Not suitable for people with irony deficiency and
cannot guarantee nut-free

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Hairy Maclary and Other Clothes

Cold today.  Plus the Apple logo appears to be floating over my garden.

Luckily I am prepared, as have found a fashion blogger in Alaska

#over40 color blockedt winter work look with scarf | High Latitude Style |
copyright High Latitude Style

It's a fascinating blog, fashion plus a insight into life in a very different place - things we never think about here, like how cars often just won't work when the temp drops below minus 40; the skill of driving when bundled up in coat and gloves and snowboots; the high cost of goods as most things are imported and many companies won't deliver to Alaska.  Plus it came in handy when Boy2 had to do a homework on a cold environment.   It may be the first time a geography project has been lifted from a fashion blog. A refreshing change from the old Wikipedia cut and paste.  Might need to prune the paragraphs on layering while maintaining a slim silhouette...

Already had to rein Boy2, as he was very taken with the "non-contiguous state of the US" thing and so launched into a description of the other non-contig state, Hawaii.  I am not an expert on climate but possibly Hawaii was not what the geography teacher had in mind. But don't worry, Boy2 is irrepressible and, deprived of his exposition on Hawaii, he bounced back with facts and photos on polar bears.

And the actual caption Boy2 used: "These 2 polar bears have developed a very good sense of smell so they can find food in the cold climate"  Just these lucky 2 bears, no others!

Another fashion blogger I discovered recently  is Silk Path Diary
She is so cute, elegant and well-dressed, with an amazing collection of vintage Hermes bags, scarves and some beautiful classic coats.

copyright Silk Path Diary

 Inspired by her I bought this on eBay.  At the bargainous price of 40 pounds.

Jigsaw, wool and cashmere, ideal for muddy dog walks. I am totally on message re buying clothes for your real, not your imaginary, lifestyle.  


But then I went off piste and bought this.  Hairy Maclary.  A bargain at 4 pounds and real suede and Mongolian whatnot.

But really, what was I thinking?

To wear this you need to be 
a) Kate Moss; 
b) at Woodstock in the 1970s;
c) in The Gruffalo: the Musical; or
d) all of the above.

Should I give it a deep conditioning treatment or comb for nits?

I don't know whether to take it to the hairdressers or the dog groomers, I have tried smoothing it down and rearranging it but ended up with an unflattering centre parting...

copyright Lynley Dodd

In other news,  a friend posted a link about Mikhail Baryshnikov on Facebook (thanks M) and that sent me off down memory lane.  Did you ever see this?

  I love seeing classically trained dancers cut lose and dance more modern styles. Misha is such a great dancer, such charisma. And may I must add, PHWOARRRRRRR! Thank you, just needed to do that.

 Has any one read this? 

  I really want to read it.  Gelsey partnered with Misha, back in the day, on and off stage.

Memory lane again : a 1000 years ago Grandma Whacker and I saw old Nureyev dance Romeo and Juliet at Covent Garden, then hung around the stagedoor as he swept past in fur hat with ballerina in tow. "Not tonight" he exclaimed imperiously to the autograph hunters.

Right, now I have ended up in Memory Lane it's time to embrace the present.  Maybe I'll take Hairy Maclary to the vets for his injections.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

2015: A Retrospective

No, that's NOT a typo. I mean 2015.

I have had consultants in who advise that I need to "refresh the Blighty blog offering, while at the same time capturing the Zeitgeist."  I can't afford to ask them what that means but have decided to do "something what like the other bloggers do but different."

I notice lots of blogs do "The best outfits of 2014" or "The best books read in 2014."

So here we are:
 Blighty 2015 - A Look Back.

It's been an eventful year.

Boy 1 dressed up in his new ski gear and burst into Grandma Whacker's room at 9pm. As Grandma commented drily: "It's a good job I don't have a heart condition."

Having clocked up 3000 hours on the Xbox over the hols, Boy 2 put on his new daygo hockey boots and went to hockey practice. Hello outside world, hello long pale atrophied things which are my legs. 

