Monday, February 28, 2011

don't mind me

Don't mind me; I'm just quietly posting a few flowers for Jane's global flower presentation.

[heather and yellow rose in bathroom, seven points]

This one below is an old image, but Jane won't realise that. It was only when I started clicking round the other participants in the global flower presentation that I spotted that some of the rotters had more than one flower arrangement. I panicked, of course, and shot back through my archives to put on some sort of a decent showing.

[small daffodils in the Miss J. Hunter Dunn memorial egg-cup, nine points]

Sixteen points in all; not bad, eh? It's not that there's a prize; it's a matter of Self-Respect.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

bowls, potatoes, the state of the nation

I broke the second of these pearlescent bowls today. My sister gave me the set, and I like them so much that when I imagine the film of my life (silent, black & white, low-budget) it is as a series of stills of me holding a bowl of muesli, then of raspberries, then of ice-cream, and so forth, as the seasons change and I age, looking wistfully hungry throughout.
[image: dotmaison]

Seeking to replace them, I go online. A set of the bowls costs 16 to 25 pounds sterling, depending on where you buy it. Shipping to Ireland costs about 32 pounds. 32 pounds is quite a lot, agrees the retailer whom I contact, for such a small package, but in fact, he tells me, I can buy up to 10 kilos of goods for this same shipping fee.

Ever conscious of Value For Money, I calculate that I can buy 50 bowls at a cost of about 250 pounds, and have the lot shipped to me for 32 pounds. Is this Value For Money? Or not? I only want 4 bowls.

I'm asking you because we here in Ireland are not good at Value For Money. What we've been getting in return for our tax contributions are some extremely generously pensioned politicians and senior civil servants, now retiring gracefully from the scope creep they've presided over, but it's only lately that we've stopped to think, "hmmm, are extremely generous pensions that aren't for us really what we want?"

During the boom times, we never bothered to ask as the misallocation of our money was covered by the general gloss of success. Now that the gloss has given way to low-sheen times, we're emailing our public sector to ask why it has awarded itself benefits that tend to be considerably greater than those of the private sector that finances it. Robert from the Deflection Desk has forwarded our query to Christine, who is on sick leave till April.

At least our potatoes are in good shape. I stood in the supermarket the other day and had a good close look at them, under the bright lights, and there was no sign of blight. Do you find supermarket lights are particularly bright in the vegetable aisle, so that extra mascara is needed to look one's very best while checking for signs of impending Famine?

In the Meadows and Byrne accoutrements section (less harshly lit), I spot these jam-jar covers. Ah, how Blogtopian, I think with delight, but the Value For Money alarm rings in my head and I wonder whether 5 euros is a bit much for 5 squares of fabric and 5 elastic bands. I could make my own, if the trade unions don't mind. Then I recall that I own no pinking shears, so buy them anyhow. I hope the manufacturers get the sales and success they deserve for correctly identifying our nation's lack of a pair of pinking shears.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

chest of drawers before and after

Today I'm over at Garrendenny Lane, with a guest post for Lorna, who was one of my very first blogging friends. I suspect she is the most energetic and dynamic woman in Ireland, with a farm, an interiors shop and two children to keep her busy.

The chest of drawers makeover is part of my mission to turn the world from pine to shades of white. Note carefully, people, that this photo is the AFTER of the before and after. Not the before. The AFTER. Just in case you inadvertently say the wrong thing. Here's the link.

Monday, February 14, 2011

from the dressing room to the shed roof

This is my dressing room and haven, the furthest point from the outside world.

"The Artsy Cousin would perch on the dressing room steps with a vodka cocktail, speaking of chiaroscuro and the New Poetry."
Today I'm guest posting over at Amid Privilege, entertaining Lisa's Style Archetypes: the Sturdy Gal, the Artsy Cousin, and the Grande Dame. They're on their tour of Europe; Lisa and I are on the shed roof. Do call over and wave at us.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

a small domestic post

This is Blue Daughter with pinkish-red carnations, for Sinead and flwrjane, who always post such pretty flowers.

[Image: Jim Lawrence Traditional Ironwork]

And I've taken to this style of clear glass pendant light, and am wondering whether I could make something similar but bigger for the hall using a goldfish bowl and Scottish Husband's electrical skills. Now that he has affixed the magnetic knife-strip to the wall, anything is possible.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

surely everyone is interested in tiles

The wall behind our kitchen range was tiled last week while we had no Internet access. I couldn't post a photograph of it, couldn't read a minor flood of admiring comments and the occasional quibble from maverick commentators who would have said that I should have chosen pink tiles, or perhaps something more country-style with pictures of roosters. It was as though it had been tiled in vain.

Scottish Husband says he is going to fix the magnetic knife-strip back into place. I merely mention this in case he reads this post.
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