Wednesday, October 10, 2012

I used to feel sorry for people like me

I used to feel sorry for people who browsed in the Lifestyle section of the library. Did they not find knitting and scone-making mundane and transient? Where was the romance and rigour in 30 Ways To Transform Your Room With Curtains?

Autumnal Daughters. The purple and yellow colour combination works less well in the Home

Fruit and flowers, lifestyle essentials both. In the background, a new hook for my apron. Progress.

The Internet says that marigolds will dry well upside down. I'll believe it when I see it.

But now, after a ten year gap during which my interest in storage solutions has blossomed, I've rejoined the library to keep the Daughters supplied with books, and my first stop is that same Lifestyle section. With the awareness of experience, I frequently interrupt my study of advanced dusting techniques to check whether anyone is lurking nearby in Epistemology or Ecclesiastical Theology, feeling, in turn, sorry for me.


Pizza is our meal of choice here since I had the idea from the wonderful Sue at The Quince Tree of parbaking and freezing homemade bases. Topped with goat's cheese, roast peppers, sweetcorn, sweet chilli sauce.


Another pizza: spinach with nutmeg, potatoes, blue stilton.  Very nice, very nice.


The Aran jumper my mother knitted for the Sindys, as they were feeling the chill.

My younger self was wrong, I realise now. Right for her age, perhaps, but wrong overall. The stuff of life is in the weft of a tea towel, the cobalt rim of a bowl, in comparison shopping for thermal vests.

51 comments:

  1. I taught myself to knit* this week because I badly needed SOMETHING TO DO while resting my sprained ankle**. I'm thankful that I'm actually on-trend, because with the knitting and needing to walk with a stick at the moment I was concerned I'd accidentally doubled my age*** without realising.

    * I actually taught myself to cast on, as it turns out I already knew how to knit but had forgotten I knew it.
    ** Long story involving stairs, not putting the light on, ambulance, 5 x-rays and all night in A&E.
    *** Which would make me 40ish, obviously. (Ahem!)

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  2. I was in the library only yesterday - in both Theology AND Homemaking sections, Did not see you though! [well, apart from librarian, only one other person in there, apparently wrestling on library PC with her genealogical studies]

    We are very blessed with 2 librarians who can discuss all manner of books with you - from PD James latest to '100 recipes for a slo-cooker' via 'Historical Re-enactments in the East Midlands'

    My thermals came from Aldi and they are brilliant.

    blessings x

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    1. Excellent, Angela, I shall visit my Theology section as well to see whether any readers there look Lifestyle-ready. "Christ comes with a January flower," I can quote persuasively at them.

      I'm gradually converting my own librarians to unfitted kitchens.

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  3. I do so envy you your Sindy furniture. I still have Sindy, complete with 1960s wardrobe and hair ruined by Amami setting lotion, but in a fit of madness some years back I sold her red sports car, and who knows what happened to her wardrobe. And the shower - I used to dream about things like that. Still do, in fact. And I never leave the house without a vest.

    Pomona x

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    1. They all have ruined hair, Pomona; it's part of their appeal. They were loved, and the set of heated rollers was saved for over many months of pocket money. Mine never had a red sports car; I guess I never had that red sports car sense of entitlement back then. I have it now in spades. You are very wise about the vests.

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  4. My library sections are sewing and baking and my excitement when I realised that libraries were not just for academic purposes for surpassed the 'sorrieness' I should have been feeling for myself ;-)
    I love Sindy and her Aran! I was never allowed to have one, probably because it was felt her shapeliness would corrupt my innocent mind!

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    1. Sindy is to be relaunched next year, Angela - surely you may be allowed one then? I think you would sew her the most wonderful, elegant clothes she has ever had, with the neat inside hems and charming linings so lacking in her own old wardrobe.

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  5. Either you or I need a book on Botany Mise. I am not sure those flowers are marigolds...

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    1. It's a close call but I think they might be gerberas. They last well in water, but I'm not sure about drying them.

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    2. The seed packet said 'Calendula'; I must have been cruelly deceived. What's worse, I have served them on salads on the understanding that they were indeed Calendula. Will a whole parish be wiped out by slow-acting gerbera toxins?