Mr B went back to the drafting factory to compose new and even more intricate laws (but still refusing to pop in that clause about the Blightys not needing to pay tax ever again  - I really question his contribution to our relationship, I mean, it's not much to ask, is it?)

River police investigate drafting irregularities at Westminster

(photo copyright Daily Record)

 Grandma de-camped to Casa Whacker, relieved to have some peace and quiet and not be pounced on by adolescents in ski-gear. Below, pic of the village in the Cotswolds where Grandma resides

Under the clock is the entrance to the offshoot of the Oxford Ashmolean Museum.

(photo copyright kev 747 flicker)

Monty Dog staged a disappearing act.  He was gone for around an hour and a half, provoking a major search operation.  Eventually we had a call from a nice lady who had found him in her garden. She spent 20 mins trying to catch him.  He told me he had a lovely time, a super game of chase, and licked her kitchen floor and dishwasher by way of thanks.

And as for me, I have made my debut on the Scarf of the Day thread of the Purse Forum...yes there is such a thing. It's a group where you post photos of your scarves according to a weekly theme set by the Scarf Mistress (I may be getting carried away with the names but it's all broadly true).  All the ladies are lovely and very appreciative of each others'  scarves.  It is very civilised and a nice refuge from teen world and dog days. I did notice in my Scarf Forum account details there is a category for "Infractions".  This is currently at zero.  I do wonder what exactly I will have to do to commit an infraction and how long it will be before I get thrown off the forum - posting rude jokes or vulgar double entendres?  I like a challenge.

This is me posing with my chin up high to minimise chin sag.  I am not going to post on the Scarf Forum too often otherwise I will get RSI to my neck.

As the ladies are so nice, I  wonder if there is a parallel  "Dorian Gray painting in the attic" Scarf Forum for the Cruellas and other mean ladies of this world:
"Darling, don't take this the wrong way but that rag round your neck really brings out the colour of your eyes - red"
"Girlfriend's looking a bit haggard today" etc.

Read the above book - excellent psychological thriller, highly recommended - stick with it, a bit slow at start, author has to lay the groundwork, the pay off is worth it.   My friend S put me onto it, she always knows the best books to read. S is herself a published author as blogged previously.  If you haven't already read her book (below), get on with it!  There will be a test later...

Talking of books, have just been to see Tess Gerritsen give a talk to promote her latest  Rizzoli and Isles book, Die Again.  She was an excellent speaker, super intelligent, funny, amusing anecdotes - including how she started as a romance author but decided to change direction when her editors pointed out that the body count for her debut romance novel stood at 13! Here's Tess in action.

So that's 2015 all wrapped up, wonder what 2016 will bring?

Monday, 29 December 2014

What We Did in Our Christmas Hols

We went to see Paddington the Movie.  We all loved it except Boy1 who is teenage and only likes films with explosions.

I got a sprout thrown at me at 7am on Christmas morning.  Nice.

Monty Dog grew huge blonde eye brows.  For warmth I suppose.  We are thinking of getting him a hat and duffel coat, then he would look just like Paddington

I gave Mr B some posh eau de toilette, I thought Encre Noire (black ink) sounded suitable for a parliamentary draftsman, hope it won't drive his female colleagues wild with desire. Of course now the office is modernised and last week stopped using quill pens, it should be called Beige Keyboard. 

Mr B gave me a lovely MaiTai scarf ring.  The colour is "prune." French for plum.  No Mr B, please no prune jokes.

And a Hermes scarf.

Of course I actually bought them months our house spontaneous gifting has to be carefully orchestrated.

The scarf is La Femme Aux Semelles de Vent.  Woman with Wind under her Soles.   Mr B says it's the Brussel sprouts.  That man has the soul of a poet.  Spike Milligan. Or Purple Ronnie.

 The scarf features the explorer Alexandra David-Neel, depicted on the scarf approaching Lhasa in Tibet. I had never heard of her before but I expect she is big in France.  Like  a French Kate Adie but without the pearl earrings.

Boy1 was given a basket ball hoop.  It only took Mr B 7 and half hours to put up.

Boy2 was given various gamey gizmos and some hockey boots.

