushion compulsion' into Google, and does the nice man in Taiwan who wants to know whether the climate of Ireland favours the cultivation of rose hips eventually stop asking? When it has been a month and no one has commented, will I know that my heart will go on and on and on...? Excuse me.

3) Does Lifestyle revert to Life if it ceases to be photographed?

Do you know the answer to any of these questions?

And, in administrative notes, I'm pleased to announce that Problemchildbride has been asked to join our growing staff as Queen Mother. We eagerly await her response.

Monday, April 5, 2010






How frequently are you asked questions?

Not very frequently at all. Maybe three times since I started blogging. I'm proud to have the sort of know-it-all reader who doesn't need to ask.


Will you promote my product on your blog?

I will, but only if it's something august such as Roman Ruins and you make it worth my while.

How much is your while worth?

Three thousand euros a day, plus expenses.

Will that be enough?

It will.

How do you fit blogging into your busy day?

I skimp on my Beauty Regime in order to blog. I used to dither in front of the array of shampoo bottles every morning, wondering whether to go for vivacious colour or uplifting volume. Choosing took a good 10 minutes. Now I just grab a random shampoo.

Have you been disappointed by your hair as a result?

No, my hair doesn't look any different. On non-blogging days I like to settle down with the laptop and a cup of tea, browsing nostalgically through old photos of myself and trying to determine whether it was a vivacious colour or an uplifting volume day.

It's been five days since you commented on my blog. Why is that?

The outsourced team of commentators is on strike, demanding more pay and shorter working hours.

Will you humour them?

No, we can't afford to. Meanwhile, I myself will comment on your blog, in verse.

This sort of stuff isn't getting us anywhere. Where is the lifestyle? Where are the recipes, the soft furnishings, the charming images of children at play?

We're living a Lifestyle-Free Life here for a week, as an experiment. We're eating from matching crockery, not making any vintage finds, upcycling nothing and generally shunning pastels. Our cake-stands are in storage. It's day three now, and we're hitting the wall. Pink Daughter has asked when she may have her Farrow & Ball paint-chart back. Please send cookies.

[You will find another small batch of FAQs here.]
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