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

Monday, 26 July 2010

My Mother, Joan Crawford and coathangers

I have been musing on how to increase the traffic to my blog. It would be quite wrong of course randomly to mention the sort of brands people might put into Google searches. Quite wrong.

CHANEL PARADOXAL (apparently this is the new "must have" colour, a sort of purple)

Yes, quite wrong, cynical and a cheap trick.

WRIGLEYS SPEARMINT GUM, er, no, I give up, can't think of any more..

Meanwhile my mother appears to have gone mad and has asked me twice now over the phone to buy her Woolite delicates wash, apparently it's not available in any of the 94 supermarkets where she lives. Quite what has brought on this sudden need for Woolite I do not know. Dear Lord, what if she's drinking the stuff?? Is this the new designer drug for the over 70s? Will she be featured on some gritty documentary? Will she start blowing bubbles? And from where? The whole thing is a worry.

Grandma's Favourite Tipple?

I've not mentioned my mother before because She Would Not Approve. There is much which meets with her disapproval, for example:

uncertainty about when the next meal will be served
vegetables that have not been boiled for at least 2 hours
shoes which are not sensible
small boys who shout "Oh no, it's Grandma Whacker" and appear at the dinner table wearing their bike helmets
untrimmed hedges
untrimmed hair
Spending Money
Getting Overtired
Staying up too Late
Rushing about
Gudgey cakes

The latter are my speciality. Mother does make me laugh about these though. "This cake is very gudgey and too sweet" she says, as she chews disapprovingly. " Would you like another piece?" I ask her. "Yes please", she replies, without a hint of irony. It reminds me of the joke about the people complaining about their hotel - "The food was terrible, and the portions so small..."

In other exciting news I have been hunting down coathangers. I hate nasty coathangers, particularly the wire variety. I have been carrying out a hanger renewal programme, trying to weed out the horrid ones. But now I have cornered them, what should I do with them?

(No, Miss Crawford, that's not a helpful succession, but thanks anyway).

How can I store them neatly? Why do MrB's cupboards magically breed wire hangers? I tell you, it's a jungle out there, in Blighty's airing cupboard.

Finally my quote for the day. This was not a success. Boys not impressed. "Don't get it!" was the response. Will have to fall back on the classics, like quotes from Power Rangers or Scooby-Do. Yes, great idea. "Those pesky kids!" I like that!


  1. Grandma Whacker and the bicycle helmets made me and my 20-year old son chuckle:).

  2. Blighty, lets face it: your mother finally realized winter is gone and of course a decent lady needs to wash all the cashmeres and merino-wool-pullovers before storing them over the summer season. And guess what, just to find out she ran out of Woolite!

    Guess how I found FF and actually entered the blogsphere: by googeling ... for: HERMES SCARF.
    hehehe. just a hint!

  3. Dear Blighty - please send me your spare coathangers - especially the pretty ones. In the old days when I consorted with the great and good of the English legal hierarchy, I just needed a simple wooden peg upon which to hang my patched robe. Nowadays as a purveyor of ancient garments ( aka vintage fashion)I never have enough hangers. The flimsy rubbish offered by modern retailers are too soon reduced to useless plastic fragments. Even though I shamelessly use my 90 year old mother to request spare hangers from local fashion stores, I have observed a sad decrease in the quality of the plastic variety. And the quote by Oscar is the mantra I lived by for many years in another life as a PR Director.

  4. hi blighty,

    except for the veggies being boiled i'm in sync with your mum's list. what on earth does that say about me? yikes.


    ps ~ for great quotes google "quote garden"

  5. Your cakes look lovely to me. I have never heard the word gudgy. Hmmm. Your quote of the day is wonderful and so apt for we bloggers. Your mum sounds like she would be a lot of fun! Maybe FF should meet her.

  6. Hilarious! Just love the fact that Woolite could possibly be a vice in the worst possible sense... Haha :-)

  7. Dear Blighty enjoyable post as always. Please explain the meaning of the word gudgey? Does it mean chewy? Is it a Mother Blighty made up word? I am asking this because Mr K family make up words for things and for years I thought they were actual provincial English words! The family's favourite is wallage which means a lump or clump of something. As in "the bedclothes are all wallaged up" For 26 years Mr K has used this word and he told me last year it was made up by his father. Most amusing.
    KateB x

  8. Hey Blighty - take the wire hangers back to the dry cleaners, that's probably where they came from! I found your blog through your comments on FF, and I found her through her comments on someone else's blog - so I think that's a good thing to do, make comments on other great blogs.

  9. Quite like the sound of your Mum, reminds me of my friend Dee who will only buy French washing powder. She lives round the corner from me in Australia so everyone who travels brings it back or sends it to her... I know. She is determined and focussed washing powder wise.

    I would rather die than use a wire coathanger (crosses self). They're up there with bare earth frankly. I take a Joan C approach and endorse only padded satin or velevt hangers. The colours don't have to match but all clothes must hang at the same height in my wardrobe or the 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse will ride into town.