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  6. And in being able to identify an Etchings and Roses mug on your blog with a small feeling of satisfaction.

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  7. Hello Mise

    The opening picture of the formerly Pink and Blue Girls, now Purple Girls, what next? *%ZZZ" is absolutely stunning and has me yearning for the Galway shore.

    Your mother can certainly manoeuvre a pair of knitting needles.

    Helenxx

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  8. I love the library, and you will often find me browsing the home decor and crafts sections. Even more though, I love these glimpses into your warm, loving domesticity. It truly is the stuff of life and memories. And you keep it real by allowing purple and yellow into your pink and cream home.

    The pizzas look delicious and I am going to steal your ingredient combinations. I recently had one with butternut squash and blue cheese that I am craving right now.

    The jumper your mother knitted is wonderful--how tiny the needles must have been!

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    1. I must try butternut squash on a pizza, Jen. Perhaps with coriander too. Thank you for your always so kind comments.

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  9. You can tell Sindy is from the British Isles by her woollies. Barbie never had an Aran sweater.

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  10. How fancy is your Sindy? Our Sindys have a brown and mustard bath rather than a stylish blue shower, but have similar bedroom furniture. Sadly, we have no Aran jumper. Is your mother taking orders?

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  11. OMG, you all are so hilarious that I read your post/comments to my captive husband who is sitting next to me on our other computer. Thanks for the laughs!

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  12. Dear Mise, I have missed you! However I am so glad you are continuing in the realm of things so important; especially the advanced dusting techniques.

    Love the library; since housebound from the last fun hospital stay ( I just imagined I was on vacation on an island beach) I have been ordering movies/DVD's from the library,then friends pick them up for me!

    Would your mother take an order for a life sized Aran sweater in size medium. Just what I have been looking for (online of course!)

    xoxo
    Karena
    Art by Karena

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    Replies
    1. I'm glad your friends are rallying round so well, Karena. I hope you will be sprightly again soon and ready to rejoin the jolly artistic circuit.

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  13. Ah I see Razamatazz has identified the problem with marigolds.Yes they will dry. No those are not them.

    The pizzas on the other hand are just right and looking delicious.

    Do not let those girls inside in those colors.

    xo J,

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  14. Here in Canada, thermal vests will not do. We need full on long underwear from neck to ankles in the winter. And I love the lifestyle section of the library. Visiting that section doesn't preclude visiting other, more serious, sections.

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    1. I am contemplating the full on neck to ankle thermals myself, Kari, ever since the starlit party I went to last week wearing two pairs of socks. Others faded and departed, I stayed on.

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  15. Replies
    1. I do love your name, Sandy. Who among us, I ask myself, is not secretly Who Among Us The Great?

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  16. Mise - do they still make Sindy? Cannot believe. Always loved her more than Barbie. A bit less plastic, and slightly more authentic and British.

    Love the aran jumper. Lucky doll. And don't you try to tell me they don't feel the cold.

    Love Autumnal Daughters. So grown up all of a sudden.

    xo

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    1. They will be producing her again next year, Jane, I hear. Time will tell whether she will be anything like the same old dear guileless Sindy of our youth.

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  17. Pink and blue make purple, so it was only a matter of time before Purple Daughters appeared. There's much fetchingness here, Mise. I can loiter any time of day and avoid all need to visit the Lifestyle section at the library.

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  18. I loitered at the library for an hour today when I should have been shopping for groceries. If I had wallops of time to do as I pleased, I would spend whole days exploring the stacks and reading magazines.

    I bought an aran jumper a couple of years ago for the frigid winters in the upper midwest of the U.S. When I wear it I pretend my name is Jane.

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  19. Pleeeeese do let on about your advanced dusting technique. I keep trying to get the Spaniel to wag his tail across my dustables, but the creature keeps knocking things on the floor. You just can't get the staff here.

    Alas our library is a bit spartan, it tends to light romance and crime, which says a lot about the inhabitants of our village. The Lifestyle section if you can call it that is quite shocking, not a Swedish interior in sight, more about polyester cushion covers and nylon sheets, do you think we are behind the times?

