Saturday, January 29, 2011

miniature jam jars and stern resolve

Our broadband stopped working this week and it was all very peaceful here. Scottish Husband went into a bit of a decline, unable to browse for motorcycles, but I found it quite refreshing to be able to call a guilt-free halt to the search for perfect drawer-knobs.

Coincidentally, it happened as I was two chapters into The Winter of Our Disconnect, by Susan Maushart, "How one family pulled the plug on their technology and lived to tell/text/tweet the tale." I purchased this book online, and later saw it described on the back cover as "a hilarious tale." It has long been a stout rule of mine to avoid anything hilarious. It's a good book, nicely paced, full of engaging personal detail and fascinating facts for dotting about in conversation, but the relentless quips are distressing.


[My exciting new discovery: baby Bonne Maman jars!]

Back in the days when I used to lecture in Advanced Why (and sometimes, when my esteemed colleagues were indisposed or swanning off to conferences in the wine-producing regions, Advanced How), I tended to sprinkle my talks quite liberally with quips, so as to keep the attention of the merry souls at the back. How they must have hated me. Perhaps you do too. Here dawns my stately new quip-free self.

[Thank you very much to dear Sinead and Jacqueline, who kindly gave me blogging awards that require me to dish out 7 facts about myself. I'm walking tall as I work on the assignment, proud to be a 7-faceted person.]

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Yellow Kitchenaid painting

I'm ever so taken with the bright and sturdy dignity of this Kitchenaid mixer painted by Kerry.


Isn't it wonderful? So much so indeed that my Great Ambition, conceived just a minute ago, is to open the National Gallery of Domestic Still Life, containing pictures of sofas, dresses, books, appliances, forks and other important things, their blunt beauty and practicality made intriguing through paint.

All I need is a grand premises and some wavy-edged tickets that say ADMIT ONE. Some red dot stickers as well, I suppose, to finance the whole enterprise.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Blogger Monopoly

It was Meredith who came up with the idea, in the comments to this post.
I think Monopoly should bring out a board aimed at our demographic, with a mini-Kitchenaid, an AGA, an Alessi kettle etc as markers. The properties could be Anthropologie, The Conran Shop, Zara etc. Then cards saying "Your blog is mentioned in the Washington Post, collect 200 followers" etc.

[my new coloured wine glasses]

Others added an iPhone4 and martini-shaker marker, a Kindle and a Hermes scarf, and Naomi channeled the darker side of lifestyle blogging:
I'm ready to invest in the bloggers monopoly set. I'm thinking that instead of Go to Jail, we might have a square labelled - Broadband Disconnection? Chance cards could include horrors such as, 'leave bitchy comment on popular blog, miss a turn' and 'Follower envy renders you unable to post for a week.'
What an inspired business idea, I thought, so I fished it out of the comments and embarked on some Product Development.


[citrus and pot-pourri]

Instead of hotels and houses we'd amass etsy purchases and cupcakes. The unit of currency would be the 'follower,' and counterfeit currency, the 'absentee follower,' would also be much in circulation. One upcycled object would equal seven followers and three thousand followers would equal one Book Deal.

Players would be penalised for posting a poem of their own composition or a photo of their cat. Guest posts and Blog Awards would signal fiendish alliances, and players who weren't always conspicuously pleased for everyone else would miss a turn. When the Giveaway bell sounded all contestants would effusively admire everything in sight.

The overall winner would be presented with a small oilcloth bag, suitable for wondering what to keep in. She would thank everyone and post a victorious photo of her sunlit morning toast.

A bashful, retiring person such as myself wouldn't have a hope, but I'm putting ten euros on you to win.

Monday, January 10, 2011

red dot glory

See these beguiling red dot ramekins and the pie dish? I won them from Lorna of Garrendenny Lane by coming up with the new slogan for her lovely home & lifestyle online shop. Me, yes, me, who can't sell the idea of eating dinner to a five year old, and suddenly I'm a confused blend of Nigella Lawson and Mad Men.

Now I'm driving proudly around with my sunglasses on whatever the weather, a discreet sticker on my rear windscreen:
Win pie dishes from home in your spare time. Call me now and ask me how.



Tuesday, January 4, 2011

it's true about the Kitchenaid

My Kitchenaid mixer fell on the floor a few months ago.

[not broken]

OK, it didn't just fall; I dropped it, distracted by an item on the radio about using sports psychology to get ahead in the competitive world of blogging. It's a curse, being competitive: I first recognised the trait in myself at college when I took against the earnest lads at the front of the lecture-theatre and set out to out-perform them. From there, through a series of triumphs, fate leads me to blogging. It could have been worse: it could have been golf, or growing giant vegetables. The Kitchenaid was absolutely fine; the floor broke.

I'm a bit sad about the broken floor, but uplifted by the Kitchenaid's magnificent resilience. Surely these people should start manufacturing cars and hairdryers?

So, some resolutions for the sake of conforming with new year blogging norms:
Have the floor mended.
Quit being competitive.
Read up on sports psychology.
Stop adding to my carefully curated collection of unread newspapers.
Mix more cakes.
Post shorter, more focused posts, perhaps including morals.
No, I mean it.
Appear more resolute.
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