    Your cakes look excellent.

    I have nothing else to report xxxx

  10. Yeah, was just gonna say that: Hermès and if you want to top it off, add the phrase "birkin" :-). In any case, i just had to mention again how much I love your blog and the funny way you spell out what us unhumouros pessimists refer to as "daily drama". Your way of turning an ugly clothes hanger mess into something to grin about is just unbeatable!

  11. Hubby and I are weeping over your Mother's disapproval list. Oh my, we've had a laugh tonight over your gudgey cakes and Grandma Whacker! Oh I love your posts! A-M xx

  12. LPC - that really did happen, I thought at least my boys showed common sense in putting on protective headgear;
    Paul - hi, thanks for being such a faithful commenter and in your non-native tongue, amazing, I couldn't imagine commenting in another language!
    Elegance - were you a barrister? and then PR? what an exciting life! Please tell all your on your blog soon!
    Janet - I hate to admit this but my Mum is actually a totally cool lady, she has her priorities in life exactly right, it is amazing how she bred such a frivolous daughter!
    Deb - I think we will spare FF that! Mother would just tell her off for going out too much and not getting enough rest!!
    Sophie P - I am suspicious as it is unusual for my mother to want something that badly! She is usually very non-consumerist and cool, unlike me!
    Patricia - good and sensible advice about hangers back to cleaners; will do that in about 2 years time..
    FF - love the idea of your dresses hanging at same height, are you content with a visual or do you use a spirit level?
    Hair-mess - just finally got the pun in your name - Hermes? sorry, bit slow over here. Thank you for your cheery words, in real life I am very grumpy and shout a lot at the radio.
    A-M - you don't mess with Grandma Whacker, never did me any harm and my therapist agrees with me
    Kate B - love "wallaged up" brilliant, will adopt immediately, there is lots of wallaging round here; I suppose "gudgey" is made up, I am not even sure how to spell it! Bx

  13. Well, yes, it does have to do with the big orange. But when I picked that nic (for tpf) almost two years ago, there was also a big mess going on on my head, after a little "incident" at the hairdressers. :-) Ha, ha; shouting at the radio, not surprised about that at all and I always have to think of you when hearing that song about some guy picking the girl, who pays her taxes, LOL!

  14. Hair-mess, love the name, so clever, do you have any Hermes scarves? If only I had spent my money wisely back when i earnt some and invested in Hermes! Yes, Capital Radio is still playing all those songs to death, my boys keep going on about someone called Justin Beaver, is he some kind of rodent? And for some reason they call that Jay-Z/ Alicia Keys New York song the Potato song, actually if you sing "potato" instead of New York it works well - Blighty, the hitmaker!

  15. Blighty, thank you for those flowers! :) Well, I have an itsybitsybit of a native english mother-tongue: my parents are both from Austria but we spent some time in the US and I did not speak German back then. Until the age of 5. Sure, I lost it totally when I immersed in the Austrian language. But having had learned German after speaking and understanding (not writing) English at the age of 5 allows me to access foreign languages without huge effort. I like to pick up certain phrases and vocabulary, on a basic level though. Nevertheless: thanks for the compliment! My comments tend to become so loooooooong. Sorry for that!

  16. I think you have cornered the market for potential readers who google "Woolite"...Well done!

  17. Pretty padded coathangers there Blighty, far too nice to cover up and hide away in a wardrobe.
    Personally I am on a quest to buy every velvet covered non slip hanger from Target.
    Do hope you have aquired some Woolite..pronto!

  18. Pls answer my question on my blog.


  19. Actually I do own a few scarves, but sometimes I wish I had never taken a peek at Hermès at all. Too many goodies, too little money :-) Oh well, too late now. Don't know anything about Justin Beaver, whenever I hear that name I have to think of the animal and it's teeth. LOL. Potato sounds wonderful - turning the big apple into an "earth apple" or "pommes de terre". Keep those hits coming - I'll have my manager call your manager and they shall set something up, kay?

  20. Waving Hi to Paula, from another Austrian with a tiny "american touch" and a great love for anything british. Must be the genes - I also tend to write elaborate posts. :-) Sorry for that, blighty, and I hope you don't mind my going OT.

  21. Blighty, this is how you drape hangers before taking a picture:

  22. When I read the title of this post I thought you said that Joan Crawford was your mother! Three minutes later I finally understand. Adore the reference to Grandma Whacker... I'm personally a fan of the wooden coathangers you can buy at Ikea. I am gradually replacing my collection with them although you'll be pleased to know I don't have a single wire hanger to my name.

  23. Hi Blighty!
    Did your key words work at enticing anyone new?
    I had to laugh because I'm actually wearing Chanel's Paradoxal polish right now! I heart it. If you get your paws near it (and find a book jacket to match) I would definitely recommend.

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