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  20. I've popped back as I know you'll be anxiously awaiting the latest bulletin about my injury. Turns out I have a sprained ankle AND a broken foot, lucky me :) At this rate they'll be wanting to amputate my toes next time I go to hospital...

    Much in need of that cup of tea, thank you! x

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    1. I have been ceaselessly ringing your house for this news, Mel, and the emptying jar of chocolate chips is testament to my worry. That is a bad fall indeed.

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  21. I am feeling sadly disadvantaged, were there to be a book on any kind of dusting in my local library it would probably be in Welsh and completely unintelligible to me.

    As for your sɐɹǝqɹǝƃ I'm sure they'll look lovely once suitably dessicated :D Perhaps in a vase with some faded hydrangeas.

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  22. With apologies for the childish inversion ... I didn't actually expect that to work!

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  23. There will probably be a masters degree in dusting before we know it... keep studying.

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  24. Not convinced on the gerbra front. I think they could well be marigolds!

    The goats cheese pizza looks particularly scrummy. I too have gone the route of freezing par-baked pizza bases, thanks to the Fabulous Baker Brothers or whatever they are called. Brilliant.

    Is that an ORANGE Aga I am seeing in the background, Mise? ORANGE? That's very thrilling!

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    1. It's sort of halfway between golden yellow and mustard yellow in real life, and quite a force for good. Thrilling too.

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  25. Need to see those marigold/gerbra faces to be sure!

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  26. 1. You are right and 2. they look like calendula to me.

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  27. In my very first blog post I made fun of people who own glue guns. I have since repented in dusth cloths and doilies.

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  28. Hello Mise! Very cool photo of your girls, I have to say, they are cute. Purple and yellow is a fantastic contrast, it would work in a neutral room as accent colours (pillows...), rithg? OR just add some purple pots by Le Creuset and YOU will see the beauty on top of your fab Aga. But I really see it as the perfect colours for eye shadows for you Mis Redhead Hottie((:
    NOw, I used to feel sorry too, for mothers who stay at home and cook and bake...((: It is ME now and I LOVE it! So it very well maybe the youthfulness and less understanding for others perhaps...I try to be more understanding these days! There is right time for everyting I say to my little boy and to myself.
    xox Z

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  29. Ah, so reassuring to know that I am in good company here. And not alone in my coming-of-age realisation.

    Pizza suggestions always welcome, these look incredible. Thank you!

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  30. I used to feel sorry for people who went to garden centres instead of proper 'Sunday Spins' - now I must confess to similar sins.

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  31. to paraphrase something ..
    there is no love more sincere
    than that the love put into the making
    of an aran jumper for sindy

    is this is the photo of you the future ?
    http://www.source.ie/graduate/2012/dunlaoghba/dunlaoghba_student_22_05_35_07-05-12/dunlaoghba_student_22_05_35_07-05-12.php#topbigimage_hold


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    1. Yes, some day in the future you and I will both be wearing slacks like those. You must look forward to it as I do.

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  32. All that eventual browsing in the Lifestyle section contributed to creating that fabulous Gin Lamp as well as all your other wonderful bits of handiwork and the special touches that grace your charming home, and it is now helping your adorable Autumnal daughters in 'their' creative pursuits (fun to see what they'd do with the colored twine)...definitely time well spent!

    We ebb and flow Mise...in Lifestyle and life, and it's all good and all okay. The intellectual spirit and the wise spirit must take turns every now and then...keeps us balanced!

    Craving homemade pizza now...fearful of that as I was of making bread (it's the whole yeasty thing), maybe it's time for another 'conquering' though as they look and sound delicous, well done!
    xo J~

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  33. The Autumnal Daughters are beautiful - whether in pink, blue, or purple! Snazzy sunglasses as well. As for the lifestyle section in libraries - my memories of it are stuck in the 70s. In fact, they are stuck with that book called 'Handicraft' - I was fascinated by it when I was little, mainly for the amount of things that could be apparently crafted out of a doily.

    (Psst - I also had that Sindy bedroom suite. I quite like the idea of a shower in the corner. A handy time-saver.)

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  34. So beautifully said and illustrated Mise. Thank you for demonstrating that the epistemologists and ecclesiastical theologians don't have it all.

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You're looking particularly well.

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