Grandma was in residence and only managed to watch about 87 films and clock about 5000 hours quality TV time.

We played games like Perudo and Uno and Bananagrams, all of which involve shouting key words at certain times, to be on the safe side I now shout "Dudo Uno Peel Split Dump" every 5 minutes whether we are playing a game or not.  And Banangrams which involves making up words has been most educational, I had no idea that a 12 year old knew so many rude words.  And so many linked to basket ball hoop construction.

Mr B and I have started watching The Code, an Australian drama, like The Bridge what with political cover ups and slimy bureaucrats and an eccentric genius and dum -di - dum di -dum music as each episode draws to a conclusion, but with heat and dust.  It came highly recommended by Mrs Peabody,  check out her blog for some cracking crime reads and viewing ideas.

I am reading this.  Again heat and dust instead of the usual Nordic noir.

And I have been trying out Caron's Nuit de Noel, I wanted something  Christmas piney and resin-y.  It's really nice and green, but I think I might prefer Serge Lutens La Fille en Aiguilles which is supposed to be a pine forest in summer.  But oh la la, the price! Les Senteurs is good for perfume samples though if you live in the UK.

Right, time for another meal. It's at least 15 minutes since we last ate so things are getting desperate.


Thursday, 18 December 2014

A Blog is not just for Christmas

Sign of the times that the first Christmas party I attend is the dog's.

All the movers and shakers of the Advanced Dog Training Class* were there.

This is Arthur.  Swiss Entlebucher, financier and raconteur - he is super bright, runs a bank, often abroad for tax reasons, loads of character and woofs, yips and growls his way through dog training, he has lots of anecdotes and some really rude jokes. Possibly.  I don't speak dog.  But that's what I imagine. Much in demand as an after-dinner speaker.

This is Darcey.  Bouvier des Flandres, fashion icon and lady.  Jackie Kennedy was a Bouvier too.  So Darcey is very refined and stylish, I can see her in an Oleg Cassini suit and pillbox hat. Monty stares at her longingly with his mouth open but she is out of his league.  Darcey is best kept away from any blonde bubble permed poodles, the sort that might sing "Happy Birthday Mr President".

Leonard McCombe/Life Magazine/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images

President Kennedy  with First Lady Jackie, in fur-trimmed suit designed by Oleg Cassini, at his inauguration.

And then there's Monty.  Border terrier and class clown - always looking the wrong way, never concentrates, always needs the loo in the middle of class.

It was a fab party. 

There was a tree.

There was tinsel.

A buffet.

Hmm, always one greedy gutzer pushing in at the buffet..

Wild party games involving the wearing of hats.

Standing on things.



Everyone got tired and emotional and had to be driven home.

In short, a cracking party.


*  Laura Ward
Minds Alike Animal Training and Behaviour

Friday, 12 December 2014

Right Now

Right now we are all about....


Who knew coal mining was on the curricculum at Greggs Grammar?

Christmas trees

Multiple pairs of trainers for our sporting activities

Is Boy 2 a centipede? Why so many shoes? No wonder he staggers up the drive on the way to school. Cue maternal guilt at making boys walk to school.

Trying to eat our Santa hat.

Scarfing it up. 

Photo above from the Scarf Forum, I need to buy a melon, will it count as one of my 5 a day? (it's tutorial on how to tie an Ascot cowl knot, apparently). How do I balance it on my head?

Meet Chicken* my only friend.  She is helping me sell some Hermes scarves on  Evil Bay.  If you are interested, I'm pudfish63.

* Called Chicken because she is headless.  Groan.

She is already misbehaving, all super-modelly, tantrums, wants a private jet and Cristalle champagne..I now suspect the head removal was all part of an extreme celeb weight loss fad.

Above and below,  Hermes Sous les Branches de L'Ombu

Books.  This one was interesting - I did not know that Talitha Getty was the granddaughter of Augustus John and had forgotten that old David Bailey was married to Catherine Deneuve.

Bargain Diane von Furstenburg dresses from the Bay of Evil.

Migraines.  Bane of my life.  Any tips? 

What are you All About these days?